NAD in Skin: Therapeutic Approaches for Niacin

Claudia A. Benavente, Myron K. Jacobson and Elaine L. Jacobson

Published: Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2009, 15, 29-38  © 2009 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.
This article describes the beneficial effects of NAD and its precursor niacin (Vitamin B3) to human skin, and how niacin deficiency in humans causes several dermatological diseases and sun sensitivity, indicative of DNA damages. Furthermore, the authors report on various studies which have provided links to niacin’s role as a potential skin cancer prevention agent, sustaining proper DNA damage repair and maintenance of genomic stability, as well as driving skin differentiation to create a proper skin barrier and function.


  • “…Niacin deficiency in humans, which leads to low NAD status, causes sun sensitivity in skin, indicative of deficiencies in responding to UV damage.” (emphasis added)
  • “…the identification of the nicotinic acid receptor in human skin keratinocytes provides a further link to niacin’s role as a potential skin cancer prevention agent…” (emphasis added)
  • “…we discovered that niacin causes the release of leptin and downstream signaling of leptin has profound effects on epidermal renewal, wound healing and hair follicle biology in skin…” (emphasis added)
  • “ …Several observations have shown that topical application of a nicotinic acid derivative has beneficial effects on skin barrier integrity by increasing the stratum corneum and moderately increasing the thickness of the epidermis, reducing transepidermal water loss …” (emphasis added)

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