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Kefir and Health: A Contemporary Perspective

  • 2013-01
  • Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 53(5)
    • Zaheer Ahmed
    • Yanping Wang
    • Asif Ahmad
    • Salman Khan
    • M. Nisa
    • Hajra Ahmad
    • Asma Afreen

Abstract

Kefir and its related products are renowned nutraceutical dairy products produced through fermentation of yeasts and bacteria naturally present in grains of kefir. The nutritional attributes of this self-carbonated beverage are due to presence of vital nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and some nutraceutical components. Antimicrobial activity, better gut health, anticarcinogenic activity, control on serum glucose and cholesterol, control on lactose intolerance and better immune system can be achieved through its regular consumption. Moreover, on the one side kefir is good dietetic beverage, and of particular interest of athletes, and on the other side the whole kefir is good for feeding small babies and pre-schoolers for good tolerance against disease and quick weight gain. Lots of works have been done on kefir from a health point of view. This study summarizes all the data that have been compiled to date. The purpose of this review is to gather information about microbiological, chemical, nutritional, and therapeutic aspects of kefir and kefir-like products to provide justification for its consumption. This review leads us to conclude that kefir begins a new dawn of food for the mankind.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Eastern European Wild Kefir CultureEnhanced Immune FunctionBeneficial
Moderate
Eastern European Wild Kefir CultureImproved Gut HealthBeneficial
Moderate
Eastern European Wild Kefir CultureImproved Insulin SensitivityBeneficial
Moderate
Eastern European Wild Kefir CultureReduced Cancer RiskBeneficial
Moderate
Eastern European Wild Kefir CultureReduced Lactose Intolerance SymptomsBeneficial
Large

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