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Hidden Vitamin in Beer May Prevent Obesity

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 18 Jun 2012
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A new study suggests that nicotinamide riboside (NR), a molecule found in beer and milk, could indirectly influence the activity of cell metabolism, thus preventing weight gain and diabetes, and improving muscular performance.

Researchers at the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (EPFL; Switzerland) and other institutions conducted a study in mice to evaluate if increasing the supply of NR--a natural nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) precursor--could efficiently increases NAD+ levels in mammalian cells and tissues, increase SIRT1 and SIRT3 activities, prevent the detrimental metabolic effects of high-fat feeding, and enhances mitochondrial function and endurance performance. The researchers succeeded in showing that NR was capable of all of these functions, culminating in enhanced oxidative metabolism and protection against high-fat diet-induced metabolic abnormalities.

Mice on a high-fat diet fed NR over a ten-week period gained significantly less weight (60%) than mice eating the same diet, but without NR supplementation. In addition, none of the NR-treated mice had indications that they were developing diabetes, unlike the untreated mice. The mice fed NR supplements also had better endurance performance and improved energy expenditure compared to those who had not received the vitamins; and no side effects were evident in mice given the NR supplement. The study was published on June 6, 2012, in Cell Metabolism.

“The results indicate that the natural vitamin NR could be used as a nutritional supplement to ameliorate metabolic and age-related disorders characterized by defective mitochondrial function,” concluded lead author Carles Canto, PHD, of the EPFL. “Cells use what they need when they need it, and the rest is set aside without being transformed into any kind of deleterious form.”

The researchers believe that the increase in the NR molecule leads to an improvement in mitochondrial function, which is also believed to play a role in the aging process, and hypothesize that by stimulating mitochondrial with the NR molecule, longevity, as well as other health aspects, will also be improved.

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Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne

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