London: Marmite, a brown-coloured spread made from yeast, could save the lives of millions of people because it contains a vitamin that protects against some potentially fatal heart conditions and diabetes, scientists have claimed.
Tests show that vitamin B1, which occurs naturally in yeast-based foods, may prove to be a potential lifesaver for people with diabetes, reports express.co.uk.
The discovery could offer fresh hope to people who have diabetes and face an increased risk of heart problems.
Scientists from Bristol University have shown that a form of vitamin B1 protects heart cells from damage.
Although the tests have only been carried out in mice, they hope that further trials will show that the compound - also known as benfotiamine - can also work in humans.
Paolo Madeddu who led the study, said: "Supplementation with benfotiamine from early stages of diabetes improved the survival and healing of the hearts of diabetic mice that have had heart attacks."
"We conclude that benfotiamine could be a novel treatment for people with diabetes, and the next step in this research will be testing whether similar effects are seen in humans," he said.