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KEFIR

Other Names:

Fermented Dairy Product, Fermented Milk, Fromage Kéfir, Kéfir, Kefir Cheese, Kefir Grains, Kefir Yogurt, Lait Fermenté, Produit Laitier Fermenté.

KEFIR Overview
KEFIR Uses
KEFIR Side Effects
KEFIR Interactions
KEFIR Dosing
KEFIR Overview Information

Kefir is a product made by fermenting milk.

People use kefir for poor digestion, upset stomach, lactose intolerance, diarrhea following treatment with antibiotics, and high cholesterol.

How does it work?

Kefir contains actively growing bacteria and yeast. Their effect on milk results in production of enzymes and chemicals that affect the way food is digested.

KEFIR Uses & Effectiveness What is this?

Likely Ineffective for:


Insufficient Evidence for:

  • Diarrhea associated with taking antibiotics. Some research shows that a specific kefir-containing drink (Probugs, Lifeway Foods, Inc.) does not reduce diarrhea in children caused by antibiotics.
  • Lactose intolerance.
  • Improving digestion.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of kefir for these uses.


KEFIR Side Effects & Safety

Kefir appears to be safe for most adults when used for up to 6 months. It might be safe for children between the ages of 1 and 5 years when used for up to 10 days.

Kefir can cause intestinal cramping and constipation, especially when use is started.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of kefir during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

AIDS and other conditions that weaken the immune system: Kefir contains actively growing bacteria and yeast. There is some concern that people with a weakened immune system might be more likely to develop infections from these bacteria or yeast.

KEFIR Interactions What is this?

Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants) interacts with KEFIR

    Kefir contains live bacteria and yeast. The immune system usually controls bacteria and yeast in the body to prevent infections. Medications that decrease the immune system can increase your chances of getting sick from bacteria and yeast. Taking kefir along with medications that decrease the immune system might increase the chances of getting sick.
    Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.


KEFIR Dosing

The appropriate dose of kefir depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for kefir. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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