(ORDO NEWS) — Used as a dietary supplement, nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3, is prescribed for metabolic and cardiac disorders.
However, a new study has shown that it can stimulate the development of cancer and cancer metastasis.
Millions of people around the world willingly take various vitamins, nutritional supplements, or dietary supplements. Of course, their goal is to improve health.
However, as the authors of the new work in Biosensors and Bioelectronics emphasize , far from everything is known about the mechanisms of action of such drugs and the consequences of taking them.
It was this gap in very important information that prompted them to conduct a new study.
The leader of the work, Professor Elena Goun, also has personal motivation.
After her father’s death at the age of 59, just three months after he was diagnosed with colon cancer.
Professor Gong began to study the metabolism of cancerous tumors to understand the mechanisms of their spread through the body metastasis.
Previously, a number of studies have shown that supplementation with nicotinamide riboside (NR, a form of vitamin B3) has a positive effect on the state of the nervous and cardiovascular systems, as well as on metabolism.
However, now scientists from the University of Missouri (USA) have established a link between vitamin B3 and a health hazard, and a very serious one.
It is known that nicotinamide riboside stimulates energy metabolism in cells. It is important to understand that this applies not only to normal cells, but also to cancer cells.
Since they have an increased metabolic rate, such “doping” affects them more strongly.
The authors used a new imaging technique based on bioluminescence, which allows the assessment of changes in the concentration of nicotinamide riboside in real time and in the living brain.
With its help, scientists examined the cells of the tumor and the immune system (namely, T-cells), as well as healthy brain cells.
It turned out that taking nicotinamide riboside increases the likelihood of getting a diagnosis of “triple-negative breast cancer” (the most aggressive type of tumor in cells that lack estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors).
Moreover, the “harmless” vitamin stimulates the formation of metastases in the brain. And this is extremely dangerous, because when cancer affects the brain, treatment options are drastically reduced.
“Our work is especially important because of the low cost and wide availability of nicotinamide riboside, as well as the large number of ongoing clinical trials using the drug to correct the side effects of cancer therapy that occur in patients,” Gong said .
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