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Immunobiology. 2007;212(8):647-54. Epub 2007 Jul 10.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects of kefir in a mouse asthma model.

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  • 1Natural Medicine Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, P.O. Box 115, Yusung, Daejeon 305-600, Korea.

Abstract

Kefir is a microbial symbiont mixture that produces jelly-like grains. As a widely used neutraceutical, however, the therapeutic applicability of kefir is not certain. In order to investigate the pharmacological effects of kefir, we used a mouse asthma model, in which airway inflammation and airway remodeling was produced by ovalbumin sensitization and challenge. BALB/c mice sensitized and challenged to ovalbumin, were treated with kefir (50mg/kg administered by intra-gastric mode) 1h before the ovalbumin challenge. Kefir significantly suppressed ovalbumin-induced airway hyper-responsiveness (AHR) to inhaled methacholine. Intra-gastric administration of kefir significantly inhibited the increase in the total inflammatory cell count induced by ovalbumin, and the eosinophil count in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Type 2 helper T cell (Th2) cytokines, such as interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, and total immunoglobulin E (Ig E) levels, were also reduced to normal levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Histological studies demonstrate that kefir substantially inhibited ovalbumin-induced eosinophilia in lung tissue and mucus hyper-secretion by goblet cells in the airway. Kefir displayed anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects in a mouse asthma model and may possess new therapeutic potential for the treatment of allergic bronchial asthma.

PMID:
17869642
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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