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kefirThis article is dedicated to Kefir - an amazing probiotic drink which helps to restore natural friendly bacteria in your gut and has loads of other health benefits.

First there is a short introduction and then a summary of research supporting Kefir benefits claims.

If you are not very scientific, just read the parts underlined in bold when you get to the Research part, otherwise read all. 

 

What is Kefir?

Kefir is a unique fermented milk drink, more correctly healthy food, used for generations in Asia and revered for its health promoting properties. Real kefir can be produced only by traditional methods at home and only from original grains. These original grains, slightly yellowish "cauliflower" like things, are cca 5000 years old bacterial culture originating either from the Caucasian Mountains or monasteries in Tibet. With thanks to http://www.kefir.org/kefir_manual.htm

Kefir grains are a combination of bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars. This symbiotic matrix forms "grains" that resemble cauliflower. Many different bacteria and yeasts are found in the kefir grains, which are a complex and highly variable community of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts... Kefir grains appear white to yellow and are usually the size of a walnut, but may be as small as a grain of rice. They may vary markedly from kefir in both appearance and microbial composition. Water kefir (or kefir d'acqua) is grown in water with sugar (sometimes with added dry fruit such as figs, and lemon juice) for a day or more at room temperature. With thanks to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefir

The Legend of Kefir

Amongst the people of the northern slopes of the Caucasian Mountains there is a legend that Mohammed gave kefir grains to the Orthodox people and taught them how to make kefir. The 'Grains of the Prophet’ were guarded jealously since it was believed that they would lose their strength if the grains were given away and the secret of how to use them became common knowledge. Kefir grains were regarded as part of the family's and tribe's wealth and they were passed on from generation to generation. So, for centuries the people of the northern Caucasus enjoyed this food without sharing it with anyone else they came into contact with.

Other peoples occasionally heard strange tales of this unusual beverage which was said to have ‘magical’ properties. Marco Polo mentioned kefir in the chronicles of his travels in the East. However, kefir was forgotten outside the Caucasus for centuries until news spread of its use for the treatment of tuberculosis in sanatoria and for intestinal and stomach diseases.

Russian doctors believed that kefir was beneficial for health and the first scientific studies for kefir were published at the end of the nineteenth century. However, kefir was extremely difficult to obtain and commercial production was not possible without first obtaining a source of grains. The members of the All Russian Physician’s Society were determined to obtain kefir grains in order to make kefir readily available to their patients. Early this century a representative of the society approached two brothers called Blandov and asked them to procure some kefir grains.

The Blandov’s owned and ran the Moscow Dairy, but they also had holdings in the Caucasus Mountain area, including cheese manufacturing factories in the town of Kislovodsk. The plan was to obtain a source of kefir grains and then produce kefir on an industrial scale in Moscow. The Blandov’s were excited since they knew that they would be the only commercial producers of this much sought after product. The true story of the Blandov's quest for the elusive kefir grains is below.

Nikolai Blandov sent a beautiful young employee, Irina Sakharova, to the court of a local prince, Bek-Mirza Barchorov. She was instructed to charm the prince and persuade him to give her some kefir grains. Unfortunately, everything did not go according to plan. The prince, fearing retribution for violating a religious law, had no intention of giving away any 'Grains of the Prophet’. However, he was very taken with the young Irina and didn't want to lose her either. Realising that they were not going to complete their mission, Irina and her party departed for Kislovodsk. However, they were stopped on the way home by mountain tribesmen who kidnapped Irina and took her back to the prince.

Since it was a local custom to steal a bride, Irina was told that she was to marry Bek-Mirza Barchorov. Only a daring rescue mission mounted by agents of her employers saved Irina from the forced marriage. The unlucky prince was catted before the Tsar who ruled that the prince was to give Irina ten pounds of kefir grains, to recompense her for the insults she had endured. The kefir grains were taken to the Moscow Dairy and in September, 1908, the first bottles of kefir drink were offered for sale in Moscow. Small quantities of kefir were produced in several small towns in the area where there was a ready market for it, people mostly consume it for its alleged medicinal value.

With thanks to http://www.kefir.biz/history.htm

The benefits of Kefir

Many people have researched the benefits from ingesting fresh, fermented foods which are full of Friendly Bacteria.


