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Niacinamide supplementation reduces nonmelanoma skin cancers in high-risk patients, study shows


  • Niacinamide reduces incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancers in high-risk patients
  • 23% reduction in new nonmelanoma skin cancers at 12 months
  • 13% reduction in the number of actinic keratoses at 12 months
  • Effective dosage 500 mg, twice daily


This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was designed to assess effect of niacinamide (nicotinamide) supplementation on the incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancers in high-risk patients.

For this study, researchers randomly assigned 386 men and women, ranging in age from 30 to 91 (mean age 66 years) with a recent history of nonmelanoma skin cancers to receive either niacinamide (500 mg, twice daily) or placebo for 12 months. The 1,000 mg/day dosage was chosen based on results of previous Phase 2 studies showing its efficacy in reducing actinic keratosis counts.

The participants were evaluated by dermatologists at 3-month intervals for 18 months. Compared to placebo, niacinamide treatment significantly (P<.05) reduced the rate of new nonmelanoma skin cancers by 23% at 12 months. Niacinamide also significantly (P<.05) reduced the number of actinic keratoses compared to placebo: 11% lower at 3 months, 14% lower at 6 months, 20% lower at 9 months, and 13% lower at 12 months. Treatment was well tolerated.

These findings suggest that nicotinamide is a safe and well tolerated option to help reduce the risk of nonmelanona skin cancers in high-risk patients.


Chen AC, Martin AJ, Choy B, et al. A phase 3 randomized trial of nicotinamide for skin-cancer chemoprevention. N Engl J Med. 2015 Oct 22;373(17):1618-26.

PMID: 26488693