Someone recently asked me if kefir can help with cancer. Since I did not know if Kefir helps in cancer treatment, I began to dig deep to find out.
In the last six year, I met several people who used kefir grains as a part of their recovery program. One survivor suggested that I should compile some studies and help explain what it means. So we have put together a few samples of kefir being investigated for its anti inflamatory, anti tumour properties.
Most cancer treatments compromises your body’s natural immunity, so it is important to discuss with your doctors before you start drinking Kefir.
Medical Literature about Kefir’s use in cancer
Kefir is a great way to keep your body’s gut in good health. It replenishes your gut bacteria and reinforces your immunity. Many of the strong medicines used in cancer treatment destroys gut bacteria. Consuming fermented drinks allows the bacteria to recolonize the intestine, thereby helping improve patients digestion and nutrition absorption capability. This plays a big role in helping cancer patients regain strength over time.
Kefir helps in cancer, but you need your medicines too. Kefir can only play a minor role in helping your body recreate immunity. It is very important to ensure your grains are of high quality and uncontaminated by other bacteria. I have attached links to a few medical publications so you can continue your research on the subject. As always, consult your doctor before you alter the diet of a patient undergoing serious treatments.
If you have any questions on how to use kefir or if it is right for you, give me a call.
What have studies uncovered about effects of kefir on Cancer?
Testing Kefir on active cancer survivors.
In February 2019, University of Northern Colorado’s Cancer Rehabilitation Institute (CRI) received a grant to study the impact of kefir on cancer. Chemotherapies are notorious for this extreme impact on the gut microbiome. The therapies can alter the immune functions, change the imbalance in the gut (dysbiosis) and cause inflammation of the small intestine.
In the past, there have been several studies which used kefir as a part of ‘probiotic-type’ study among cancer survivors. None of the studies used physically active cancer survivors. This sensory-based study found that people liked it more when they heard of the benefits.
2. Investigating anti-inflammatory, antimetastatic, and antiangiogenesis effects of kefir
A mice study conducted in Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia investigated the Antimetastatic and Antiangiogenesis Effects of Kefir Water on Murine Breast Cancer Cells. They conducted a mice study to test the effects of kefir water on breast cancer cells. The research revealed that kefir water was ‘cytotoxic towards cancer cells and resulted in a significant reduction in tumour size and weight.
Scientists concluded that “Kefir water inhibited tumour proliferation in vitro and in vivo mainly through cancer cell apoptosis, immunomodulation by stimulating T helper cells and cytotoxic T cells, and anti-inflammatory, antimetastatic, and antiangiogenesis effects.”
3.Kefir’s anti-inflammatory properties.
Kefir is popular for its ability to reduce internal inflammation. Researchers at Laboratório de Fitofármacos tested kefir water, milk kefir and extracted kefiran on inflamed tissues of mice and found that there was a decrease in the inflammation at the rate of 41 ± 3%, 44 ± 6% and 34 ± 15% respectively.
4. Effect of Bifidobacterium on Colorectal cancer (CRC)
Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the world. A group of scientists investigated the effects of probiotic bacteria Bifidobacterium on CRC. The research found that Lactic acid producing bacteria (LAB) in general and Bifidobacterium offered protection against certain types of bacteria that promote CRC (example Bacteroides fragilis) Bifido also showed significant antitumour properties. Bifidobacterium increases the presence of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) which have been shown to play pro-apoptotic, anti-proliferation, and anti-cancer roles, the study concluded.
5. Effect of probiotics on post-surgery cancer patients.
A double-blind study was conducted to study the effect of probiotics in post-surgical colorectal cancer. The study found that patients on probiotics had a significant reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokines when compared to pre-treatment levels. It also concluded that certain Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains are safe to be consumed at four weeks after surgery in colorectal cancer patients.
Here are some of the mechanisms that probiotics have on the body
Kefir and Cancer: A Systematic Review of Literatures.
Kefir: a powerful probiotics with anticancer properties.