You might want to clean out your medicine cabinet as new research suggests that a popular anti-ageing vitamin supplement could increase your risk of getting cancer. Nicotimamide riboside (NR) is a form of vitamin B3 that is linked to some health benefits including bringing down cholesterol and blood pressure levels. But new research reveals it could increase the risk of some serious diseases such as cancer.
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In a study on mice, an international team of researchers discovered that high levels of NR could increase your risk of developing triple-negative breast cancer. Worse still, it could cause the cancer to spread to the brain, a situation that could be fatal as no viable treatment options exist yet, Elena Goun, lead author 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.
There are multiple ongoing human clinical trials where NR is used to mitigate the side effects of cancer therapy in patients. The researchers used that technology on mice to analyse the levels of NR in cancer cells and its impact on health.
It is estimated that Britons spend £430million a year on vitamin or mineral pills, with roughly 20 million taking some form of supplement every day, according to Daily Mail. Some studies have shown that contrary to claims on their packaging, many of the popular supplements do not result innoticeable health changes.
Dr Goun, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Missouri said the findings of the study emphasize the importance of having careful investigations of potential side effects for supplements like NR prior to their use in people who may have different types of health conditions.
Not all cancers are the same in every person, especially from the standpoint of metabolic signatures. Often times cancers can even change their metabolism before or after chemotherapy.
The study was published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.
Daily Mail: Popular anti-aging vitamin B3 pills 'raise the risk of CANCER', study indicates
Science Daily: Popular dietary supplement increases breast cancer risk, brain metastasis, study suggests