CMA welcomes B3-skin cancer findings

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CEO of Complementary Medicines Australia Carl Gibson has welcomed results from a University of Sydney study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which show that vitamin B3 (nicotinamide) can cut the risk of new skin cancers by 23%.

In this double-blind, randomised, controlled trial, participants who had, in the last five years, had at least two non-melanoma skin cancers were given either 500mg of vitamin B3 twice daily or placebo for a period of 12 months.

The authors found that oral vitamin B3 was safe and effective in reducing the rates of new skin cancers in high risk patients.

“These are exciting results – especially given that in Australia non-melanoma skin cancers are four times as common as all other cancers combined,” says Gibson.

“These skin cancers are caused primarily by exposure to UV radiation, and unfortunately, even high-risk individuals don’t always remember to apply sunscreen.”

There is an obvious need for additional preventive measures, he says.

“The study results highlight the importance of research, and the importance of industry, philanthropic and government support for studies that look at the use of complementary medicines.

“Studies such as this are fundamental in finding out how to foster good health and avoid disease.

“The Australian complementary medicine industry continues to invest in clinical trials, building on the data that shows the contribution that complementary medicines can make to individual and community health,” he says.

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