Kefir is recommended for breast cancer

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is popular in the middle east, parts of the Mediterranean, eastern Europe and Russia. It is prepared by inoculating milk (cow, camel, goat, sheep or even soy milk, almond milk) with kefir grains. Kefir grains consist of a complex living culture of yeasts and bacteria. The organisms have been shown to inhibit both salmonella and E. Coli in the laboratory. Raw milk has traditionally been used to make kefir. Unless otherwise noted, the discussion below refers to kefir and other fermented drinks made from cow's milk.

Fermented milk has been shown in one study to have a protective effect against liver cancer in experimental mice. Similarly, lactobacilli strains common to fermented milk have been shown to possess inhibitory and cytotoxic activity towards human bladder cancer cells. Lactic acid bacteria from fermented milk drink also have been shown to have antiproliferative activity against colon cancer cells. However, one study found that kefir with a 3.5% fat content appeared to stimulate chemically-induced colorectal tumors in experimental rats compared to both 1.1% fat kefir and 1.1% fat sterilized milk.

Kefir has been shown to have antiproliferative activity against hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) human breast cancer cells and this anticancer effect was observed at much lower concentrations than similar effects of yogurt. Several studies have demonstrated that milk fermented with L. helveticus decreased the growth rate of mammary tumors in experimental rats and that this involved decreased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-6, which is implicated in estrogen synthesis. Kefir is also a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to inhibit the growth and migration of breast cancer cells.

A Swedish study of the relationship between various fats in the diet and risk of breast cancer for women aged at least 50 found that fat from fermented milk products was negatively associated with breast cancer risk.

Kefir should be avoided during radiation treatment because it has been shown to protect cells against cell death caused by radiation damage, raising the possibility that it will lessen the cytotoxic impact of radiation on breast cancer cells.

Below are links to recent studies concerning this food. For a more complete list of studies, please click on kefir.

Tags: CLA, fermentedMilk, inflammation, kefir, milk, proliferation, radiationTreatment, radioprotective, yogurt

Fermented beverages with health-promoting potential: past and future perspectives Beneficial bacteria stimulate host immune cells to counteract dietary and genetic predisposition to mammary cancer in mice Is Dairy Intake Associated to Breast Cancer? A Case Control Study of Iranian Women High- and Low-Fat Dairy Intake, Recurrence, and Mortality After Breast Cancer Diagnosis Fatty acid profile, trans-octadecenoic, α-linolenic and conjugated linoleic acid contents differing in certified organic and conventional probiotic fermented milks Lactobacillus acidophilus Could Modulate the Immune Response Against Breast Cancer in Murine Model Organic milk improves Bifidobacterium lactis counts and bioactive fatty acids contents in fermented milk Comparison of nutritional quality between conventional and organic dairy products: a meta-analysis The potential of bifidobacteria as a source of natural folate Tumor Angiogenesis as a Target for Dietary Cancer Prevention Fractionation and Characterization of Bioactive Components in Kefir Mother Culture that Inhibit Proliferation of Cultured MCF-7 Human Breast-Cancer Cells Anticarcinogenic effect of probiotic fermented milk and chlorophyllin on aflatoxin-B1-induced liver carcinogenesis in rats The effect of natural fermented milk in the protection of liver from cancer Kefir extracts suppress in vitro proliferation of estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells but not normal mammary epithelial cells Effect of milk fermented with a Lactobacillus helveticus R389(+) proteolytic strain on the immune system and on the growth of 4T1 breast cancer cells in mice Effects of kefir containing various levels of fat on chemically induced colorectal epithelial tumors in Wistar rats Identification and stereochemical characterization of lignans in flaxseed and pumpkin seeds Study of cytokines involved in the prevention of a murine experimental breast cancer by kefir

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