Medical Oncology

, 34:183 | Cite as

Kefir: a powerful probiotics with anticancer properties

  • Mohammadreza SharifiEmail author
  • Abbas Moridnia
  • Deniz Mortazavi
  • Mahsa Salehi
  • Marzieh Bagheri
  • Abdolkarim Sheikhi
Review Article


Probiotics and fermented milk products have attracted the attention of scientists from various fields, such as health care, industry and pharmacy. In recent years, reports have shown that dietary probiotics such as kefir have a great potential for cancer prevention and treatment. Kefir is fermented milk with Caucasian and Tibet origin, made from the incubation of kefir grains with raw milk or water. Kefir grains are a mixture of yeast and bacteria, living in a symbiotic association. Antibacterial, antifungal, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effects are some of the health beneficial properties of kefir grains. Furthermore, it is suggested that some of the bioactive compounds of kefir such as polysaccharides and peptides have great potential for inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis in tumor cells. Many studies revealed that kefir acts on different cancers such as colorectal cancer, malignant T lymphocytes, breast cancer and lung carcinoma. In this review, we have focused on anticancer properties of kefir.


Kefir Probiotics Cancer Anticancer 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, School of MedicineIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Department of Immunology, School of MedicineDezful University of Medical SciencesDezfulIran

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