Note: Niacin is Vitamin B3 – found in B-Complex.
Published: 18:42 EST, 12 March 2016 | Updated: 20:57 EST, 12 March 2016
Paul Gascoigne has been receiving fortnightly 500ml ‘infusions’ of a compound derived from niacin, the vitamin found in Marmite, and is convinced the treatment is helping him to stay dry
Gaunt and grim-faced as he sits with an intravenous drip in his arm, Paul Gascoigne is a figure far removed from the powerful athlete who was the most gifted England footballer of his generation.
But this startling image shows Gascoigne having a radical treatment which he believes has given him an upper hand in his battle with alcohol.
Since the start of the year, the former Newcastle United and Spurs star, 48, has been receiving fortnightly 500ml ‘infusions’ of a compound derived from niacin, the vitamin found in Marmite – and he is convinced that the treatment is helping him to stay dry.
‘It’s made me feel good,’ he told The Mail on Sunday. ‘It has given me hope. It’s amazing.’
He attends a rehabilitation clinic in Hertfordshire where he receives the intravenous drip containing the organic compound NAD+, which experts claim can both reduce the physical discomfort of withdrawal and quell the brain’s cravings.
He appears transformed from the skeletal man who was pictured during an alcoholic relapse two years ago.
Gascoigne says he has now been dry for a year and credits the treatment with shoring him up against his psychological troubles.
He said: ‘I had been feeling a bit down and hadn’t been going to the gym. I didn’t want to do anything.’
But after having a double infusion of NAD+ in the New Year, he claimed the way his body felt ‘just changed’.
‘For the first time in months, I woke up at 6am, I felt happy and excited, energetic, and ready to play a football match.’
The £400-a-time infusions made him feel ‘super-positive’ and friends told him he was starting to look better.
Paul pictured in August 2014 looking skeletal during a relapse (left) and the former footballer now (right) pictured after undergoing a nutrient transfusion
The infusions are the brainchild of recovering alcoholic John Gillen, a former jockey and horse-trainer.
The Scotsman brought the idea to Britain from the United States, and set up his Bionad clinic near Harley Street in London.
He also provides the service at rehab centres around Britain.
Paul pictured leaving Bournemouth Magistrates Court after being fined and receiving a restraining order after earlier pleading guilty to harassment and assault charges in October 2015
Mr Gillen claimed NAD+ helped the body process toxic by-products of alcohol, and allowed the body to ‘detoxify itself’ in those who were already dry.
He said: ‘It also restores “normal” brain chemistry, which means cravings for alcohol are greatly reduced in most alcoholics.’
The therapy was championed half a century ago by Bill Wilson, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous.
But Mr Gillen claimed it had fallen from favour because drug firms had no financial incentive to run trials to prove it really did work.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Mark Collins said there was ‘good evidence’ NAD+ helped reduce alcohol withdrawal symptoms in the short term.
But nutritionist Ian Marber questioned the claims for NAD+, saying: ‘This idea that it’s going to make you feel better – it’s a bit woolly, isn’t it?’
He added: ‘I also have an ongoing concern about individual nutrients being injected into the bloodstream rather than going through the digestive process. I worry about the long-term consequences.’
The £400-a-time niacin infusions made him feel ‘super-positive’ and friends told Paul he was starting to look better (pictured on Good Morning Britain in June 2015)
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