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Food Preservative Nisin Brightens Hope to Treat Cancer

Nisin, a colorless and tasteless powder used as food-preservative at .25 mg to 37.5 mg/kg has a high potential to treat cancer and drug-resistant bacteria if it is used at at high volume of 800-mg/kg, said researchers from the University of Michigan, raising new hope of finding a quick cure to cancer.

The study found that feeding rats a "nisin milkshake" killed 70 to 80% of head and neck tumor cells in 9 weeks and extended their survival, said Prof. Yvonne Kapila of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, after she studied closely how nisin treatment reduced tumors comparable to tumors at three weeks.

Nisin, approved by US Food and Drug Administration, is available in creams and pharmaceuticals to fight infection and mastitis, and a sanitizer in lactating cows but it requires more clinical testing on humans before seeing the results on humans, said Dr Kapila. Her team has studied experimental uses of nisin to treat 30 different types of cancer; infections of the skin, respiratory system and abdomen; and oral health.

"To date, nobody had found bacteria from humans or living animals that is resistant to nisin," Kapila said. Nisin bidnds to a static area of bacteria and works before bacteria changes into an antibiotic-resistant superbug, thus becoming a potential drug.

Secondly, nisin kills biofilms—colonies of bacteria that group together into a fortress that thwarts antibiotics. "The application of nisin has advanced beyond its role as a food biopreservative…Current findings and other published data support nisin’s potential use to treat antibiotic resistant infections, periodontal disease and cancer," she said.

Kapila has been focusing on oral Pathology, medicine, radiology – advanced imaging modalities, radiation biology and oncology, oral carcinogenesis, biomarkers for early detection of oral cancer. Her first study in 2012 came with the impact Nisin will have in curing cancer and now the dosage angle has made it more significant.

The findings will appear in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

[category, health] [tags, nisin, food preservative, cancer killing drug, drug resistant bacteria, nisin positive effects, nisin as medicine, kapila ]

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