Kefir drink leads to a similar weight loss, compared with milk, in a dairy-rich non-energy-restricted diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial



Controversy exists regarding whether increasing dairy intake without energy restriction would lead to weight loss. We aimed to compare the potential weight-reducing effects of kefir drink (a probiotic dairy product) and milk in a dairy-rich non-energy-restricted diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women.


One hundred and forty-four subjects were assessed for eligibility in this single-center, multi-arm, parallel-group, randomized controlled trial. Of these, seventy-five eligible women aged 25–45 years were randomly assigned to three groups, labeled as control, milk, and kefir, to receive an outpatient dietary regimen for 8 weeks. Subjects in the control group received a diet providing a maintenance level of energy intake, containing 2 servings/day of low-fat dairy products, while those in the milk and kefir groups received a weight maintenance diet, containing 2 additional servings/day (a total of 4 servings/day) of dairy products from low-fat milk or commercial kefir drink, respectively. Anthropometric outcomes including weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference (WC) were measured every 2 weeks.


Fifty-eight subjects completed the study. Using analysis of covariance models in the intention-to-treat population (n = 75), we found that at 8 weeks, subjects in the kefir and milk groups had significantly greater reductions in weight, BMI, and WC compared to those in the control group (all p < 0.01). However, no such significant differences were found between the kefir and milk groups.


Kefir drink leads to a similar weight loss, compared with milk, in a dairy-rich non-energy-restricted diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women. However, further studies are warranted.

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The present article was extracted from the M.Sc. thesis written by Yasamin Fathi and was financially supported by Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Authors would like to thank the participants for their kind and enthusiastic cooperation. We are grateful to the staff of Cardiovascular Research Center in Shiraz, Iran, for their support and collaboration.

Conflict of interest

M.J.Z. is the president of Cardiovascular Research Center in Shiraz, Iran. Y.F., S.F., and S.H.R.T. declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Shiva Faghih.

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Fathi, Y., Faghih, S., Zibaeenezhad, M.J. et al. Kefir drink leads to a similar weight loss, compared with milk, in a dairy-rich non-energy-restricted diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Nutr 55, 295–304 (2016).

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  • Dairy products
  • Diet
  • Weight loss
  • Women
  • Randomized controlled trial