Claimed benefits include that:

 

  • they manufacture B-vitamins, such as biotin, niacin(B3),pyridoxine(B6) and folic acid by providing the enzyme lactase they enhance, and indeed allow, the digestion of milk based foods, and the vital calcium which they contain, for people who cannot otherwise digest milk.
  • they predigest the protein of cultured milk (yoghurt, kefir) thus enhancing protein digestion and absorption
  • they can act as watchdogs by keeping an eye on, and effectively controlling, the spread of undesirable micro-organisms (by altering the acidity of the region they inhabit and/or producing specific anti-biotic substances, as well as by depriving rival unfriendly bacteria of their nutrients). The antibiotics some of the friendly bacteria produce are effective against many harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. Not the least of the potentially harmful yeasts controlled by some lactobacilli is Candida albicans, now implicated in many health problems in people who are malnourished or whose immune systems are depleted. Food poisoning and many bowl and urinary tract infections (diarrhea, cystitis etc.) can be prevented and treated using high bacterial cultures.
  • they can help considerably to enhance bowel function. Where bowel bacteria are absent, the function of peristalsis is impaired, and the amount of time it takes for food to pass completely through the system is much increased.
  • they can help to control high cholesterol levels, thereby affording us protection from the cardiovascular damage which excessive levels of this nonetheless important substance can create.
  • they sometimes act to relieve the symptoms of anxiety.
  • they have been shown to control facial acne in 80% of adolescents with this problem.
  • they play a vital role in the development of a healthy digestive tract in babies.
  • they play a role in protecting against the negative effects of radiation and toxic pollutants, enhancing immune function.

The Real Stuff

kefir grains

You may be familiar with commercial "kefir" (unsweetened yoghurt) available in some grocery stores; that's an enhanced version of buttermilk, NOT the real kefir. Many attempts were made to produce kefir commercially; all have a long way to go to be close to the real kefir. The real thing with uncountable health benefits, is still ONLY the traditional home brew made from the original Caucasian kefir grains of Irina - but you can not buy these grains in any store anywhere. They are NOT for sale in shops but you can now get them on ebay. For this reason, the real kefir grains are passed around the globe for free to whoever needs it or believes in it - it is like a chain love letters from one person to other person - with love and wishes of good health. However, although the grains are free, you pay symbolic price of £2-3 for 1/4 of a teaspoon - it is an appreciation for previous care, cost of milk and/or shipping. This graceful attitude is to honor the original belief that humans have no right to monetary gains from the true gift of God.

Please accept the real kefir grains as a precious living beings. Love them, talk to them, handle them gently, feed them regularly and they will pay you back with your health. When you take loving care about them, they will be with you for the rest of your life and you will be the one who benefited most. With thanks to http://www.kefir.org/kefir_manual.htm

 

If you want to get hold of some grains to start your own kefir production, ask somebody who is already making it at home or buy it on ebay. If you are my patient in London, I'll give you some free of charge.

 

 

The Kefir Research:

 

Health benefits of kefir

Kefir has had a long history of being beneficial to health in Eastern European countries, where it is associated with general wellbeing. It is easily digested (Alm 1982c) and is often the first weaning food received by babies. Many of the studies regarding health benefits of kefir have been published in Russian and Eastern European journals and therefore are not easily accessible to Western science (Batinkov 1971; Ormisson and Soo 1976; Evenshtein 1978; Safonova et al. 1979; Ivanova et al. 1981; Sukhov et al. 1986; Besednova et al. 1997; Oleinichenko et al. 1999). However, the health benefits of kefir were demonstrated in Canada as early as 1932 (Rosell 1932).

Stimulation of the immune system

 

It has been proposed that stimulation of the immune system may be one mechanism whereby probiotic bacteria may exert many of their beneficial effects (De Simone et al. 1991; Gill 1998); this may be a direct effect of the bacteria themselves (Cross 2002). However, peptides formed during the fermentation process or during digestion have also been shown to be bioactive, and demonstrate a variety of physiological activities, including stimulation of the immune system in animal models (LeBlanc et al. 2002; Matar et al. 2003).

Thoreux and Schmucker (2001) fed kefir produced from grains to young (6 months) and old (26 months) rats and found an enhanced mucosal immune response in the young animals, as shown by a higher anti-cholera toxin (CT) IgA response compared to controls. Both young and old rats had significantly increased total non-specific IgG blood levels, and a decreased systemic IgG response to CT. Taken together, Thoreux and Schmucker concluded that kefir, like other probiotics, was exerting an adjuvant effect on the mucosal immune system, perhaps produced by bacterial cell wall components.

