❝Nisin, a naturally occurring food preservative that grows on dairy products, delivers a one-two punch to two of medicine’s most lethal maladies: cancer and deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A new University of Michigan study found that feeding rats a “nisin milkshake” killed 70-80 percent of head and neck tumor cells after nine weeks and extended survival, said Dr. Yvonne Kapila, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.
❝Kapila has studied nisin in cancerous tumors and as an antimicrobial to combat diseases of the mouth. After nine weeks of nisin treatment, tumors were comparable to tumors at three weeks.
Kapila’s group has published positive results with less potent nisin, but the highly purified nisin ZP used in the present study nearly doubled its effectiveness. 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.
❝Nisin, a colorless, tasteless powder, is typically added to food at the rate of .25 to 37.5 mg/kg. Many foods contain nisin, but nowhere near the 800 mg/kg needed to kill cancer cells.
Several products available to consumers also contain nisin–creams and pharmaceuticals to fight infection and mastitis, and a sanitizer in lactating cows.
While promising, the results are small and in mice only, so it’s too early to say if nisin will act the same way in humans…
“To date, nobody had found bacteria from humans or living animals that is resistant to nisin,” Kapila said.
I wonder if this is the same gray mold that used to appear on my favorite Italian cheese, caciocavallo. I used to search through the display at my favorite Caseficio Liuzzi BITD hoping to find a cheese overlooked long enough to develop a few gray streaks on the surface. Always made the flavor deeper, sweeter to me. Yum.