Probiotics and fermented milk products play a major role in various fields, such as health care, industry and pharmacy. Dietary probiotics, Kefir is one of the favorite probiotics, considered to be a powerful ingredient, originating in the Balkan-Caucasian region and having great potential for cancer prevention and treatment. Kefir is fermented milk made by incubation of kefir grains with raw milk or water. Kefir grains are a mixture of yeast and bacteria, which live in the symbiotic association. Kefir has an acidic, active component, slightly alcohol, foam milk and viscous beverage with uniform creamy and elastic consistency as well as a sour taste, which can be easily digested. In terms of nutrition, kefir contains at least 2.7% protein, 0.6% lactic acid and less than 10% fat.
Kefir is a rich source of vitamins (A, K, B1, B2, B5, C, B12 and folic acid) and amino acids (ammonia, serine, lysine, alanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine and isoleucine) and mineral tracks (Mg, Ca, P, Zn, Cu, Mn, Fe, Co and Mo). Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatories are some of the health benefits of kefir grains. In addition, it is suggested that some bioactive compounds of kefir such as polysaccharides and peptides have great potential to prevent proliferation and induction of apoptosis in tumor cells. Kefir acts on a variety of cancers such as colorectal cancer, malignant T lymphocyte, and breast cancer and lung carcinoma. Since cancer is the result of an imbalance of the immune system and the inflammatory system, the protective-modulatory and anti-inflammatory properties of kefir are very appealing and important. Bioactive peptides in kefir activate macrophages and phagocytosis as well as the production of nitric oxide (NO). In leukemia, the use of kefir has led to an increase in apoptosis and a decrease in cell proliferation. According to studies on the effects of kefir on skin cancer cells, it has been shown that kefir suppresses morphological mutations in melanoma cell lines, caused by UVC light. Perhaps kefir can be used as an effective treatment with minimal side effects. Kefir will probably be recognized in the effective treatment of serious diseases and as an anti-cancer agent in the near future.
Written by: Namrah Shahzad