 

Inhibition of tumour growth

Shiomi et al. (1982) were the first to report the antitumour effects of a water-soluble polysaccharide (approximate molecular weight 1 000 000 Da) isolated from kefir grains. Whether given orally or intraperitoneally, the polysaccharide was able to inhibit the growth of Ehrlich carcinoma or Sarcoma 180 compared to control mice receiving no kefir-derived polysaccharide (Shiomi et al. 1982; Murofushi et al. 1983). The mechanism of action was not clear, since in vitro incubation of the two cancer cell lines with the polysaccharide showed low cytotoxicity during 42 hours of incubation. This group then went on to show that this water-soluble polysaccharide was able to reach the spleen and thymus of mice and, based on the response to thymus-dependent and thymus-independent antigens, concluded that oral immune enhancement was mediated through T-cell, but not B-cell activity. (Murofushi et al. 1986). More recently, a water soluble polysaccharide fraction from kefir grains was shown to inhibit pulmonary metastasis of Lewis lung carcinoma, whether the kefir-derived polysaccharide was given orally before or after tumour transplantation. Murofushi et al. (1983) also reported the antitumour effectiveness of kefir grain polysaccharides regardless of the time of administration, although they cautioned that larger doses may only be more effective if administered after establishment of the tumours. A water- insoluble fraction containing kefir grain microorganisms, rather than the water-soluble polysaccharide fraction, significantly inhibited metastasis of highly colonized B16 melanoma. (Furukawa et al. 1993; Furukawa et al. 2000). It was suggested that the water-soluble polysaccharide suppressed tumour growth by means of the lymphokine activated macrophage (Mf ) via the gut-associated lymphoid tissue, while the water-insoluble microorganism fraction acted through an increase of NK cell activity.

Feeding kefir itself (2 g/kg body weight by intubation) was more effective in inhibiting tumour (Lewis lung carcinoma) growth than yoghurt, when given for 9 days after tumour inoculation (Furukawa et al. 1990). It was also shown that mice receiving kefir had an improved delayed-type hypersensitivity response compared to tumour-bearing mice receiving no kefir, although the mean survival time was not affected (Furukawa et al. 1991). Kubo et al. (1992) also reported that feeding kefir (100–500 mg/kg body weight) inhibited the proliferation of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma. In addition, kefir, from which the grains had been removed by filtration, were shown to kill or arrest the growth of fusiform cell sarcomas induced by 7,12-dimethylbenzanthracene in mice when the kefir was injected intraperitoneally (Cevikbas et al. 1994). Examination of tissue in kefir-treated mice showed a small amount of mitosis, some stromal connections and, in some cases, disappearance of tumour necrosis.

Liu et al. (2002) studied the effects of soy milk and cows’ milk fermented with kefir grains on the growth of tumours in mice, using freeze-dried kefir (produced from either soy or cows’ milk) from which the grains had been removed following fermentation. Mice were injected with 0.2 x 108 Sarcoma 180 cells one week prior to the start of the feeding portion of the experiment. Tumour growth (volume) was estimated for up to 30 days, after which tumours were removed and weighed. Both soy milk kefir (–70.9%) and cows’ milk kefir (–64.8%) significantly inhibited tumour growth, compared to mice in the positive control group. Microscopic examination of the tumours indicated that apoptosis may have been responsible for reduced tumour growth. Mice fed unfermented soy milk did not have reduced tumour volumes at day 30, and Liu et al. (2002) concluded that either the microorganisms themselves or any polysaccharides formed during fermentation by the kefir grains microflora were responsible for the antitumour response. Genistein itself has been shown to inhibit tumours (Murrill et al. 1996; Constantinou et al. 1996), although in this study genistein levels did not change during the fermentation process. Mice consuming kefir samples also had significantly increased levels of IgA in their small intestines compared to control animals, and it was proposed that the PP tissue was increasing IgA secretion into the intestine in response to food antigens.

Güven et al. (2003) proposed an alternative suggestion as to how kefir may protect tissues. They showed that mice exposed to carbon tetrachloride (a hepatotoxin to induce oxidative damage) and given kefir by gavage had decreased levels of liver and kidney malondialdehyde, indicating that kefir was acting as an antioxidant. Furthermore, their data showed that kefir was more effective than vitamin E (which is well known to have antioxidative properties) in protecting against oxidative damage.

