Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marmite vs MRSA

Released 30 years ago, the song Land Down Under included this memorable line:

"Buying bread from a man in Brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscle
I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich"

Well, its cousin, Marmite, is in the news today, for a very good reason:

"An ingredient in the savoury spread could help doctors defeat MRSA by massively boosting the body’s defences against the deadly bacteria."

Turns out, Marmite (made primarily from yeast extract) is especially rich in B vitamins, including niacin, which scientists believe "can bolster the body against staphylococcus bacteria." Now, this doesn't meant that we should all begin mega-dosing on niacin (or snarfing down Marmite). For one thing, too much niacin can cause liver problems and increased uric acid levels (which can lead to gout).

Pass me a biscuit, please.
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