Clinical Research WIP: Niacinimide

This is the first post of many that will be looking into research and clinical trials that are currently underway to  develop treatments and therapies for Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD). Today, we’re looking at Niacinimide – or the more familiar Vitamin B3.

The good  folks at The University of Kansas (KU) Medical Center have been researching the effects of Niacinimide on mice with polycystic kidneys, and the results are looking promising. They’ve found that Vitamin B3 slowed the creation of cysts  and restored kidney function in the mice. While it’s not clear what “restored kidney function” actually means, it might imply an  improvement in filtration rate.

Why mice though?

Well, rodents in general are used as models in the medical testing world because their genetic, biological and even behavioral characteristics closely resemble those of humans. As such, many symptoms of human conditions (including PKD) can be replicated in mice! This doesn’t mean that because a treatment works in mice that it’ll work in humans, but it is a common predecessor of a given treatment moving on to the first human trials.

So how much Vitamin B3 would you need to take?

The Answer: loads! You’re not going to get the amount they’re testing with from your daily vitamin tablets. While your Vitamin B3 RDA is 18mg, some sources put the required figure at 30mg per kg of weight! That’s alot of vitamin!

The good news is that studies carried out for patients with diabetes have already indicated that high doses of Vitamin B3 are well tolerated by people, and as you probably already know, Vitamin B3 is a readily available over-the-counter supplement that you could get from your local  pharmacy.

The not so good news is that large pharmaceutical  companies wont make much money out of this treatment as its already so widely available, and and such there isn’t an opportunity for any exclusivity. I expect this is why we  have the academics of KU doing the good work on this project.

Study Status:

  • NamePilot Study of Niacinamide in Polycystic Kidney Disease (NIAC-PKD2)
  • Recruiting status: No longer recruiting (36  participants)
  • Phase of study: Phase 2
  • Estimated Completion Dates: December 2017 for data collection and outcome measures

Hopefully we’ll hear of some positive news on how this study has gone  in the near  future, and who knows, maybe in  a year or so it’ll be a treatment for everyone afflicted by PKD to follow! Drop a comment below with your thoughts on the potential for Niacinimide/Vitamin B3 as a potential treatment for PKD.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog represents medical advice, and before you embark on any  changes  to your diet or medication, make sure you check-in with your Physician.


2 thoughts on “Clinical Research WIP: Niacinimide

  1. I recently started seeing a Neph at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia and she mentioned something going to a clinical trial soon, think this could be it. Very interesting!


  2. There is alot of trial work around PKD at the moment 🙂 As someone who has the condition, I wish that there were even MORE research being done, but a number of avenues are being looked into, which fills me with alot of hope, and I hope it does the same for you. Thanks for the comment 🙂 you’re the first for this blog.


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