Whenever dairy is involved, whether it’s creating the ultimate cheese board or mixing it in a healthy smoothie, it’s always a delicious idea. And now we have more reason to include dairy in our diet thanks to this recent study involving nisin (a naturally occurring food preservative that grows on dairy) finding that it may actually kill cancer cells. Hooray!

table of dairy

Recently, researchers at the University of Michigan discovered that nisin knocks out two of the medical world’s biggest threats in mice: cancer and antibiotic-resistant bacteria (MRSA), officially making it the most badass natural food preservative out there.

Led by Dr. Yvonne Kapila, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, researchers fed rats with head and neck tumor cells a “nisin milkshake.” The results? The nisin killed 70-80 percent of the tumor cells after nine weeks, making them comparable to tumors at three weeks, and as a bonus extended the rats’ survival.

cheese table

Nisin, a colorless and tasteless powder, is found in various foods such as yogurt and cheese. Unfortunately it’s never in the amount needed to kill cancer cells; for that, we’d need about 20 times more than found in the average serving of cheese. (Note to researchers: Maybe you’ve never seen what our average serving size looks like, amirite?)

While the results are promising, Dr. Kapila tells Michigan News that it’s too early to say if nisin will yield the same results in humans. Her team’s next step will be to test nisin in a clinic setting.

Tweet us your reactions to this discovery at @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)