Dairy preservative could help kill cancer cells

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A NATURALLY occurring food preservative, called nisin, that grows on dairy products could wipe out cancer cells. Researchers have studied the effect of nisin on cancerous tumours and as an antimicrobial to fight diseases in the mouth. Tests on rats showed that after nine weeks of treatment they found the tumours had shrunk in size, more comparable to tumours at three weeks.

Nisin is a colourless, tasteless powder that is added to food, to a rate of around 0.25 to 37.5mg/kg. In the studies, 800mg/kg were needed to kill cancer cells.

Whilst the results look promising, the scientists in America stress it is too early to say if it will act in the same way on humans.

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