Nicotinamide and demographic and disease transitions: moderation is best

Adrian C Williams, Lisa J Hill

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Good health and rapid progress depend on an optimal dose of nicotinamide. Too little meat triggers the neurodegenerative condition pellagra and tolerance of symbionts such as tuberculosis (TB), risking dysbioses and impaired resistance to acute infections. Nicotinamide deficiency is an overlooked diagnosis in poor cereal-dependant economies masquerading as 'environmental enteropathy' or physical and cognitive stunting. Too much meat (and supplements) may precipitate immune intolerance and autoimmune and allergic disease, with relative infertility and longevity, via the tryptophan-nicotinamide pathway. This switch favours a dearth of regulatory T (Treg) and an excess of T helper cells. High nicotinamide intake is implicated in cancer and Parkinson's disease. Pro-fertility genes, evolved to counteract high-nicotinamide-induced infertility, may now be risk factors for degenerative disease. Moderation of the dose of nicotinamide could prevent some common diseases and personalised doses at times of stress or, depending on genetic background or age, may treat some other conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Tryptophan Research
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019


  • Flynn effect
  • IQ
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • TB
  • Tregs
  • antagonistic pleiotropy
  • cancer
  • dementia
  • disposable soma
  • environmental enteropathy
  • hypervitaminosis B3
  • immune intolerance
  • pellagra
  • thrifty phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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