Nicotinamide Riboside and Cancer Risk: A Manufactured Panic

A popular nutritional supplement, Nicotinamide Riboside, which has been shown to be protective against a wide array of human ailments — including multiple types of cancer — is being accused by popular media sources of being a cause of cancer! The furor appears to be based upon a misinterpretation of research at the U. of Missouri, and the confusion of animal models with actual human research.

A University of Missouri study looking at Nicotinamide Riboside uptake measures in various tissues, is sparking a media furor among persons who use nutritional supplements — and among the government bureaucrats who would like to more tightly regulate what supplements private individuals can access without prescription. Even the Weather Channel website is getting into the act with a particularly uninformed article of its own!

The bottom line is that the actual research — at least the part that is available to the general public — does not make the same claims that the popular media articles are making for the research. That is how people are so easily led astray by “science journalism” accounts of scientific research. Here is the abstract from the U. Missouri study:

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 greatly limited by the lack of noninvasive in vivo imaging tools limiting its clinical translation. Here, we report the development and validation of a bioluminescent NR uptake probe (BiNR) for non-invasive longitudinal imaging of NR uptake both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, we optimized an assay that allows monitoring of NR flux without the need to transfect cells with the luciferase gene, enabling 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 metastases formation in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) animal model. Our results demonstrate that NR supplementation results in a significant increase in cancer prevalence and metastases of TNBC to the brain. These results outline the important role of powerful nutraceuticals like NR in cancer metabolism and the need to personalize their use in certain patient populations.

Science Direct (from Elsevier Biosensors and Bioelectronics)

Note from the abstract that the portion of the U.Missouri research dealing with Nicotinamide Riboside and cancer, is done exclusively in a specific animal model, not in humans. Also note that that portion of the research was only secondary to the main part of the research, which focused on NR uptake techniques in different cells and tissues. But which part of the research did the mainstream hacks focus on? A hypothetical link between NR and cancer. And what did the mainstream hacks fail to tell us? That the tiny portion of the research dealing with NR and cancer was done using a particular animal model — not human subjects.

I have long been disgusted by the low intelligence level of science journalism in mainstream publications and websites, which are often used to herd public opinion like a slaughterhouse herder funnels sheep into the slaughter. The example above is just one of the latest in a long line of transgressions against honest journalism which most undereducated consumers of mainstream “news” are treated to.

But what of the conclusion of the U Missou researchers that “supplementing the animal models with nicotinamide riboside results in an increase of breast cancer prevalence and metastasis to the brain?” Poor mice! But then, researchers do a lot of things to laboratory mice which could be considered unfortunate from the mouse’s point of view.

The Critical Role of the Mitochondrion in Health

Mitochondria are essential organelles that provide eukaryotic cells with energy in the form of ATP generated through aerobic respiration. Electrons harvested from the oxidation of carbon food sources are utililized to pump protons across the inner membrane and store the energy in a proton gradient, which is then used to produce ATP through chemiosmosis. Aside from this critical role of ATP production, mitochondria are also important in multiple biological processes including cell differentiation, cell cycle control, cell survival, neuronal protection, and aging.

Mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to a remarkably wide range of human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, ischemia perfusion injury, steatohepatitis, sepsis, Huntington’s disease, and many others. As more information associating mitochondrial dysfunction with human diseases emerges, the development of new tools to interrogate this important organelle becomes increasingly important.

Elena Goun U.Missou Chemistry Dept.

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is one of the many substances which are useful in preserving and boosting the function of mitochondria in cells. Animal research has shown that supplementation with NR is associated reduced incidence of certain cancers, improved outcomes in metabolic disorders, cardiovascular conditions, neurodegenerative conditions, and other disease conditions. In a human study, NR was found to prevent common skin cancers in high risk patients.

Science is not determined by a single study. Human medical science is not defined by the outcome of animal studies. The low quality of “journalism” in the mainstream of print, broadcast, and internet journalism is clearly incapable of accurately informing the public of the true state of medical and scientific research. Quite the opposite, modern journalism has much more in common with propaganda than with factual reporting.

More: How Lies Destroy Armies

Unfortunately, in this country burdened by an unnecessary war, there seems to be nothing in the cards that can prevent an outright implosion.

Russia, as we know it, is on course to implode. Between population shrinkage, and the rapid shrinking of the ethnic Rus/Slav people, and brain drain, the current system has no chance of long-term survival. Add in everything else, and the odds go up rather dramatically on the system coming apart in the next ten to twenty years. Now, factor in military defeat in Ukraine and the impact that is going to have on populations and politics, and it means the next few years might be more interesting than any of us would like. Especially given that Russia is an unstable nuclear power to an extent that makes the old Soviet Union breaking apart seem stable by comparison.

As I pointed out yesterday, the invasion and all that is going on in Russia is based on domestic Russian politics. What I’ve outlined above are some of the factors driving those domestic politics. Dealing with the international and other issues depends on leaders outside of Russia not only understanding the domestic Russian political situation but also the cultural factors playing into it and into popular opinion within Russia.

Laughing Wolf

This massive tragedy was all based upon a series of lies upon lies which were considered necessary by Russian leadership and Russian state media in order to maintain popular support inside Russia for an unwieldy conglomeration of ethnic nations crammed into what is in the long run an unrulable empire. Compare that with the unrulable empire that wallows uncomfortably inside the label of “communist China.”

Those who gaze upon the land and suppose that all is what it seems, will never understand tomorrow why things are suddenly so different. They believed what they had been told.

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