A hidden vitamin in beer and milk called the 'miracle molecule' could help fight the fat and make you fitter, scientists have found.

New research suggests nicotinamide riboside (NR), a molecule that indirectly influences cell metabolism, could play a part in preventing weight gain and diabetes. It could improve muscular performance and boasts other "extraordinary health benefits," a Swiss research team said.

The results of a study on mice were "impressive," Medical Daily reported.

"NR appears to play a role in preventing obesity," wrote the researchers from the Polytechnic School in Lausanne.


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

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

The mice fed NR suppliments over 10 weeks had better endurance than those going without, according to the paper published in the journal of Cell Metabolism. The NR-fed mice were in better shape and suffered no side-effects.

"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," study author, Carles Canto, said.

However, the 'miracle molecule' is tiny and hard to reproduce.

"At the moment we can't even measure its concentration in milk," Canto said.

"So it's impossible to know how much you would have to drink to observe its effects."