Next time someone tells you to cut down on dairy or beer, tell them that booze and cheese fries may just be saving your life.
Nisin is a food preservative that occurs naturally in dairy products, canned goods and even beer. A recent study by scientists at the University of Michigan has found that when mice and rats were given large amounts of Nisin, it killed cancer cells and bacteria. And it seems this even works for superbugs—there’s no bacteria that can be found that is resistant to the Nisin. In the study, researchers fed rats Nisin milkshakes (sounds delicious, no?), and it killed 70 to 80 percent of head and neck tumors.
But, before we get too excited, it looks like you may need a whole lot of that Nisin-rich food for it to do any more than satisfy that cheese craving.
“These findings are really interesting and it would certainly be great for cancer treatment, but we need to be careful not to jump to any conclusions too quickly. The study was small, only done in mice, and used a dose of Nisin much larger than what is found in food (the mice were given 800mg/kg) and typically the rate of Nisin added to food is .25 to 37.5 mg/kg),” says Jessica Fishman Levinson, registered dietitian and founder of Nutritioulicious. As always, though, if anyone is looking for human guinea pigs for upcoming studies, sign us up.