Nisin, a naturally occurring food preservative, has been found to be able to destroy cancer cells and antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Rats were given “nisin milkshakes” had up to 80% of neck and head tumours after nine weeks and displayed extended survival. The tumours that were seen after nine weeks were comparable to those seen at week three.
“To date, nobody had found bacteria from humans or living animals that is resistant to nisin. Mother Nature has done a lot of the research for us, it’s been tested for thousands of years.” Said Dr Yvonne Kapila, from the University of Michigan.
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Previous studies have also shown the impact nisin can have, but for this study the nisin was purified and it almost doubled how effective it was. Many foods contain nisin but not in the amount to kill any possibly tumour cells.
Nisin has also proved that it is able to nullify mouth diseases, antibiotic-resistant MRSA and skin, respiratory and abdomen infections.
The preservative can also be found in nisin products such as nisin creams that can be used to treat infections and mastitis as well as a sanitiser in lactating cows.
The drug is effective against bacteria as it binds to a static area of the bacteria, meaning that nisin is able to begin destroying the bacteria before it even had a chance to mutate to become antibiotic-resistant and also it kills bio films.
Dr Kapila said: “The application of nisin has advanced beyond its role as a food bio preservative. Current findings and other published data support nisin’s potential use to treat antibiotic resistant infections, periodontal disease and cancer.”
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