Few condiments have as polarizing an effects as Marmite, a spread made from yeast extract popular in countries like the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. But could it be a superfood?

The Telegraph writes that a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation labeled it as such, citing its apparent ability to ward off infection. According to the research, high doses of the vitamin B3 (or naicin) -- one of Marmite's main ingredients -- produce neutrophilis, a white blood cell that fights bacteria and increases the immune system's ability to fight infection up to 1,000 times.

The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS), however, notes on its NHS Choices website that most of research was carried out in mice and the "results may not necessarily be replicated in humans." It also strongly advise that people not take high doses of B3 unless explicitly told to by their doctor.

Healthy or not, we wonder if the "superfood" designation will improve its popularity. Although several versions exist of Marmite, the original British product is a sticky, dark brown concentrated spread with a biting, salty flavor. Even Unilever, the makers of U.K. Marmite, accepts the product's controversial, evident in its marketing slogan: "Love it or hate."

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • UK's Eatwell Plate

    What the?! You mean, the British already beat us to the plate thing, and theirs is way more involved that our basic MyPlate? We're not sure about the Eatwell branding (sounds like it's a nutritional offshoot of J. Crew), but it's split up into five sections that pretty much cover all the bases. Then again, it kind of crams a lot of information onto one little plate, so maybe the <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/06/02/new-myplate-campaign-unveiled?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">new MyPlate is better for its simplicity</a>. Take that, UK. U-S-A! U-S-A! <strong>More About British Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/04/28/5-great-british-beers?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">5 Great British Beers</a>

  • China's Food Pagoda

    China's food pagoda advocates a varied diet that's high in sweet potatoes, legumes, and soy beans. Salt and oil compose the top tier of the pagoda and represent foods to consume in limited quantities. It may not get a lot of points for comprehensive nutritional advice, but at least the Chinese picked a culturally appropriate design for their chart! <strong>More About Chinese Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/05/12/can-american-chinese-food-be-healthy?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">Can American Chinese food be healthy?</a>

  • France's Food Stairs

    Leave it to the French to be different. Then again, they do know their food, and of course their wine. This is also one of the few charts that encourages physical activity, which should be a no-brainer. Recommended daily servings are above the food in each step, and the magnifying glass on the side displays miniature small servings of sweets, salt, oil, and sodas. <strong>More About French Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/04/08/super-chef-fridays-alain-ducasse?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">Talking veggies and grains with Alain Ducasse</a>

  • Germany's 3D Pyramid

    Germany took the basic idea of the food pyramid and added as many features to it as possible. It'd probably take a hardcore IBM mainframe to explain this but here goes: Each side of the pyramid represents a different food group. On the bottom of the pyramid is a circle that shows the appropriate proportion of each food group, with water in the center. If that wasn't enough, there is a traffic light-inspired scale on the left of each of the four sides, which indicates the nutritional value of the foods in that side. At least we think that's what's going on here. <strong>More About German Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/05/04/5-black-ipas-drink-now?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">5 black IPAs to drink now</a>

  • Greece's Food Pyramid

    Greece's food pyramid represents the typical food groups -- proteins, vegetables, fruits, grains, and dairy -- and adds culturally specific guidelines for olive oil and wine consumption. They top it all off with a "Mediterranean Diet" tag that'd make this a perfect candidate for <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/04/23/low-carb-diets-reviewed?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">the next US fad diet</a>! <strong>More About Greek Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/04/20/leg-lamb-recipe?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">Leg of lamb recipe</a>

  • Hungary's Food House

    Hungary's nutritional chart looks kind of like it was the result of a 5th grade class contest to design Hungary's next nutritional chart. Apparently, the Hungarian government issued a lot of text along with its symbol, but text is so 20th century. Still, you gotta love that there's a chimney made from sugar and fat. <strong>More About Hungarian Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/04/07/pairings-vine-wine-and-meat-hook?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">Wine pairings</a>

  • Japan's Spinning Top

    The Japanese cover a lot of ground with its action-packed spinning top. The whirling symbol covers the gamut of eating and exercise advice, and even allows for snacks, "confections," and drinks (in a side note). Greater consumption of grains, vegetables, and fish are encouraged over fruits and dairy. Kinda what you'd expect from Japan. <strong>More About Japanese Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/05/18/bordeaux-à-la-japonaise?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">Bordeaux à la Japonaise</a>

  • Poland's Food Pyramid

    The Polish food pyramid takes a thoroughly photographic approach to encourage a large consumption of grains followed by vegetables, fruit, dairy, and finally small amounts of fish and meat. We're guessing this is because either there's not a lot of fish and meat available in Poland; the pyramid was designed when the Soviets still ran the place; or the illustration was commissioned by the Polish Grain Foundation. <strong>More About Polish Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/05/03/talk-giselle-wellman?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">Talking with Giselle Wellman</a>

  • Slovenia's Food Pyramid

    Slovenia gets out vote for the trippiest food pyramid of all -- a 3D map to eating right and living well. Nice job, Slovenia! Send us your digits and maybe we'll come by if we can figure out where you are. <strong>More About Slovenia:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/04/27/wines-friuli?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">The wines of Friuli</a>

  • Spain's Food Pyramid

    Spain may be all cocky on the tennis court thanks to Rafael Nadal, but they're totally hedging their bets on the food chart. Spain's got a food plate as well as a pyramid. Like the Greeks, the Spanish also encourage its citizens to practically guzzle olive oil. They do get bonus points for spotlighting exercise and water intake though. So, um, good for them. <strong>More About Spanish Food:</strong> <a href="http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/04/20/spains-gin-and-tonic-bars?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=Food-Pyramids-of-the-World">Spain's gin and tonic bars</a>