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Reducing niacin may prevent obesity

DALIAN, China, May 24 (UPI) -- Researchers in China suggest reducing the niacin added to many fortified foods may help prevent obesity.

The researchers at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Medical College, Dalian University in China looked at oral glucose tolerance tests with and without nicotinamide -- a water-soluble vitamin and part of the vitamin B group -- in the same five healthy subjects.

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The researchers linked eating the foods with increased niacin to increased early phase insulin resistance and late phase hypoglycemia, which, in turn seemed to contribute to oxidative stress and increased appetite.

The study, published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, used lag-regression analysis to find the increase in obesity in U.S. children and teenagers paralleled the increase in the per capita niacin consumption with a 10-year lag.

The researchers suggest niacin fortification in ready-to-eat cereals and other grain products may play a role in obesity and recommend long-term safety of niacin fortification be carefully evaluated.

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