This dietary supplement is associated with an increased risk of cancer – medical practice

How nicotinamide riboside works in the body

Optimizing metabolism, improving energy balance function, helps with weight loss, life-prolonging effect – a dietary supplement is like this and similar Nicotinamide riboside often advertised. However, a US research team now warns that income has risen significantly cancer risk is coming

researchers from University of Missouri-Columbia (USA) were able to understand in detail for the first time in the current study how nicotinamide riboside works in the body. The team found that the dietary supplement carcinogenic effect seems to have. The results have now been presented in the journal “Biosensors and Bioelectronics”.

Ingestion associated with increased risk of cancer

While previous studies have linked the use of nicotinamide riboside (NR) supplements to cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological health benefits, a University of Missouri-Columbia research group concluded that NR appears to increase the risk of cancer.

According to the results of the study, the drug should, among other things, reduce the risk of developing breast cancer significantly increase and also decrease metastases forms that spread to the brain.

The effect of many dietary supplements is unclear

“Some people take dietary supplements because they automatically assume that such supplements only have positive health effects.”the chemistry professor explains Elena Gounovawho conducted the study.

However, as he points out, very little is actually known about the exact effects of many supplements on the body.

Research motivated by father’s death

Goun points out that her own father died of colon cancer at the age of 59. The death of her father encouraged the scientist to do further research metabolic processes operate spread of cancer cells favor in the body.

NR increases the energy of cells – including the energy of cancer cells

Because nicotinamide riboside is a well-known dietary supplement used increasing cellular energy contributes, the working group led by Professor Goun wanted to find out whether NR also plays a role in the development and spread of cancer.

“Our work is particularly important because NR is commercially available and numerous human clinical trials are underway to reduce the side effects of cancer treatment in patients.”, Goun points out. But what exactly NR does in the body is largely unknown, the study leader points out.

Deeper insights thanks to new imaging methods

The team used a new imaging technique that for the first time compared the concentration of NR in cancer cells, T cells and healthy tissue.

Overall, the researchers concluded that NR supplementation with a a significant increase in the prevalence of cancer as well as with one increased risk of metastases connected in the brain.

Accelerated cancer metabolism

According to the working group, the effect on properties that improve metabolism attributed to NR, which also day Accelerate cancer metabolism. Therefore, income should be limited to certain groups of people.

“Not all cancers are the same in every person, especially when it comes to metabolic signatures.”, Goun summarizes. He sees in personalize medicine the key to an effective fight against cancer. (vb)

Author and source information

This text meets the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been reviewed by health professionals.


Postgraduate editor (ZF) Volker Blašek


  • University of Missouri-Columbia: Popular dietary supplement causes risk of cancer, brain metastases (veröffentlicht: 11.11.2022),
  • Elena Goun, Tamara Maric, Arkadiy Bazhin, Pavlo Khodakivskyi, et al.: A bioluminescence-based probe for in vivo noninvasive monitoring of nicotinamide riboside uptake reveals a link between metastasis and NAD+ metabolism; in: Biosensors and Bioelectronics (2022),

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a doctor’s visit.

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