Popular anti-aging supplement may lead to brain cancer, study says

Popular anti-aging supplement may lead to brain cancer, study says

Popular anti-aging supplement may lead to brain cancer, study says

TAMPA, Florida. (WFLA) — A study by researchers from the University of Missouri found that taking a popular vitamin supplement may contribute to the risk of brain cancer.

The vitamin, called nicotinamide riboside, is a variant of B3. Taking nutritional pills can lead to increased chances of breast cancer and brain metastases, he says study‘s results. Metastasis is when cancer cells spread throughout the body, causing more tumor growths beyond the initial site.

Known for its proposed benefits for metabolism, brain health, and the cardiovascular system, nicotinamide riboside, or NR for short, is sometimes referred to as an anti-aging vitamin. The National Institutes of Health NR reports can be used to “modulate the aging process and thereby exert life-prolonging effects,” according to a previous studyalthough the full effects and process of this are not yet clear.

However, new research by an international group of scientists and chemists has revealed that high levels of NR may also lead to an increased risk of developing cancer.

According to the University of Missouri’s announcement of the study results, “NR may not only increase a person’s risk of developing triple-negative breast cancer, but may also cause the cancer to metastasize, or spread to the brain.”

Elena Goun, an associate professor of chemistry at MU and one of the study’s authors, said that when cancer reaches the brain, the results are deadly because there are no viable treatments.

“Some take them [vitamins and supplements] because they automatically assume that vitamins and supplements have only positive health benefits, but very little is known about how they actually work.” said Goun. “Because of this lack of knowledge, we were inspired to study fundamental questions about how vitamins and supplements work in the body.”

A higher risk of metastatic brain cancer was revealed by Goun’s work investigating the effect of NR on the spread of cancer. Using bioluminescent probes, Goun and other study authors were able to see how NR affects cancer growth.

Using bioluminescent technology, the researchers were able to examine the presence of NRs with light, noting that “the brighter the light, the more NRs are present” in certain cell types, including cancer cells.

“While NR is already widely used in humans and is being investigated in many ongoing clinical trials for additional applications, much of how NR works is a black box — it’s not understood,” Goun said. “This inspired us to come up with this new imaging technique based on ultrasensitive bioluminescent imaging that allows real-time quantification of NR levels in a non-invasive manner.”

According to Goun, the study’s findings show how important it is to carefully investigate the side effects of supplements in people with various medical conditions.

A spokesperson for the Food and Drug Administration told Nexstar that dietary supplements such as nicotinamide riboside fall under a different set of regulations than those covering prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Below existing lawThe FDA must determine that a product is counterfeit or mislabeled in order to withdraw it from the market.

For most people, sufficient levels of niacin, or vitamin B3, are obtained naturally through a wide variety of foods that include beef, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, grains, rice, and more. The National Institutes of Health recommends an average of 16 mg of niacin per day for adult men, and 14 mg for women.

A cup of marinara sauce, or three ounces of chicken breast, for exampleboth carry 10.3 mg of B3, according to the NIH.

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