Summary: The commercial dietary supplement nicotinamide riboside, promoted to improve cardiovascular and neurological health, may actually increase the risk of developing breast cancer that metastasizes to the brain.
Font: University of Missouri
While previous studies have linked commercial dietary supplements such as nicotinamide riboside (NR), a form of vitamin B3, with benefits related to cardiovascular, metabolic, and neurological health, new research from the University of Missouri found that NR it could actually increase the risk of serious diseases, including the development of cancer.
The international team of researchers led by Elena Goun, an associate professor of chemistry at MU, found that high levels of NR could not only increase someone’s risk of developing triple-negative breast cancer, but could also cause the cancer to metastasize or spread to the brain. .
Once the cancer reaches the brain, the results are deadly because there are no viable treatment options at this time, said Goun, who is the study’s corresponding author.
“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,” Goun said. “Because of this lack of knowledge, we were inspired to study basic questions about how vitamins and supplements work in the body.”
After the death of his 59-year-old father, just three months after he was diagnosed with colon cancer, his father’s passing motivated Goun to seek a better scientific understanding of cancer metabolism, or the energy through which cancer spreads in the body.
Since NR is a supplement known to help increase cellular energy levels, and cancer cells feed off that energy with their increased metabolism, Goun wanted to investigate NR’s role in the development and spread of cancer.
“Our work is especially important given the wide commercial availability and large number of ongoing human clinical trials where NR is used to mitigate the side effects of cancer therapy in patients,” Goun said.
The researchers used this technology to compare and examine how many levels of NR were present in cancer cells, T cells, and healthy tissues.
“While NR is already widely used in people and is being investigated in so many ongoing clinical trials for additional applications, much of how NR works is a black box, not understood,” Goun said.
“That inspired us to devise this new imaging technique based on ultrasensitive bioluminescent images that allow the quantification of NR levels in real time in a non-invasive way. The presence of NR shows up with light, and the brighter the light, the more NR is present.”
Goun said the study’s findings emphasize the importance of conducting careful investigations of the possible side effects of supplements like NR before use in people who may have different types of health conditions.
In the future, Goun would like to provide information that could potentially lead to the development of certain inhibitors to help make cancer therapies, such as chemotherapy, more effective in treating cancer. The key to this approach, Goun said, is to see it from the point of view of personalized medicine.
“Not all cancers are the same in all people, especially from the standpoint of metabolic signatures,” Goun said. “Often cancers can even change their metabolism before or after chemotherapy.”
About this cancer research news
Author: Eric Stann
Font: University of Missouri
Contact: Eric Stann – University of Missouri
Image: The image is in the public domain.
original research: Closed access.
“A bioluminescence-based probe for noninvasive in vivo monitoring of nicotinamide riboside uptake reveals a link between metastasis and NAD+ metabolism” by Tamara Maric et al. Biosensors and Bioelectronics
A bioluminescent probe for noninvasive in vivo monitoring of nicotinamide riboside uptake reveals a link between metastasis and NAD+ metabolism
Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is a form of vitamin B3 and is one of the most studied compounds for the restoration of cellular NAD+ levels demonstrating clinical potential in many metabolic and age-related disorders.
Despite its wide commercial availability as a powerful nutraceutical, our understanding of NR uptake by different cells and tissues is severely limited by the lack of non-invasive methods. live imaging tools that limit their clinical translation.
Here, we report the development and validation of a bioluminescent NR uptake (BiNR) probe for noninvasive longitudinal imaging of NR uptake both in vitro Y live. In addition, we optimized an assay that allows NR flux to be monitored without the need to transfect cells with the luciferase gene, allowing the use of the BiNR probe in clinical samples, as demonstrated with human T cells.
Lastly, we used BiNR to investigate the role of NR uptake in cancer prevalence and metastasis formation in an animal model of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
Our results demonstrate that NR supplementation results in a significant increase in the prevalence of TNBC cancer and metastasis in the brain.
These results highlight the important role of powerful nutraceuticals such as NR in cancer metabolism and the need to personalize their use in certain patient populations.
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