Vitamin B-3 may treat and prevent acute kidney injury

New research suggests that taking vitamin B-3 orally might soon become an effective way to treat or even prevent acute kidney injury.

In acute kidney injury, the kidneys suddenly stop functioning — usually as a result of complications during hospitalization.

Approximately 10 percent of adults who are hospitalized in the United States reportedly develop it.

Though temporary, the condition can be fatal. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) say that 9.5 percent of the adults who had the condition in 2013 died as a result.

Acute kidney injury occurs when waste products accumulate in the blood and the kidneys struggle to maintain a good balance of fluids in the body. Seniors, people already hospitalized, and patients in intensive care units are particularly vulnerable to the condition.

New research led by Dr. Samir M. Parikh — a kidney specialist at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, MA — suggests that a form of vitamin B-3 may be used to prevent acute kidney injury in vulnerable people.

The findings are now published in the journal Nature Medicine.

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