Kefir and lactose intolerance

 

A proportion of the global population is unable to digest lactose (the major sugar found in milk), because of insufficient intestinal ß-galactosidase (or lactase) activity (Alm 1982a). Research has shown, however, that lactose maldigestors are able to tolerate yoghurt, providing the number of live bacteria present in the yoghurt consumed is high enough (Pelletier et al. 2001). It is believed that the bacteria in the yoghurt matrix are protected by the buffering effect of the yoghurt. Bacterial cells remain viable, and the bacterial cell walls remain intact, and thus the ß-galactosidase enzyme contained in the yoghurt-producing bacteria (L. acidophilus) is protected during transit through the stomach until it arrives at the upper gastrointestinal tract (Montes et al. 1995; De Vrese et al. 2001). It has also been shown that fermented milk products have a slower transit time than milk, which may further improve lactose digestion (Vesa et al. 1996; Labayen et al. 2001).

Some kefir grains have been shown to possess ß-galactosidase activity which remains active when consumed (De Vrese et al. 1992). A recent study has shown that a commercial kefir produced using a starter culture containing six bacteria (but not L. acidophilus) and one yeast was equally as effective as yoghurt in reducing breath hydrogen in adult lactose maldigestors (Hertzler and Clancy 2003). Severity of flatulence in this group was also reduced when either yoghurt or kefir was consumed compared to milk.

De Vrese et al. (1992) showed that when pigs were fed kefir containing fresh grains, their plasma galactose concentrations rose significantly higher than pigs given kefir containing heated grains. The diet containing kefir and fresh grains had a ß-galactosidase activity of 4.4 U/l, which was identified as being responsible for the hydrolysis of lactose in the intestine, thus yielding galactose that can be absorbed. Kefir itself contains no galactose (Alm 1982).

Antimicrobial properties of kefir

Garrote et al. (2000) tested the inhibitory activity of a supernatant of cows’ milk fermented with kefir grains, against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Gram-positive microorganisms were inhibited to a greater extent than Gram- negative microorganisms; moreover, both lactic and acetic acids were found in the supernatants. Garrote et al. (2000) showed that milk supplemented with lactic acid or lactic acid plus acetic acid at the concentrations found in the kefir supernatant also had inhibitory activity against E. coli 3. They concluded that organic acids produced during kefir fermentation could have important bacteriostatic properties even in the early stages of milk fermentation.

Hydrogen peroxide is another metabolite produced by some bacteria as an antimicrobial compound. Yüksekdag et al. (2004a) showed that all 21 isolates of lactic acid bacteria from Turkish kefir produced hydrogen peroxide (0.04–0.19 ug/ml). In a later paper, they reported that 11 out of 21 strains of kefir lactococci produced hydrogen peroxide (Yüksekdag et al. 2004b). All lactococci strains were effective in inhibiting growth of Streptococcus aureus, but were less effective against E. coli NRLL B-704 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Behaviour of kefir bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract

One of the criteria for probiotic bacteria is that they should be able to withstand the harsh conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, including extreme pH conditions present in the stomach and the action of bile salts and digestive enzymes (Lee and Salminen 1995). It is also believed that one way in which probiotic bacteria could protect against pathogenic bacteria would be to compete with or displace pathogenic bacteria by adhering to intestinal epithelial cells. (Kirjavainen et al. 1998; Fujiwara et al. 2001; Gibson and Rastall 2003).

Kefir, because it is milk based, is able to buffer the pH of the stomach when ingested and thereby provide time for many of the bacteria to pass through to the upper small intestine (Farnworth et al. 2003).

Human studies of the effects of diet on intestinal microflora are limited to the analysis of faecal samples, although no detailed human study has been published in which kefir has been used. Marquina et al. (2002) used mice to study the effect of consuming kefir (source not defined) in a feeding study that lasted 7 months. They were able to show that the numbers of lactic acid bacteria in the mouse small and large intestines increased significantly. Streptococci increased by 1 log, while sulfite-reducing clostridia decreased by 2 logs.

