The Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Kefir

Kefir is something that the natural health community has loved for a long time.  It is now getting the recognition it deserves outside this community, but many people are still unsure of the benefits.  Research has been done into the health benefits of kefir and it is important that you know what they are.

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Improving Bone Health

Bone health is important for several reasons.  The primary one being that good bone health will reduce the risks of osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis is a deterioration of the bone tissue and is a major problem across the world.

Older women are more likely to suffer from this condition.  Those who have osteoporosis are more likely to suffer fractures in the bones.  The best way to reduce the chances of this condition is to increase calcium intake.

This is where kefir comes in to play.  Full-fat kefir is a great source of calcium which strengthens the bones and slows the progression of osteoporosis.  Kefir also has vitamin K2 which is vital for calcium metabolism.  Studies have found that increasing vitamin K2 intake can reduce the risk of fractures by up to 81%.

There has been a recent animal study into the link between kefir and calcium absorption.  This study found that kefir does increase the absorption rate in the bone cells.  This led to improved bone density which should help prevent fractures.

Helping with Digestive Problems

Probiotics are used to help with a range of digestive problems and most people have yogurt to get their probiotics.  While yogurt does offer this, kefir is a more powerful probiotic.  Probiotics are the microorganisms found in yogurt and kefir that help with digestion, mental health, and weight management.

Kefir grains have up to 61 strains of yeast and bacteria.  This is important because it provides a rich and diverse source of probiotics.  Of course, the diversity offered by kefir will vary.

The probiotics found in kefir have been found to effectively treat different types of diarrhea.  There are also many studies that prove probiotics can help to alleviate other digestive problems.  One of these problems is IBS or irritable bowel syndrome.  Studies have found that kefir can help with IBS as well as ulcers caused by H. pylori infections.

Improving Allergy And Asthma Symptoms

Most people would not link allergy and asthma symptoms with kefir.  However, there is some scientific evidence to suggest that this food can help with these symptoms.  This is linked to the anti-inflammatory properties of kefir.

Allergic reactions are caused by the inflammatory response in the body to the ingestion of certain foods or contact with certain substances.  When this contact is made, the immune system will flood the body and cause an allergic reaction.  People who have sensitive immune systems could have asthma symptoms triggered when they meet allergens.

Animal studies have found that kefir can help with this.  The anti-inflammatory properties in kefir will suppress the body’s response to the allergens.  This will reduce the symptoms and the risks of asthma.  Of course, more human studies are required to fully understand this health benefit.

Potential Cancer Protection

The leading cause of death around the world is cancer.  This is a serious medical condition and can affect almost any part of the body.  Studies have found that kefir could help to protect the body against cancer.

The studies done on this have all been test-tube studies and more animal or human studies will be needed to fully understand the link between kefir and cancer protection.  However, these studies have shown promising results.  The probiotics in kefir have been found to reduce the rate of tumor growth.  This has been taken as an indication that kefir can potentially fight cancer cells.

Another study found that kefir extract can reduce the number of human breast cancer cells.  The test found a reduction of 56% which is much better than yogurt with 14%.  While this is a reduction in human cancer cells, the study was a test-tube study and more human studies are required.

Reducing Bacterial Infections

The probiotics found in kefir are believed to protect against certain bacterial infections.  One of the probiotics that is unique to kefir is Lactobacillus Kefir.  This is important because studies have found that this probiotic can inhibit the growth of certain harmful bacteria.

The studies have found that this probiotic reduced the growth of E. coli, Salmonella, and Helicobacter pylori.  It is not only the probiotic that offers antibacterial properties.  Kefir also has the carbohydrate Kefiran which is known to have antibacterial properties.

There are many health benefits of kefir that you should know about.  Many of these benefits have scientific studies backing them up.  However, a lot of these studies are animal and test-tube studies.  More human studies are required to fully understand the health benefits of kefir.