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


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.

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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.


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

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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.

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Correspondence to Min-Tze Liong or Jiunn-Jong Wu.

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Wang, MC., Zaydi, A.I., Lin, WH. et al. Putative Probiotic Strains Isolated from Kefir Improve Gastrointestinal Health Parameters in Adults: a Randomized, Single-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Probiotics & Antimicro. Prot. 12, 840–850 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12602-019-09615-9

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  • AB-kefir
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Appetite
  • Gut microbiota