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ImageExperts have claimed that a vitamin found in Marmite has the potential to prevent heart diseases.

Scientists from Bristol University, who carried out the experiment in mice, also suggested that a derivative of vitamin B1, called benfotiamine, speeds up the healing of tissue following heart damage, reports the Daily Express .

The discovery could offer fresh hope to people who have diabetes and face an increased risk of heart problems.

"Supplementation with benfotiamine from early stages of diabetes improved the survival and healing of the hearts of diabetic mice that have had heart attacks, and helped prevent cardiovascular disease in mice with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes," said Prof Paolo Madeddu, who led the study.

"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 added.

The latest research suggested that a synthetic version of vitamin B1 may stop this process from happening, probably by removing the toxins from glucose that damage heart cells.

However, the charity that funded the research has warned diabetics not to rush out and buy vitamin B1 pills because it was still not clear if the benefits seen in mice could also help humans.

"We would like to note that it is still too early to draw any firm conclusions about the role of vitamin B1 in the prevention of complications and we would not advise that people look to vitamin supplements to reduce their risk of cardiovascular complications at this stage," said Dr Victoria King, head of research at Diabetes UK.

"Taking prescribed medication, eating a healthy ­balanced diet and regular physical activity are key to good diabetes management," she added.

The research is published in the Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology.

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