PKP: KREPKO – Influence of kefir consumption on metabolic syndrome indicators


Duration of the project:

1. 3. 2018 – 30. 6. 2018

Project leader:

Assist. Prof. Ana Petelin (SICRIS, ResearchGate)

Other participants:

Assist. Katja Bezek (SICRIS, ResearchGate)
Helena Skočir (SICRIS)
Assoc. Prof. Dunja Bandelj (SICRIS)

Project partners:

Kele & Kele, d.o.o. 


Increased intestinal permeability has been shown to be involved in several diseases associated with low-grade chronic inflammation, including obesity, and the metabolic syndrome. Over the last decade, there is increasing evidence of the beneficial effects of probiotic supplementation in these diseases. Kefir, a fermented milk product produced by the symbiotic fermentation of milk by lactic acid bacteria and yeast, is of interest for its proposed health benefits, including plasma glucose control, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, antioxidant, antibacterial and hypocholesterolemic effects. Therefore, manipulation of intestinal microbiota homeostasis by the administration of probiotics may be a beneficial strategy to prevent or attenuate various metabolic complications. In this crossover intervention study on twenty-eight asymptomatic overweight adults, we tested the effects of a three-week kefir supplementation compared to a three-week milk supplementation on serum zonulin levels. The effects on serum glucose, triacylglycerols, low density lipoproteins, high density lipoproteins and total cholesterol, C-reactive protein and adiponectin, anthropometric parameters, mood and appetite were also determined. Kefir supplementation resulted in a greater improvement in serum zonulin levels, while both supplements showed a significant but similar improvement in lipid profile and serum glucose levels. Positive mood was slightly but significantly improved with kefir supplementation and reduced with milk supplementation. CRP, adiponectin and appetite were not affected. Supplementation with both dairy products had health benefits, but only kefir showed an effect on the marker for intestinal barrier dysfunction.

»The authors acknowledge the project KREPKO is finacially supported by the European Social Fund (80%) and Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (20%).«