Kefir and cholesterol metabolism

Positive effects of yoghurt consumption on cholesterol metabolism have been reported (Kiessling et al. 2002; Xiao et al. 2003), although a review of the literature reveals that the results are at best moderate, and are often inconsistent (Taylor and Williams 1998; St-Onge et al. 2000; Pereira and Gibson 2002).

Several hypotheses have been proposed regarding the possible mechanism of action employed by bacteria to reduce cholesterol levels (St. Onge et al. 2002). Vujicic et al. (1992) showed that kefir grains from Yugoslavia, Hungary and the Caucase region were able to assimilate cholesterol in milk either incubated at 20°C for 24 h (reductions of up to 62%) or incubated and stored at 10°C for 48 h (reductions of up to 84%). These authors claimed that their results indicated that kefir grains had a cholesterol-degrading enzyme system. Similar results were reported for 27 lactic acid bacterial strains.

Conclusions

 

The microbiological and chemical composition of kefir indicates that it is a complex probiotic, as the large number of different bacteria and yeast found in it distinguishes it from other probiotic products. Since the yeasts and bacteria present in kefir grains have undergone a long association, the resultant microbial population exhibits many similar characteristics, making isolation and identification of individual species difficult. Many of these microorganisms are only now being identified by using advanced molecular biological techniques. The study of kefir is made more difficult, because it appears that many different sources of kefir grains exist that are being used to produce kefir.

The production of kefir depends on the synergistic interaction of the microflora in kefir grains. During the fermentation process, the yeasts and bacteria in kefir grains produce a variety of ingredients that give kefir its unique taste and texture. After fermentation, the finished kefir product contains many ingredients that are proving to be bioactive. At least one exopolysaccharide has been identified in kefir, although others may be present. Many bacteria found in kefir have been shown to have proteinase activity, and a large number of bioactive peptides has been found in kefir.

 

Furthermore, there is evidence to show that kefir consumption not only affects digestion, but also influences metabolism and immune function in humans.

References

 

Alm, L. 1982a. Effect of fermentation on lactose, glucose, and galactose content in milk and suitability of fermented milk products for lactose intolerant individuals. Journal of Dairy Science 65: 346-352.

Alm, L. 1982c. Effects of fermentation on curd size and digestibility of milk proteins in vitro of Swedish fermented milk products. Journal of Dairy Science 65: 509-514.

Batinkov, E.L. 1971. Use of milk and kefir in peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum. Voprosy Pitani 30(4): 89-91. (in Russian) Besednova, N.N., Epshtein L.M., Gazha A.K., Borovskaia G.A., Besednov A.L., Rozhzhov I.V. and Smolina T.P. 1997. Therapeutic-

prophylactic milk products with a new immunocorrector of natural origin. Voprosy Pitani 3: 31-34. (in Russian - abstract only) Cevikbas, A., Yemni, E., Ezzedenn, F.W., Yardimici, T., Cevikbas, U. and Stohs, S.J. 1994. Antitumoural antibacterial and antifungal

activities of kefir and kefir grain. Phytotherapy Research 8: 78-82. Constantinou, A.I., Mehta, R.G., and Vaughan, A. 1996. Inhibition of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea-induced mammary tumors in rats by the

soybean isoflavones. Anticancer Research 16: 2617-2620. Cross, M.L. 2002 Microbes versus microbes: Immune signals generated by probiotic lactobacilli and their role in protection against

microbial pathogens. FEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology 34: 245-253. De Simone, C., Rosati, E., Moretti, S., Bianchi, S.B. Vesely, R. and Jirillo, E. 1991. Probiotics and stimulation of the immune response.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 45 (2, Suppl.): 32-34. De Vrese, M., Keller, B. and Barth, C.A. 1992. Enhancement of intestinal hydrolysis of lactose by microbial ß-galactosidase (EC 3.2.1.23) of

kefir. British Journal of Nutrition 67: 67-75. De Vrese, M., Stegelmann, A., Richter, B., Fenselau, S., Laue, C. and Schrezenmeir, J. 2001. Probiotics-compensation for lactase

insufficiency. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 73(2, Suppl.): 421S-429S. Evenshtein E. M. 1978. Use of kefir for stimulation of gastric secretion and acid-formation in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis.

Problemy Tuberkuleza 2: 82-84.(translated from Russian) Farnworth, E., Mainville, I. and Arcand, Y. 2003. Buffering capacity of milk products in an in vitro upper gastrointestinal tract model.

