Supplements like nicotinamide riboside (NR), which is a form of B3, have been advertised for promoting anti-aging and reducing high cholesterol.
But new research claims that the supplement may lead to cancer risk. Here’s what you need to know about the recent university study.
VITAMIN SUPPLEMENT B3 LINKED TO DEVELOPING CANCER RISK
Research conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia suggests that the dietary supplement nicotinamide riboside may promote increased breast cancer risk.
Scientists claim that high levels of NR could not only increase breast cancer, but they may even cause the cancer to metastasize or spread to the brain.
Associate professor of chemistry at MU Elena Goun said: “Some people take them [vitamins and supplements] because they automatically assume that vitamins and supplements only have positive health benefits, but very little is known about how they actually work.
“Because of this lack of knowledge, we were inspired to study the basic questions surrounding how vitamins and supplements work in the body.”
HOW WAS THE STUDY CONDUCTED?
The study was conducted by using bioluminescent imaging technology to understand how nicotinamide riboside supplements work inside the body of mice.
The NR levels are shown with light – the brighter the light, the higher the NR levels are. The scientists used the technology to study how much NR levels were present in cancer cells, T cells, and healthy tissues.
“Our work is especially important given the wide commercial availability and a large number of ongoing human clinical trials where NR is used to mitigate the side effects of cancer therapy in patients,” Goun explained further.
“That inspired us to come up with this novel imaging technique based on ultrasensitive bioluminescent imaging that allows quantification of NR levels in real time in a non-invasive manner.”
WHAT IS B3?
According to Healthline, B3 is one of eight B vitamins the body needs and plays an important role in converting food into cellular energy.
The vitamin is found as niacinamide in animal-based products, such as meat and poultry, and in plant-based products such as green vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Healthline states that the supplement may promote skin health and is useful for diseases like chronic kidney infection and type one diabetes.