If chemotherapy alone is not enough, then you state that your hands and feet are itchy … burning … and the “electric” sparks shoot from them.
It’s not your imagination. This is a very real condition called “peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy” (CIPN). As a result, you have the impression of small bursts exploding in your feet.
Your doctor may try to find stronger painkillers … But it can be a one-way ticket for even more side effects.
However, according to the latest study, you may be able to overcome neuralgia caused by chemotherapy, simply changing your diet.
Vitamin B3 in the fight against pain
A study published in the PAIN journal found that vitamin B3 (or niacin) could prevent neuropathic pain caused by a chemotherapy drug, paclitaxel, most commonly used in breast and ovarian cancer .
Researchers gave lab rats daily doses of vitamin B3 for one week. Then they tried to induce pain by giving them paclitaxel (it affects people in the same way).
It turned out that vitamin B3 stopped the CIPN before it started! Rats showed no signs of severe pain responses compared to rats receiving paclitaxel without supplementation with vitamin B3.
Without B3, the increased sensitivity of the rats to pain persisted for five weeks AFTER the chemotherapy was completed.
B3 may work because it increases the level of an important cellular component known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide – i.e. NAD +. Previous studies have shown that elevated levels of NAD + can protect against various types of nerve damage.
In this study, vitamin B3 raised the level of NAD + by 50%!
What’s more, this effect lasted for two weeks AFTER the supplementation of vitamin B3 was completed.
Of course, I know you’re not a rat. However, these kinds of animal reactions tell us a lot about how people would respond in a similar case.
The oncologist can tell you not to take vitamins during chemotherapy. Some of them believe that some vitamins such as A, E and C may reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.
Vitamin B3 in the diet
In my opinion, this is not yet decided. But one thing is for sure: Do not give up vitamin B3!
You can add more vitamin B3 to your diet by eating beets, liver and beef kidneys, fish such as salmon, tuna and swordfish, as well as sunflower seeds and peanuts.
In addition, your body converts the amino acid tryptophan into vitamin B3. So you can increase your B3 level by eating high tryptophan foods. According to the paleo diet, it may be a turkey and other poultry, red meat, eggs and dairy products.
You can also take vitamin B3 as part of the supplement, eg vitamin B complex . If you decide to take only vitamin B3, remember to “erythema”, which may accompany niacin. It is usually harmless, but some may feel uncomfortable.