niacin

  1. Vitamin B3 can wipe out staph bacteria

    'B' is for bugs

    One of the biggest problems in medicine today is the rise of drug-resistant superbugs, which create infections that are essentially untreatable.

    Some researchers are looking for new drugs -- but I think they're looking in the wrong place, since bacteria can learn to resist new meds just as easily as they learned to resist the old ones.

    What they can't beat is a fully charged human immune system. And now, new research shows a simple way to give your immune system just the boost it needs to beat even the most powerful drug-resistant bacteria.

    It's not a drug. It's not expensive. And it's perfectly safe.

    It's vitamin B3, also known as niacin.

    In a series of lab tests using both human and mice blood, large doses of vitamin B3 stimulated immune cells so that they were better able to fight off Staphylococcus bacteria -- including the deadly drug-resistant MRSA bacteria responsible for close to 20,000 deaths a year in the United States alone.

    The B3 caused a dramatic increase in the number of infection-fighting white blood cells, and made them more effective at their job.

    Not just a little more effective, mind you, but 1,000 times better at killing staph bacteria, according to the study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

    Now that's how you fight bacteria.

    Of course, that's an experiment in a lab dish -- not out in the real world, so we still need to see more research on this before we can call vitamin B3 the next big MRSA cure. And it remains to be seen if it can work on its own, or in conjunction with antibiotics and other drugs.

    In the meantime, try other natural infection fighters. Your doctor can help you find the one that's right for you, but colloidal silver is one of the best natural antibiotics around -- and it's highly effective against staph bacteria, including MRSA.

  2. The 'secret ingredient' in coffee

    I love a good mystery -- and there's one brewing right now in the world of coffee.

    You've probably already heard that java can help protect you against everything from dementia to Parkinson's to colon cancer.

    Now, a new study has found two ingredients in particular that seem to work together to protect you against Alzheimer's disease. One is caffeinate, and the other is...well, that's where the mystery comes in.

    Previous research had shown that pure caffeine itself improved cognition in mice with symptoms of Alzheimer's. But according to the results of this latest study, caffeinated coffee could give you an even bigger brain boost than caffeine alone. Take a look...

    Researchers from Tampa's University of South Florida gave mice either pure caffeine, regular coffee, or decaf coffee. They found that mice that got the "real" brew had the highest blood levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor, or GCSF.

    That's a protein that plays a key role in the immune system. High levels of it has also been linked to better memory, and low levels have been tied to Alzheimer's.

    It's no wonder GCSF is such a powerhouse. The researchers say that it benefits your brain in three different ways.

    First, it suppresses the production of beta amyloid, the plaque that is believed to be the cause of Alzheimer's. But
    it doesn't stop there. GCSF also goes to work destroying any existing beta amyloid. Finally, it produces connections in your brain, and encourages the birth of new brain cells.

    Since pure caffeine alone didn't produce the same surge in GCSF, researchers believe it's the combination with the "mystery ingredient" that provides the boost.

    Coffee -- especially espresso -- is also one of the top natural sources of niacin, a key vitamin that can help prevent heart attacks and stroke.

    One recent study found women who drank more than a cup a day had a 25 percent lower risk of stroke than women who drank no coffee.

    And of course, one of coffee's most notable effects on your brain is its ability to wake it up each day. I know my own
    always seems to function just a little bit better after the second cup.

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