Nicotinamide's Ups and Downs: Consequences for Fertility, Development, Longevity and Diseases of Poverty and Affluence

Adrian C Williams, Lisa Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)


To further explore the role of dietary nicotinamide in both brain development and diseases, particularly those of ageing. Articles cover neurodegenerative disease and cancer. Also discussed are the effects of nicotinamide, contained in meat and supplements and derived from symbionts, on the major transitions of disease and fertility from ancient times up to the present day. A key role for the tryptophan - NAD 'de novo' and immune tolerance pathway are discussed at length in the context of fertility and longevity and the transitions from immune paresis to Treg-mediated immune tolerance and then finally to intolerance and their associated diseases. Abstract: Nicotinamide in human evolution increased cognitive power in a positive feedback loop originally involving hunting. As the precursor to metabolic master molecule NAD it is, as vitamin B3, vital for health. Paradoxically, a lower dose on a diverse plant then cereal-based diet fuelled population booms from the Mesolithic onwards, by upping immune tolerance of the foetus. Increased tolerance of risky symbionts, whether in the gut or TB, that excrete nicotinamide co-evolved as buffers for when diet was inadequate. High biological fertility, despite disease trade-offs, avoided the extinction of Homo sapiens and heralded the dawn of a conscious, creative, and pro-fertility culture. Nicotinamide equity now would stabilise populations and prevent NAD-based diseases of poverty and affluence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Tryptophan Research
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2018


  • Demographic
  • neanderthal
  • neolithic
  • evolution
  • meat


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