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Is Kefir Good For Cancer Patients? Discover The Benefits

Is Kefir Good For Cancer Patients

Cancer's effect on all of us is profound, with one in two Australians being diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. There are incredible cancer treatments, studies and programs being done, but it doesn't change the fact that cancer is one of the leading causes of death. 

This isn't to say cancer patients can't do anything and should just wait for a cure. It's important to learn about the disease, and how to fight it. Recent studies and clinical trials - both vitro and animal - suggest that kefir extract has anti-cancer properties. Learn about the cancer-fighting properties contained within kefir, that anyone with cancer can take advantage of. 

What is Kefir?

Some may not even know what kefir is, and may just know it in the form of fermented milk. That’s exactly what kefir is, but it's also so much more. 

The origin of kefir is a little blurry, but it's believed to be a recipe around 4000 years old, originating from the Caucasus (modern-day Georgia and Turkey). The name kefir comes from the Turkish word “kief”, meaning "feeling good”, and that’s exactly how it makes you feel. Kefir was drunk as a medicine to treat many ailments, but was also consumed for general wellness.  

That's enough history for now. So, what is kefir made from? There are a few ways to make milk kefir, but the same basic principles apply. Kefir begins as a culture made up of yeast and bacteria, in the form of a grain-like substance.  This bacteria culture is where kefir gets most of its anti-cancer properties, and why it’s known as a probiotic. The kefir grains then get fermented with fresh milk, whether that be coconut, almond, goat or cow milk is up to you.

The taste of kefir is tangy, usually compared to Greek yoghurt. You can have your kefir milk how you want, with bananas, cocoa powder or berries. There are many tasty recipes in our blog for you to check out.

How does kefir help with cancer prevention? 

Previous studies have shown that there are beneficial effects associated with the use of kefir to help fight cancer. These studies have shown it reacts to the immune system and this is why kefir is good for cancer patients. 

The acidic properties of kefir, which contribute to the tart flavour, are great for digestion and boosting the immune response. The microbiome turns the lactose found in milk into lactic acid. With the introduction of lactic acid bacteria, the system increases its anticancer activity by combating cancer cells and removing dead cells. The body then produces healthy new cells, further keeping any cancer cells at bay. 

The nutritional value of kefir is rich in vitamins and amino acids. The human body needs energy and nutrition to keep the immune system healthy. Cancer cells try to shut down and dysregulate the immune system, so the body isn't able to fight back. The human immune system is the groundwork for keeping a healthy body, as it fights off any invasive diseases and toxins. Vitamins help vitalise the beneficial bacteria found within the gut microbiome, improving the immune system.  So it's important for cancer patients to keep their immune systems as healthy as possible.

Some Cancers Kefir Targets

The live microbes, acids and immune-boosting agents of kefir milk have been shown to work well with certain cancer types. This isn't to say it won't help with other cancers not listed, just that it has shown positive results with cancer survivors.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer targets the cells within the colon and rectum, which in turn shut down key organs within the body. One of kefir's anticancer properties includes the high amount of antioxidants, which work to repair and mend any cell damage. Along with that lactic acid, it can induce a cell cycle arrest to suppress the growth of cancerous cells to further decrease cell damage. 

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer, with 20,000 new cases a year in Australia. Therefore, cancer treatment is paramount. The majority of breast cancers are tumour-based, which slowly spread and affect the whole body. Studies going back to 2007 have shown that kefir extract depresses tumour cell growth, by reducing tumour growth. The immune system and cancer treatments will have more time to fight back cancerous cells.

Prostate Cancer

Most common leukaemia cancers target white blood cells, which are key to the immune system. There are around 17,000 cases of prostate cancers found within Australia, mostly found in men. Apoptosis and cell proliferation can be accelerated by the introduction of kefir into our diets. Both of those things may not mean much, but apoptosis is the killing and blocking of abnormal cells, such as cancer cells. Cell proliferation is the production of two healthy daughter cells, from a parent cell. This helps with rapid cell growth, which is key to cancer prevention.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in Australia, with more than 15,000 new cases a year. It's important to be careful in the hot Australian sun and wear the proper sun protection. That said, kefir has key cancer prevention properties, by suppressing the melanomas introduced through UV exposure. 

Ferment Your Own Kefir Milk

Kefir milk is a healthy dietary option that has great cancer preventive agents, as well as general health benefits. Not only is it good for fighting cancer, but it's also great for maintaining a strong and healthy gut microbiome. If you're ready to ferment your kefir and strengthen your immune system, purchase one of our kefir fermenting kits. They have an easy-to-use design that is ready to consume within 24-48 hours.  

Visit our gut health superstore at 11/136 Keys Rd, Cheltenham VIC 3192 for all your health food needs or order online! Free shipping available on orders over AU$150.

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