A new study in Immunity concluded that a receptor activated with mega-doses of niacin to protect the cardiovascular system also plays a key role in preventing colon inflammation and cancer. According to the researchers these findings help explain why a high-fiber diet reduces the risk of colon problems and indicates that when fiber is lacking, niacin, or vitamin B3, may help keep the colon healthy. In their study they found that mice lacking the receptor, Gp109a, were prone to inflammation and cancer of the colon and when they gave niacin to mice whose healthy colonic bacteria had been wiped out by antibiotics it helped steer immune cells in the colon into a safe, anti inflammatory mode., It was previously found that good bacteria in the colon thrive on fiber and its digestion produces butyrate, a short chain fatty acid, that activates Gpr103a. The researhers said “To protect your colon, you need this receptor, as well as the fiber and butyrate which activate it”. For people who can’t eat high fiber foods in the diet, mega-doses of niacin may help protect the colon. “We think mega-doses of niacin may be useful in the treatment and/or prevention of uncerative colitis, Crohns disease, and colorectal cancer as well as familial adenhomous polyposis, or PAP, a genetic condition that causes polyps id develop throughout the gastrointestinal tract.”
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