The discovery, believed to be among Australia's greatest every medical breakthroughs, is expected to forever change the way pregnant women are cared for across the world.
Led by Professor Sally Dunwoodie from the Victor Chang Institute, researchers identified a major cause of miscarriages as well as heart, spinal, kidney and cleft palate problems in newborn babies.
They say you either love it or hate it.
"The ramifications are likely to be huge".
Scientists at the Victor Chang Institute found that simply boosting levels during pregnancy can prevent miscarriages and birth defects.
In the 1960s, researchers in the United Kingdom discovered that folic acid dramatically reduced the number of babies born with neural tube defects.
"This has the potential to significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects around the world, and I do not use those words lightly".
"Arguably, it's the most important discovery for pregnant women since folate", Dunwoodie told Sophie Scott at ABC News, in reference to the landmark research that showed folic acid could reduce the incidence of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.
A genomic analysis revealed that both parents carried a mutation in a gene involved in the production of NAD - a vital molecule that contributes to energy production, DNA fix, and cell communication.
"A broader question is whether dietary niacin deficiency might play a role in birth defects even in the absence of the genetic deficiency of NAD, and whether dietary supplementation of niacin might be of benefit to pregnant women in the general population".
This particular vitamin is found in meat and vegetables and is also found in high concentration in Marmite.
Researchers found that this deficiency is particularly harmful during a pregnancy as it cripples an embryo when it is forming. "We would advise that women contemplating pregnancy just take the recommended multi-vitamins that include vitamin B3... but research is needed to identify the women at risk", Professor Dunwoodie added.
One in four pregnant women now suffer from a miscarriage, and an estimated 7.9 million babies worldwide are born with a serious birth defect every year.
Using a preclinical model, scientists investigated the effect of vitamin B3 on developing embryos.
Diets with small amounts of vitamin B3 produced baby mice with fewer abnormalities, and feed rich in the supplement fostered a healthy litter of animals. It's extremely rare to discover the problem and provide a preventive solution at the same time.