Kefir is used for obesity, athletic performance, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
How does it work ?
Uses & Effectiveness
Insufficient Evidence for
- Diarrhea in people taking antibiotics (antibiotic-associated diarrhea). Some research shows that a kefir-containing drink does not reduce diarrhea caused by antibiotics in children.
- Athletic performance. Early research shows that taking kefir after exercise does not improve running speed.
- Nausea and vomiting caused by cancer drug treatment. Early research shows that taking kefir during chemotherapy treatment does not reduce stomach and intestinal problems. In fact, it might make these problems slightly worse.
- Constipation. Early research shows that taking kefir helps increase the number of bowel movements in people with constipation. It also seems to soften stools.
- A type of inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn disease). Early research shows that taking kefir might help with some symptoms of Crohn disease.
- A digestive tract infection that can lead to ulcers (Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori). Early research shows that taking kefir along with standard treatment for H. pylori helps get rid of infections in more people than standard treatment alone.
- High cholesterol. Early research shows that taking kefir does not lower cholesterol levels.
- Symptoms of menopause. Early research shows that taking kefir might help with some symptoms of menopause, especially sleep.
- A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome). Early research shows that taking kefir does not reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, or blood sugar in people with metabolic syndrome.
- Obesity. Early research shows that eating kefir as part of a weight maintenance diet reduces body weight by a small amount in overweight or obese women. But eating low-fat milk dairy products instead of kefir seems to work just as well.
- Swelling (inflammation) and sores inside the mouth (oral mucositis). Early research shows that rinsing the mouth with kefir and swallowing 250 mL of kefir twice daily for the first 5 days of chemotherapy does not prevent the development of sores inside the mouth caused by chemotherapy.
- Weak and brittle bones (osteoporosis). Early research shows that taking kefir with calcium does not improve bone strength any more than calcium alone in adults with osteoporosis.
- A type of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). Early research shows that taking kefir does not improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
- Lactose intolerance.
- Improving digestion.
- Other conditions.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Children: Kefir is POSSIBLY SAFE for children between the ages of 1 and 5 years when taken by mouth for up to 10 days.
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.
Colon cancer: In people undergoing chemotherapy for colon cancer, kefir might increase side effects such as stomach and intestinal problems, mouth sores, drowsiness, sweats, and hair loss.
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.
Be cautious with this combination
Disulfiram (Antabuse) interacts with KEFIR
Kefir might contain alcohol. The body breaks down alcohol to get rid of it. Disulfiram (Antabuse) decreases the break-down of alcohol. Taking kefir along with disulfiram (Antabuse) can cause a pounding headache, vomiting, flushing, and other unpleasant reactions. Don't drink any alcohol if you are taking disulfiram (Antabuse).
Be watchful with this combination
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© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.