Researchers at the University of Helsinki in Finland and collaborators at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland found that Nicotinamide riboside (vitamin B3-a cousin of Niacin) delays the progression of mitochondrial myopathy, a muscular disease characterized by muscular weakness caused by dysfunctional mitochondria, the part of the cell responsible for converting food in to energy. Mitochondrial myopathy is the most common type of mitochondrial disorder and currently has no treatment available.
In this study, researchers found that mice fed with food supplemented with nicotinamide riboside showed a delayed mitochondrial myopathy progression when detected at early stages of disease and maintained at later stages. A protective response in mitochondria, termed Unfolded Protein Response, was activated upon B3 treatment, which may account for the preventive occurrence of mitochondria defects.
Their findings suggest that oral administration of nicotinamide riboside, a natural constituent of milk, has the potential to treat adult-onset mitochondrial myopathy.