Canadian Federation of Biological Societies, 46 Annual Meeting, Ottawa, June 12-14. Abstract # F065A.

Fujiwara, S., Seto, Y., Kimura, A. and Hashiba, H. 2001. Intestinal transit of orally administered streptomycin-rifampican-resistant variant of Bifidobacterium longum SBT2928: its long-term survival and effect on the intestinal microflora and metabolism. Journal of Applied Microbiology 90: 43-52.

Furukawa, N., Matsuoka, A. and Yamanaka, Y. 1990. Effects of orally administered yoghurt and kefir on tumor growth in mice. Journal of the Japanese Society of Nutrition and Food Science 43: 450-453 (in Japanese - abstract only)

Furukawa, N., Matsuoka, A., Takahashi, T. and Yamanaka, Y. 1991. Effects of fermented milk on the delayed-type hypersensitivity response and survival day in mice bearing Meth-A. Animal Science Technology (Japan) 62: 579-585 (in Japanese - abstract only)

Furukawa, N., Yokokawa, Y., Takahashi, T. and Yamanaka, Y. 1993. Effects of oral administration of water soluble fraction from kefir grains on glucose consumption and phagocytosis of peritoneal exudate cells in mice. Animal Science and Technology (Japan) 64: 60-67.(in Japanese - abstract only)

Furukawa, N., Matsuoka, A., Takahashi, T. and Yamanaka, Y. 2000. Anti-metastatic effect of kefir grain components on Lewis lung carcinoma and highly metastatic B16 melanoma in mice. Journal of Agriculture Science Tokyo Nogyo Daigaku 45: 62-70, 2000.

Garrote, G.L., Abraham, A.G. and De Antoni, G.L. 2000. Inhibitory power of kefir: the role of organic acids. Journal of Food Protection 63: 364-369.

Gibson, G.R. and Rastall, R.A. 2003. Gastrointestinal infections and the protective role of probiotics and prebiotics. Food Science and Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods. Available at http://www.foodsciencecentral.com/fsc/ixid3664.

Gill H.S. 1998. Stimulation of the immune system by lactic cultures. International Dairy Journal 8: 535-544. Güven, A., Güven, A. and Gülmez, M. 2003. The effect of kefir on the activities of GSH-Px, GST, CAT, GSH and LPO levels in carbon

tetrachloride-induced mice tissues. Journal of Veterinary Medicine B 50: 412-416.

Hertzler, S.R. and Clancy, S.M. 2003. Kefir improves lactose digestion and tolerance in adults with lactose maldigestion. Journal of the American Dietetic Association 103: 582-587.

Ivanova, L.N., Bulatskaya, A.N. and Silaev, A.E. 1981. Industrial production of kefir for children. Molochna i Apromyshlemast 15-16 (DSA no. 106). (in Russian)

Kiessling, G., Schneider, J. and Jahreis, G. 2002 Long-term consumption of fermented dairy products over 6 months increases HDL cholesterol. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 56: 843-849.

Kirjavainen, P.V., Ouwehand, A.C., Isolauri, E. and Salminen, S.J. 1998. The ability of probiotic bacteria to bind to human intestinal mucus. FEMS Microbiology Letters 167: 185-189.

Kubo, M., Odani, T., Nakamura S., Tokumaru, S. and Matsuda, H. 1992. Pharmacological study on kefir - a fermented milk product in Caucasus. I. On antitumor activity (1). Yakugaku Zasshi 112: 489-495.(in Japanese - abstract only)

Labayen, I., Forga, L., Gonzalez, A., Lenoir-Wijnkoop, I. and Martinez, J.A. 2001. Relationship between lactose digestion, gastrointestinal transit time and symptoms in lactose malabsorbers after dairy consumption. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 15: 543-549.

LeBlanc, J.G., Matar, C., Valdéz, J.C., LeBlanc, J. and Perdigón, G. 2002. Immunomodulating effects of peptidic fractions issued from milks fermented with Lactobacillus helveticus. Journal of Dairy Science 85: 2733-2742.

