The institute found that the lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus brevis inhibited the proliferation of colon cancer cells by up to 40 percent.
Undoubtedly, one of the millennial drinks that our country has given is pulque, the drink of the gods that is extracted from the maguey, of which healing properties have been found, and now one of these findings was made by scientists from the National Polytechnic Institute IPN.
This finding is the outcome of the collaboration around the study of probiotics derived from Mexican fermented beverages by both the IPN and the Institut National de Recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement (INRAE) in France, who obtained the international patent for the discovery of a lactic acid bacteria from pulque, which has anticancer properties.
Researchers María Elena Sánchez Pardo, from the National School of Biological Sciences (ENCB), Edgar Torres Maravilla, a graduate of the ENCB, Luis Bermúdez Humarán, a graduate of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León and Director of Research at INRAE, as well as Langella Philipe , from INRAE, discovered that the lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus brevis inhibits the proliferation of colon cancer cells by up to 40 percent.
In this regard, Dr. Sánchez Pardo pointed out that the international patent shared between the IPN and the INRAE number WO 2019/234076 A1 has its origin in the investigations that she began in 2014 on the pulque sediment. And then, linking with Dr. Bermúdez Humarán, she began the study of the probiotic potential of the lactic acid bacteria contained in this drink. They have also studied other traditional Mexican beverages, although progress with pulque probiotics has been greater.
She highlighted that the bacterium Lactobacillus brevis LBH1073 is endemic to Nanacamilpa, a region of the state of Tlaxcala; of 20 strains that were isolated from the lyophilized xastle (pulque sediment) it was the one that proved the best activity to effectively and specifically block the proliferation of the tumor cell lines HT29, HTC116 and Caco2. “Lactobacillus brevis has an effect similar to that of the drug 5-fluorouracil, without causing any adverse effects on healthy cells,” she added.
The Polytechnic researcher explained that the studies were carried out in France by Dr. Torres Maravilla, who also tested the effect of lactic acid bacteria in an animal model of colon cancer, in which he corroborated the anticancer response. “This is a very important scientific achievement that opens the possibility of having a safe treatment against colon cancer,” she said.
She stressed that collaboration and knowledge sharing are essential for the advancement of science. “This advance is proof of it, Edgar Torres Maravilla was my student in the master’s and a doctorate in chemical-biological Sciences at the ENCB, he went on an exchange to the INRAE and concluded that the strain Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, derived from pulque, has a potential effect to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), he published this result in an international journal, he obtained a doctorate degree and is now a collaborating scientist at INRAE in France, ” Sanchez Pardo pointed out.
Dr. María Elena Sánchez Pardo reported that, after obtaining the patent, Dr. Luis Bermúdez Humarán managed the transfer of the technology to the United States, Canada, and the European Union. “Having obtained the patent motivates us to continue with this line of research on traditional Mexican fermented beverages, in which it is possible to find lactic acid bacteria with probiotic properties that help to take care of the health of the population,” she concluded.