Kefir

18/Description

About

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 it works

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.

Effectiveness

Not Proven
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.

Soreness and swelling inside the mouth, caused by chemotherapy (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.

Lactose intolerance
Improving digestion
Other conditions

Concerns

Possibly safe

Kefir is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth for up to 6 months.Kefir can cause intestinal cramping and constipation, especially when use is started.

18/Warnings

Warnings

Children: Kefir isPOSSIBLY SAFEfor children between the ages of 1 and 5 years when taken by mouth for up to 10 days.Are there any interactions with medications?

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking kefir if you are pregnant or 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.

Interactions

Always consult with your doctor.
Minor
Disulfiram (Antabuse)

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 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).

The information provided on this page is for reference purposes and is not meant to be used as a medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with a medical professional.