Milkshake Combined with a Food Preservative Kills Cancer Cells in Mice

A surprising study out of the University of Michigan discovered that a naturally occurring preservative found in many foods, is showing promise as a way to fight cancer and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Feeding rats a high-dose “nisin milkshake” killed 70 to 80 percent of head and neck tumor cells after nine weeks and extended survival, says Yvonne Kapila, professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.

The dosage of 800 mg/kg given to mice would translate to a pill a little bigger than a third of an Advil per kilogram of body weight for people.

While promising, it’s too early to say if nisin will act the same way in humans, Kapila says.

Nisin also fights deadly bacteria such as antibiotic-resistant MRSA. In a recent review paper, Kapila’s group looked at experimental uses of nisin to treat 30 different types of cancer; infections of the skin, respiratory system, and abdomen; and oral health problems.

“To date, nobody has found bacteria from humans or living animals that are resistant to nisin,” Kapila says.

Continue on to find out why nisin is so deadly to bacteria…