Lee, Y-K. and Salminen, S. 1995. The coming of age of probiotics. Trends in Food Science and Technology 6: 241-245. Liu, J-R., Chen, M-J. and Lin, C-W. 2002. Characterization of polysaccharide and volatile compounds produced by kefir grains grown in

soymilk. Journal of Food Science 67: 104-108. Marquina, D., Santos, A., Corpas, I., Munoz, J., Zazo, J. and Pienado, J.M. 2002. Dietary influence of kefir on microbial activities in the

mouse bowel. Letters in Applied Microbiology 35: 136-140. Matar, C., LeBlanc, J.G., Martin, L. and Perdigón, G. 2003. Biologically active peptides released in fermented milk: role and functions. In:

Farnworth, E.R., editor. Handbook of fermented functional foods: 177- 201. CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA. Montes, R.G., Bayless, T.M., Saavedra, J.M. and Perman, J.A. 1995. Effect of milks inoculated with Lactobacillus acidophilus or a yoghurt

starter culture in lactose-maldigesting children. Journal of Dairy Science 78:1657-1664. Murofushi, M., Shiomi, M. and Aibara, K. 1983. Effect of orally administered polysaccharide from kefir grain on delayed-type

hypersensitivity and tumor growth in mice. Japanese Journal of Medical Science and Biology 36: 49-53. Murofushi M., Mizuguchi J., Aibara K. and Matuhasi T. 1986. Immunopotentiative effect of polysaccharide from kefir grain, KGF-C,

administered orally in mice. Immunopharmacology 12: 29-35. Murrill, W.B., Brown, N.M., Zhang, J.X., Manzolillo, P.A., Barnes, S. and Lamartiniere, C.A. 1996. Prepubertal genistein exposure suppresses

mammary cancer and enhances gland differentiation in rats. Carcinogenesis 17: 1451-1457. Oleinichenko, E.V., Mitrokhin, S.D., Nonikov, V.E. and Minaev, V.I. 1999. Effectiveness of acipole in prevention of enteric dysbacteriosis

due to antibacterial therapy. Anitibiotiki i Khimioterapia 44: 23-25. (in Russian - abstract only) Ormisson, A.A. and Soo, T.R. 1976. Effect of lactic acid milk and kefir on the indicators of acid-base equilibrium of arterial blood in

healthy young children and patients with acute pneumonia and acute bronchitis. Pediatrica 10: 37-38. (translated from Russian) Pelletier, X., Laure-Boussuge, S. and Donazzolo, Y. 2001. Hydrogen excretion upon ingestion of dairy products in lactose-intolerant male

subjects: importance of the live flora. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 55: 509-512. Pereira, D.I., and Gibson, G.R. 2002. Effects of consumption of probiotics and prebiotics on serum lipid levels in humans. Critical Reviews

in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 37:259-281. Rosell, J. M. 1932. Yoghurt and kefir in their relation to health and therapeutics. Canadian Medical Association Journal: 341-345.

Safonova, T.Y., Yatsyk, G.V., Yurkov, Y.A. and Volkova, L.D. 1979. Effect of varying types of feeding on fatty acid composition of blood serum in premature infants. Voprosy Pitani 6: 44-49.(in Russian, abstract only)

Shiomi M., Sasaki K., Murofushi M. and Aibara K. 1982. Antitumor activity in mice of orally administered polysaccharide from kefir grain. Japanese Journal of Medical Science and Biology 35: 75-80.

St-Onge, M.-P., Farnworth, E.R. and Jones, P.J.H. 2000. Fermented and non-fermented dairy product consumption: effects on cholesterol levels and metabolism. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 71: 674-681.

St-Onge, M-P., Farnworth, E.R., Savard, T., Chabot, D., Mafu, A. and Jones, P.J.H. 2002. Kefir consumption does not alter plasma lipid levels or cholesterol fractional synthesis rates relative to milk in hyperlipidemic men. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Available at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/2/1/

Sukhov, S.V., Kalamkarova, L.I., Ll’chenko, L.A. and Zhangabylov, A.K. 1986. Microfloral changes in the small and large intestines of chronic enteritis patients on diet therapy including sour milk products. Voprosy Pitani 4: 14-17. (in Russian, abstract only)

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Extract taken from: Farnworth, E. R. (2006) Kefir – A Complex Probiotic. Food Science and Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods, Volume 2, Issue 1

Comments (2)

  1. Izabell

# Guest 2013-06-30 19:13
Can u take this if you are laqtose intollence

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  1. Izabell

# Guest 2013-06-30 19:13
Can u take this if you are laqtose intollence

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