Tags: resistant | staph | vitamin

Vitamin B3 Fights 'Superbugs'

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 01:52 PM

In a surprising new study, a team of researchers has found vitamin B3 has a natural ability to boost the body’s own immune systems to combat lethal antibiotic-resistance staph infections that are increasingly being found in hospitals, gyms, nursing homes and other settings.
The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, indicate high doses of the vitamin increased by 1,000 times the ability of immune cells to kill staph bacteria in laboratory studies of animals and human blood.
The research team – including specialists from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, and the University of California-Los Angeles – noted the discover could have significant implications for combatting resistant “superbugs” that kill thousands of people every year.
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"This is potentially very significant, although we still need to do human studies," said Adrian Gombart, an associate professor in OSU's Linus Pauling Institute. "Antibiotics are wonder drugs, but they face increasing problems with resistance by various types of bacteria, especially Staphylococcus aureus.
"This could give us a new way to treat staph infections that can be deadly, and might be used in combination with current antibiotics. It's a way to tap into the power of the innate immune system and stimulate it to provide a more powerful and natural immune response."
Specifically, the scientists found that high doses of vitamin B3 – nicotinamide – increased the numbers and efficacy of "neutrophils," a specialized type of white blood cell that can destroy harmful bacteria. One of the most common and serious of the staph infections, called methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA, was included in the study.
The researchers added, however, that there is no evidence yet that normal diets or conventional-strength supplements of vitamin B3 can prevent or treat bacterial infection, Gombart said, and people should not start taking high doses of the vitamin.
Serious staph infections are increasingly prevalent in hospitals and nursing homes, but are also on the rise in prisons, the military, among athletes, and in other settings where many people come into close contact.
The research was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.
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Vitamin B3 has been found to boost the body’s immune systems to combat antibiotic-resistance staph infections.
Tuesday, 28 August 2012 01:52 PM
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