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Researchers have linked common nutritional supplement to cancer

by Pragati Singh
liver

While previous research linked commercial dietary supplements such as nicotinamide riboside (NR), a type of vitamin B3, to benefits for cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurological health, new research from the University of Missouri has discovered that NR may actually increase the risk of serious illness, including cancer development.
According to the findings of an international team of researchers led by Elena Goun, an associate professor of chemistry at MU, high levels of NR not only increase the risk of developing triple-negative breast cancer but also increase the likelihood that cancer will metastasize or spread to the brain. According to Goun, the study’s corresponding author, there are no viable therapy options after cancer has progressed to the brain.

“Some individuals take them [vitamins and supplements] because they naturally think that vitamins and supplements only have good health advantages,” Goun explained. “However, very little is known about how they truly operate.” “Because of this ignorance, we were inspired to investigate the fundamental concerns surrounding how vitamins and supplements act in the body.”
After her 59-year-old father died barely three months after being diagnosed with colon cancer, Goun was inspired to work toward a deeper scientific knowledge of cancer metabolism, or the energy via which cancer spreads in the body. “Some individuals take them [vitamins and supplements] because they naturally think that vitamins and supplements only have good health advantages,” Goun explained. “However, very little is known about how they truly operate.” “Because of this ignorance, we were inspired to investigate the fundamental concerns surrounding how vitamins and supplements act in the body.”

After her 59-year-old father died barely three months after being diagnosed with colon cancer, Goun was inspired to work toward a deeper scientific knowledge of cancer metabolism, or the energy via which cancer spreads in the body. “While NR is now widely utilised in individuals and is being examined in so many ongoing clinical trials for potential uses,” Goun explained, “much of how NR works is a black box — it’s not understood.” “As a result, we developed this innovative imaging technology based on ultrasensitive bioluminescent imaging, which permits non-invasive assessment of NR levels in real time. The presence of NR is indicated by light, and the brighter the light, the more NR there is.”

According to Goun, the study’s findings emphasise the need of properly researching the potential detrimental effects of supplements like NR before their usage in patients who may have a range of health conditions. In the future, Goun hopes to share knowledge that will lead to the development of specific inhibitors that will allow chemotherapy and other cancer therapies to work more effectively against the disease. Goun emphasised the need of seeing this method through the perspective of personalised medicine. “Not all cancers are the same in every person, particularly in terms of metabolic signatures,” Goun explained. “Cancers’ metabolisms can often change before or after chemotherapy.”

 

 

 

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