A new research has revealed that the earthly stores of vitamin B3 may have been delivered by asteroids during the early days of earth’s formation. This study has now, time-again, proved that many extraterrestrial materials have played large roles in initiating life on earth.
Earlier works have always hinted that vitamin B3 must’ve been formed on earth through non-biological processes and that an extra-terrestrial adulteration could be the possible reason behind its availability on the planet.
Vitamin B3, also called niacin or nicotinic acid, is considered fundamental in the development of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide in living organisms, essential for their metabolism and is considered of very ancient origin.
The research that revealed this possibility involved the study of eight different varieties of carbonaceous (carbon-rich) chondrites (meteorites).
The objects studied contained 30 to 600 parts of B3 molecules per a billion parts of the meteorite’s composition. The study discovered, along with other carboxylic acids, a pattern-less variety of the vitamin B3 in meteorites that resulted from asteroids altered more by liquid water. It can be said that these molecules resulted in a pattern-less form due to their destruction from a prolonged contact with water.
The research also studied situations in artificially modeled interstellar space environments showing that vitamin B3 can be generated on ice grains.
There is a scientific logic that confirms this assumption of development of vitamin B3 from non-biological sources: biological chemistry produces only those elements that are essential for life but non-biological chemistry can produce everything that is possible from the materials and conditions available.
If we assume that it was a terrestrial change that resulted in the formation of vitamin B, only the core vitamin would have been developed and not its other forms because life generates only the elements that are needed and no other forms of them. Rather, it is the non-biological processes that result in the development of various forms of a similar element.