vitamin B3

  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. Fighting back after stroke

    Surviving a stroke is only half the battle. The real challenge begins for many stroke victims when they return home from the hospital. Many of them face debilitating and even permanent damage, and some even need to relearn basic activities like walking, talking and eating.

    Now, two recent studies give some hope to a seemingly hopeless situation.

    The first comes in the form of a simple easy-to-find everyday vitamin–one many people start their day with, whether they know it or not.

    Vitamin B3–better known as niacin, a nutrient that can be found in abundance in coffee–helps rats that have suffered ischemic strokes to grow blood vessels and new nerve cells in their brains, according to a study presented at the recent International Stroke Conference.

    That's all well and good for the rats, but will it work on humans? That's what the research team at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit wants to figure out–which is why they're now testing to see if humans can get those same benefits after suffering an ischemic stroke. (That's the most common type of stroke, which happens when blood can't make it to the brain.)

    But we already know that niacin has some terrific benefits for the arteries, as I've mentioned before. (Read "Common vitamin tops meds.") What's more, it's easy to get it from your diet by eating more oatmeal, peanuts, mushrooms and fish.

    And, as I mentioned, you can even get it from your morning brew. Espresso is overflowing with niacin, containing about 30 times what you'll find in a serving of tuna or mushrooms. Regular brewed coffee is also an excellent source of niacin, but it doesn't contain nearly as much as espresso.

    Niacin is also inexpensive and widely available in supplement form.

    The researchers say this nutrient appears to rewire the brain... which is exactly what another group of scientists working with stroke patients say about a very different treatment. Their study looks at how stroke victims benefit from something many of us do in the shower every day: singing.

    It's long been known that singing and speaking use different parts of the brain, which is why many stutterers can often belt out a tune without a single pause.

    And in recent years, stroke patients who've lost the ability to talk have been learning to sing instead. It's called "melodic intonation therapy," and researchers say that the singing appears to rewire the brain–putting regions to use that had not been used before the stroke.

    Many patients who've lost all ability to speak can begin communicating again after just one therapy session.

    Stroke is often a traumatic life-changing event that robs people of their independence along with many of their abilities. It can be a long way back–but there is a road that can take you there.

  3. Fighting back after stroke

    Surviving a stroke is only half the battle. The real challenge begins for many stroke victims when they return home from the hospital.

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