The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Consume More Niacin And You May Avoid Alzheimer's

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Jul 20, 2004 12:15PM

Foods With Niacin - Photo: BBCChicago's Rush Institute for Healthy Aging found that niacin (vitamin B3) is linked to a reduced risk of age-related mental decline and that it could protect against Alzheimer's Disease. The researchers, whose report was published in the Journal of Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, said severe niacin deficiency causes pellagra - characterized by dementia, diarrhea and dermatitis - but its role in Alzheimer's has not been thoroughly explored.

The study was conducted by asking several thousand elderly Chicagoans about the types and amounts of food they ate and by testing their mental abilities. The study concluded that a high level of total niacin intake seemed to protect against both Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. The association was stronger for niacin intake from foods than for niacin taken in vitamin supplements. Lucky for us, niacin is in many of the foods we eat every day such as dairy products, poultry, fish, lean meats, nuts and eggs.