Naturally Occurring Food Preservative Could Treat Cancer
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
A study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy states that scientists from the University of Michigan have identified a naturally occurring food preservative that can be used to treat cancer and antibiotic resistant bacteria. This preservative grows on dairy products.
The preservative identified as Nisin is found to have anti–cancer properties, which is capable of killing tumour cells and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Researchers during the experiment found that feeding ‘nisin milkshake’ to rats killed 70–80% of head and neck tumour cells after nine weeks. Furthermore, a highly purified nisin ZP nearly doubled its effectiveness.
Nisin, a colourless and tasteless powder is usually added as a preservative to foods at the rate of 0.25 to 37.5 mg/kg. However, this figure is nowhere close to the 800 mg/kg needed to kill cancer cells. Nisin also kills deadly bacteria such as methicillin–resistant Staphylococcus aureus as it binds to a static area of bacteria that gives nisin the opportunity to work before bacteria transforms into an antibiotic–resistant superbug.