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Vitamin B3 may be a key to glaucoma treatment

Harold Mandel's picture
An eye

Researchers have found vitamin B3 prevents glaucoma in mice. They are now planning to investigate the effectiveness of vitamin B3 for treatment of glaucoma in people.


Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. It is generally associated with a buildup of pressure inside the eye. Researchers are hopeful vitamin B3 may prove to be an effective natural treatment for glaucoma.

Researchers say vitamin B3 prevents glaucoma

The Jackson Laboratory reports researchers say vitamin B3 prevents glaucoma. The researchers added vitamin B3 to the drinking water of mice which were genetically predisposed to getting glaucoma. This vitamin B3 water was effective in preventing glaucoma in the mice.

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There are about 80 million people across the world who are affected by glaucoma. This makes glaucoma one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the world. There is dangerously high pressure inside the eye in most patients suffering from glaucoma which leads to the progressive dysfunction of the eye. There is an increased risk for glaucoma with age.

Vitamin B3 offers new hope for glaucoma patients

The administration of vitamin B3 in mice was very effective. It eliminated most of the age associated molecular changes and provided very good protection against glaucoma. This offers a great deal of hope for the development of inexpensive and safe treatments for patients suffering from glaucoma.

Essentially treatments with vitamin B3 enhanced the metabolic reliability of aging retinal ganglion cells. These cells remained healthier for longer periods of time. These cells can therefore better resist being damaged from increased
intraocular pressure.

This study has been published in the journal Science. Glaucoma is a serious condition. It is the most common cause of age associated blindness in the United States. There is no cure for this illness at this time and once a person's vision has been lost due to glaucoma it is irreversible. The finding that vitamin B3 prevents eye degeneration in mice which are prone to glaucoma offers hope for a similar finding in people.