You may remember a few months ago the much hyped headline which stated that Marmite may be the key to preventing miscarriages and birth defects. Newspapers around the country jumped on the story branding it the new miracle cure. Results from a study by Australian scientists, have apparently shown that Vitamin B3 (found in Marmite) can cure deficiencies which cause miscarriages and birth defects. However, what are the facts, and is this #fakenews?
The researchers examined four families that each had a child with multiple birth defects, and carried out genetic sequencing.
“After discovering gene mutations that affected production of NAD, they looked at similar disease-causing mutations in mice and the effect that increasing vitamin B3 in the diet had on preventing malformations in developing embryos. The researchers studied the effect of vitamin B3 on developing mouse model embryos, with what they called ‘astounding’ results.”
Before the mother began to consume vitamin B3 regularly, the embryos were either lost through miscarriage, or the babies were born with quite severe birth defects. After the supplements were given, both miscarriages and birth defects were completely prevented, with all children born healthy.
This research however is not conclusive, as not all miscarriages and abnormalities occur because of the genetic mutation that reduces vitamin B3. To find out more about the NHS’s view on this story, read their article here.