Many people like to take vitamin supplements without knowing if they actually have a vitamin deficiency. In certain cases, it can have a negative impact on health. According to researchers, for example, an excess of nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3, can increase the risk of developing serious diseases.
Especially in the cold season, you want to do something good for your health to prevent infections like colds. But instead of eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, people prefer to take multivitamin supplements. After all, they often promise that they contain all the important vitamins and minerals. In addition to the fact that the positive effect of such dietary supplements is controversial, there are apparently negative side effects in certain cases. American scientists from the “University of Missouri” found that artificially added vitamin B3 in the form of nicotinamide riboside can increase the risk of cancer and promote brain metastases.1
Vitamin B3 is important for metabolic processes in the body
Vitamin B3 is actually said to have many good and important properties in the body. It participates in almost all metabolic processes and helps, for example, in the regeneration of muscles, skin tissue and the nervous system. It also supports protein metabolism and digestion. It also helps in the “elimination” of toxins and harmful substances from the body. For this reason, the use of vitamin B3 supplements has so far been considered positive for the health of the heart, metabolism and nervous system.
But a recent study is now causing a stir. Because scientists have proven that a high concentration of nicotinamide riboside (NAD), a precursor of vitamin B3, leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. It also promotes the spread of brain metastases. This can be fatal as there is currently no treatment for brain metastases.
Another interesting fact: Vitamin B3 is said to protect against skin cancer right before sunbathing
Researchers have found a negative effect of niacin on the risk of cancer
“Some people take them because they automatically assume that vitamins and supplements only have positive health benefits. But very little is known about how they actually work,” study leader Elena Gounová said in a statement about the study.2 This knowledge gap inspired her and her research team to explore the underlying mechanisms of how added vitamins and supplements work in the body.
Vitamin B3 or nicotinamide riboside (NAD) increases cellular metabolism and cellular energy production. And since cancer cells feed on this energy, Goun wanted to know what role NAD plays in the development and spread of cancer.
Investigation by a new bioluminescence method
“While nicotinamide riboside is a widely used dietary supplement whose effect has been investigated in many studies, the mechanism of action is still poorly understood,” explains researcher Elena Goun. But to find out, her research team first had to find a way to measure the vitamin content of cells in real time. So they developed something called bioluminescent imaging technology. The amount of nicotinamide riboside in the cells is determined using light. The more light that appears, the higher the concentration of the vitamin B3 offshoot.
In animal experiments on mice, scientists were able to demonstrate that artificial intake of nicotinamide riboside can lead to a significant increase in the risk of cancer and brain metastases. Despite this finding, two questions arise: Can these research results be directly transferred to humans? And at what dose of vitamin B3 does the risk of cancer increase? Therefore, more research is needed to understand the exact link between vitamin B3 or nicotinamide riboside and the effect on cancer in humans.