A naturally-occuring cheese preservative called nisin seems to kill both cancer cells and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Cheese has been getting a pretty bad rap lately. Sure, it may be delicious on a warm slice of pizza, but it's also a major source of saturated fat contributing to everything from heart disease to hypertension. That said, cheese might end up saving lives in a surprising way. New research from the University of Michigan found that nisin - a naturally-occurring cheese preservative - is extremely effective at killing both cancer cells and superbugs that are resistant to traditional antibiotics.
The study, intended for an upcoming issue of the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, involved giving nisin milkshakes to rats suffering from head and neck tumors. Nine weeks later, the researchers noted that 70 to 80 percent of these tumors were killed, much to the rat's relief. What's more, this compliments research from 1999 that low doses of nisin can wipe out deadly superbugs.
"To date, nobody has found bacteria from humans or living animals that is resistant to nisin," Yvonne Kapila of the University of Michigan said in a statement.
Now for the bad news: You can't cure cancer by eating pizza every day. Today's dairy products have about 0.25 to 37.5 milligrams of nisin added to each kilogram of food, yet the research suggests at least 800 mg/kg is needed to kill cancer cells. (In case you were wondering, that equates to a minimum 700 pounds of cheese before your cancer disappears. If you weren't lactose intolerant before, you would be after that treatment.) The good news is nisin is nontoxic, so incorporating more into hospital treatments shouldn't pose any immediate health risks.
Now I can't help but imagine how this research must have started: With hungry cancer scientists ordering delivery food until someone asked "What if this was the solution to all our problems"?
Source: Huffington Post