Putative Probiotic Strains Isolated from Kefir Improve Gastrointestinal Health Parameters in Adults: a Randomized, Single-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

  • Ming-Cheng Wang
  • Ahmad Imran Zaydi
  • Wei-Hung Lin
  • Jin-Seng Lin
  • Min-Tze LiongEmail author
  • Jiunn-Jong WuEmail author


The dairy products remain as the largest reservoir for isolation of probiotic microorganisms. While probiotics have been immensely reported to exert various health benefits, it is also a common notion that these health potentials are strain and host dependent, leading to the need of more human evidence based on specific strains, health targets, and populations. This randomized, single-blind, and placebo-controlled human study aimed to evaluate the potential benefits of putative probiotic strains isolated from kefir on gastrointestinal parameters in fifty-six healthy adults. The consumption of AB-kefir (Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. fermentum, L. helveticus, L. paracasei, L. rhamnosus, and Streptococcus thermophiles; total 10 log CFU/sachet) daily for 3 week reduced symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating (P = 0.014), and appetite (P = 0.041) in male subjects as compared to the control. Gut microbiota distribution profiles were shifted upon consumption of AB-kefir compared to baseline, where the abundance of bifidobacteria was increased in male subjects and maintained upon cessation of AB-kefir consumption. The consumption of AB-kefir also increased gastrointestinal abundance of total anaerobes (P = 0.038) and total bacterial (P = 0.049) in female subjects compared to the control after 3 weeks. Our results indicated that AB-kefir could potentially be developed as a natural strategy to improve gastrointestinal functions in adults.


AB-kefir Abdominal bloating Abdominal pain Appetite Gut microbiota 



The authors thank the funder for providing ideas in the stages of designing the experiments and reading the manuscript for intellectual content prior to submission as per decisions of authors.

Author Contributions

Placebo and study product were produced by SYNBIO TECH INC.

MCW, WHL, JSL, and JJW conceived and designed the experiments and performed the study. AIZ, JSL, and MTL analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript.

Funding Information

This study was supported by the grant from The Southern Taiwan Science Park, Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (Grant Number: 100CB03).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming-Cheng Wang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ahmad Imran Zaydi
    • 3
  • Wei-Hung Lin
    • 4
  • Jin-Seng Lin
    • 5
  • Min-Tze Liong
    • 3
    Email author
  • Jiunn-Jong Wu
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of MedicineNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  2. 2.Institute of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of MedicineNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  3. 3.School of Industrial TechnologyUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine, College of MedicineNational Cheng Kung UniversityTainanTaiwan
  5. 5.Culture Collection and Research InstituteSYNBIO TECH INC.KaohsiungTaiwan
  6. 6.Department of Biotechnology and Laboratory Science in Medicine, School of Biomedical Science and EngineeringNational Yang Ming UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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