By Charles Cheow
Studies show that Vitamin B3 aids stroke recovery, this was revealed by Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute’s director Dr. Michael Chopp last February during the International Stroke Conference held in Texas.
Commonly known as Niacin, Vitamin B3 releases energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats so that these can be used by the body. This way, it helps control blood sugar levels, keeps skin healthy, and maintains proper functioning of the digestive and nervous systems. It is useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis and prevent diabetes or delay the need for insulin.
Niacin’s role in stroke prevention is one of the new discoveries in terms of benefits. It prevents stroke, particularly ischemic stroke due to atherosclerosis, because regular intake of Vitamin B3, which is commonly found in most of the food we consume daily, actually helps increase good cholesterol in the blood and reduces arterial plaque. A fact most beneficial if combined with Vitamin A and E than Niacin alone, according to research.
Now, Niacin’s role in stroke care is increasing as the study of Dr. Chopp seem to indicate. The study involved rats induced with ischemic stroke and given niacin, which in turn revealed an increase in nerve cells and blood vessels. The study indicates that Niacin helps restore neurological functions after stroke.
Dr. Chopp’s team observed that the brains of the ischemic stroke-induced rats showed growth of new blood cells, sprouting of nerve cells, and improved neurological outcomes after these were given Niacin. Thus, they found that Niacin helps restore neurological function in the brain of animals following a stroke by rewiring the brain.
However, since testing of its benefits on stroke treatment is still in animal level, human testing is still needed before Niacin can be proven effective in treating stroke. They are now in the process of conducting human trials through an extended-release form of Niacin in stroke patients.
Their study also confirmed the effectivity of Niacin to increase High-Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol (HDL-C) in the blood, also known as the good cholesterol, which helps get rid of fatty deposits in arterial walls that lead to atherosclerosis. Niacin’s increasing of HDL-C in the blood also increased blood vessels in the brain and axonal and dendritic growth leading to a substantial improvement of neurological function.
Niacin is a water-soluble vitamin that can be found in red meat, poultry, potatoes, yoghurt, pasta, fish, nuts, milk, eggs, and foods fortified with it such as breads and breakfast cereals.
Studies show that Vitamin B3 or Niacin aids stroke recovery by rewiring the brain and recreating aspects of it. While studies such as these are still underway for human trial, the fact remains that, as of this time, Vitamin B3 or Niacin is still best for stroke prevention. Meanwhile, stroke victims have NeuroAid to use for their stroke treatment as it still remains effective in neurological functions recovery.
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