Researchers found preservative growing on dairy products has cancer-fighting potential.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have conducted a new study of a naturally occurring food preservative that attacks and kills cancer cells as well as antibiotic resistant bacteria in mice, and they plan to soon begin studying the effects on human cancerous cells.
According to a report on UPI, Dr. Yvonne Kapila, a professor in the school of dentistry at the University of Michigan, had been working with the preservative, nisin, for some time and she had reported the possibility of it having cancer fighting attributes, as far back as 2012.
Nisin is a natural preservative found growing on dairy products and it has been approved for human consumption by the US Food and Drug Administration for many years. The substance is already available as a cream and in pharmaceuticals as a treatment for infections and mastitis. Past studies have shown that nisin can prevent the growth of drug-resistant bacterial strains, which led the researchers to investigate the possible effects it may have in cancerous cells.
In the new study just released, Dr. Kapila says a dose of 800 milligrams of nisin given to laboratory mice over a period of nine weeks, led to the reduction of 70 to 80 percent in the size of the tumors in the rodents. Kapila has tested the preservative on over 30 types of cancer, and infections of the abdomen, respiratory system and on the skin.
In a press release, Kapila said the use of nisin has gone beyond being just a bio-preservative for food, adding that her findings and other recent published reports are supportive of the use of the substance in treating antibiotic-resistant infections, periodontal disease, and cancer.
But Dr. Kapila cautions, there can be no way to be sure the success nisin has on laboratory mice can be translated to humans, which will be the logical next step for research in the future. She says based on previous experiments and data, she has high hopes the treatments will be effective.
The finding of the new study were published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.