Kefir contains many compounds and nutrients, like biotin and folate, that help kick your immune system into gear and protect your cells. It contains large amounts of kefir probiotics, the special forces of the microbial world. One kefir probiotic strain in particular that’s specific to kefir alone is called Lactobacillus Kefiri, which helps defend against harmful bacteria like salmonella and E. Coli. This bacterial strain, along with the various handful of others, helps modulate the immune system and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.
Kefir also contains another powerful compound found only in this probiotic drink, an insoluble polysaccharide called kefiran that’s been shown to contain antimicrobial properties, which can fight against candida. Kefiran has also shown the ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Cancer is a serious epidemic impacting our country and the world today. Kefir can play a big role in helping your body fight this nasty disease. It can be a seriously effective weapon against the spread of these multiplying and dangerous cells. The compounds found in the probiotic drink have actually been shown to kill off cancer cells in the stomach in some in vitro studies.
Kefir benefits in the fight against cancer are due to its large anti-carcinogenic role inside the body. It can slow the growth of early tumors and their enzymatic conversions from non-carcinogenic to carcinogenic. One in vitro test conducted by the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition at the Macdonald Campus of McGill University in Canada showed that kefir reduced breast cancer cells by 56 percent, as opposed to yogurt strains, which reduced the number of cells by 14 percent.
Various forms of allergies and asthma are all linked to inflammatory issues in the body. Kefir may help treat inflammation at the source to help reduce the risk of respiratory issues like allergies and asthma. According to an animal study in Immunobiology, kefir was shown to reduce inflammatory cells disrupting the lungs and air passages as well as decrease mucus buildup in mice.
The live microorganisms present in kefir help the immune system naturally suppress allergic reactions and aid in changing the body’s response to the systemic outbreak points for allergies. Some scientists believe these allergic reactions are the result of a lack of good bacteria in the gut. Researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center reviewed 23 different studies with almost 2,000 people, and in 17 of those studies, test subjects taking probiotics showed improved allergic symptoms and quality of life.
The good bacteria found in many dairy products is essential for a healthy gut and body. However, there are many out there who cannot tolerate dairy because they are unable to digest lactose, the key sugar found in milk (thus being lactose intolerant). The active ingredient in kefir helps break lactose down and makes it easier to digest. Furthermore, kefir has a larger range of bacterial strains and nutrients, some only specific to kefir, that help remove almost all of the lactose in the dairy.
Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics even showed that “kefir improves lactose digestion and tolerance in adults with lactose malabsorption.” As a disclaimer, although most people do very well with goat milk kefir, a small percent of people may still have issues with dairy and may need to opt for coconut or water kefir instead.