Who woulda thunk it? After years of grappling with various antibiotic-resistant “superbugs,” Vitamin B could be a big weapon. ”In laboratory tests with mice and human blood, Cedars-Sinai medical center scientists found that “vitamin B3 increased by up to 1,000 fold the ability of the immune system to kill staph bacteria,” according to a report. Apparently, researchers came up with vitamin B finding when studying a rare disease called neutrophil-specific granule deficiency (neutrophils are a class of immune cells). A certain gene called CEBPE is mutant in patients with this disease, down-regulating antimicrobial cells in the body needed to fight diseases. The investigators turned to vitamin B3, which has been shown to increase the expression of some other genes in the CEBP family. The results: When studied in human blood, clinical doses of the vitamin appeared to virtually wipe out the staph infection in only a few hours.
Of course, human trials need to take place to validate this preliminary finding. But in this day and age of superbugs, wouldn’t it be a bit astonishing if a simple nutritional solution could be an answer.