Marmite Isolated as Potential Brain Enhancer

By Gary Cutlack on at

The brown yeast product that lunatics smear on toast has received a staggering PR boost today from academics at the University of York, who say eating a bit of Marmite each day was linked to positive changes in the brain that could turn consumers into more balanced individuals.

Specifically, the researchers suspect that Marmite's density of vitamin B12 increased test subjects' levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter linked to better all-round brain performance. GBBA is thought to essentially calm down the neurons within the brain, stopping them from getting overstimulated and perhaps worsening the symptoms of autism, depression and other mental health problems.

That's quite a claim to make of a toast topping, with the University's psychology expert Anika Smith explaining: "These results suggest dietary choices can affect the cortical processes of excitation and inhibition -- consistent with increased levels of GABA -- that are vital in maintaining a healthy brain. As the effects of Marmite consumption took around eight weeks to wear off after participants stopped the study, this suggests dietary changes could potentially have long-term effects on brain function."

Bovril, meanwhile, countered with something on Twitter saying it helps make nice soup. [Sky News]

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