What are antivitamins
Antivitamins are substances that inhibit the biological function of the real vitamin [ [ref. 1] ]. Some antivitamins have a similar chemical structure to those of the actual vitamin, the action of which blocks or restricts and can become their substitutes. And not only that - antivitamins turn into "false" vitamins and become toxic to bacteria, which is catastrophic for them. It turns out that antivitamins are not a whole new concept in the world of biophysical chemistry. A slightly more in-depth study takes us to the Antivitamins and Other Factors Influenced Vitamin Activity report, compiled in 1948 at a conference examining the effects of certain antivitamins.
[ [ref. 3] ].
Contrary to expectations, medications are a common group of vitamin inhibitors, as well as stress on the human body in everyday life. Different substances and stress reduce the action of specific vitamins, causing problems in the human body and an imbalance of processes in it.
Antivitamins do exactly what their name suggests: they stop the functioning of vitamins. As we approach the end of the antibiotic era due to the rapid pace at which bacteria develop resistance to miracle drugs, researchers are increasingly looking at antivitamins as the basis for a new class of drugs that could potentially replace antibiotics to treat bacterial infections.
The discovery of a team of German researchers
Scientific data unequivocally shows that the resistance of pathogens is growing, and therefore it is extremely important that scientists identify a class of drugs that could replace antibiotics [ [ref. 4] ]. One of them could potentially be the so-called "antivitamins."
The first and very important step is to understand how antivitamins work so that we can use them. For example, the antivitamin, which "cancels" vitamin B1, differs from the vitamin with only a single atom, and it is seemingly insignificant. At first glance, that shouldn't be enough, but it is. And researchers from the University of Göttingen noted the same conclusion in their study documenting their discovery.
The antivitamin B1 occurs naturally and is produced by bacteria as a means of destroying competing bacteria. Its critical atom appears in an apparently insignificant place, deepening the mystery.
To see how this single atom does such an effective job, the researchers used high-resolution protein crystallography. This allows them to observe the interaction between antivitamin B1 and B1 at the atomic level.
What they notice is that the antivitamin completely interrupts the "dance of protons", which is observed in functioning proteins. Lead scientist in the research team Dr Kai Titman says that "only one additional atom in the antivitamin acts as a grain in a complex system of speeds, blocking its finely tuned mechanics."
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay
The extremely interesting discovery in this study is that although the inhibitory effect of antivitamin B1 on the functioning of B1 in bacteria, it does not interfere with the vitamin in humans. This information gives us hope that antivitamins can be developed to work to neutralize pathogens without harming our health.