The miracle molecule: Hidden vitamin found in BEER and MILK can make you stronger, slimmer and healthier It can improve muscular performance and prevent diabetes

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UPDATED:

18:05 GMT, 7 June 2012

A hidden vitamin in milk and beer dubbed the 'miracle molecule' has been found to fight obesity.

Nicotinamide riboside could play an important role in preventing weight gain, diabetes and improving muscular performance, according to a Switzerland-based research team.

Experts from the Polytechnic School in Lausanne claim the molecule can provide 'extraordinary health benefits'.

White stuff: Researchers say the molecule found in milk could help prevent weight gain and diabetes and improve muscular performance (posed by model)

White stuff: Researchers say the molecule found in milk could help prevent weight gain and diabetes and improve muscular performance (posed by model)

In an article in the specialist journal Cell Metabolism journal, team leader Johan Auwerx called the results 'impressive'

'NR appears to play a role in preventing obesity,' said Mr Auwerx.

'Mice on a high-fat diet fed NR gained significantly less weight – 60 per cent – than mice eating the same diet, but without NR supplementation.

'In addition, none of the NR-treated mice had indications that they were developing diabetes, unlike the untreated mice.'

Mice who were fed NR supplements over a ten-week period had better endurance performance than those who were not.

Benefits: Amazingly, a vitamin found in beer could help improve your strength and shape

Benefits: Amazingly, a vitamin found in beer could help improve your strength and shape

They were in better shape – and this was confirmed by observations of their muscle fibres under the microscope.

No side effects were discovered during the experiments.

'It really appears that cells use what they need when they need it, and the rest is set aside without being transformed into any kind of deleterious form,' said study author Carles Canto in a statement.

Mice who had been fed the molecule also performed better in endurance tests, as well as in tests measuring heat loss.

The researchers believe an increase in the molecule reflects an improvement in mitochondrial function, the part of the cell that supplies energy.

Mitochondria are thought to play a part in the aging process. It is hoped that by stimulating mitochondrial function with the NR molecule, scientists may see increases in longevity as well as other health improvements.

But the molecule is difficult to reproduce and extremely small. 'At the moment, we can’t even measure its concentration in milk, so it’s impossible to know how much you would have to drink to be able to observe its effects,' Mr Auwerx added.

Research will continue with human testing at some point in the future.