SOURCE: Lifeway Foods

August 04, 2009 11:28 ET

Kefir, a Probiotic-Rich Drink, May Benefit Specific Groups of Children

MORTON GROVE, IL--(Marketwire - August 4, 2009) - Results from a new Georgetown University Medical Center study find kefir, a probiotic-rich drink, may have a positive effect on reducing antibiotic-induced diarrhea in certain children experiencing health problems. In the study, the sickest children got the most potential benefit from drinking kefir.

"We are happy to see that the 10 strains of good bacteria in our Probug product may help certain sick kids have less antibiotic-induced diarrhea. This is just one more study that adds to the pool of emerging research that kefir may help kids stay healthy," says Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway Foods.

Many antibiotics have the unpleasant side effect of causing diarrhea and this can be particularly unpleasant for children. Thus, a study was designed to determine if kefir, rich in probiotics, could benefit children who were being affected.

125 children, ages 1-5, being treated with antibiotics, were given either active kefir to use with their antibiotic tablet each day for ten days or a placebo drink, in which the probiotics were previously destroyed by heat (placebo). Neither the study coordinators, the children, nor their parents, knew which kefir was given to which participant until the study ended.

The findings revealed that in the children whose health was poorer when they entered the study, 23% developed diarrhea in the group that received the active kefir, compared with 31% in the group that got the placebo or inactive kefir.

In another recent study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, "friendly" probiotic bacteria were linked to helping kids have fewer cold symptoms such as fevers, coughs, and runny noses. "Kefir is rich in protein and calcium and may be a secret weapon to help kids prevent colds and flu, since it is chock full of good bacteria. This is so important as we approach back-to-school season," says Victoria Shanta Retelny, registered dietitian and owner of a Chicago-based private practice.

"Research is beginning to prove kefir is more than just a great-tasting drink -- it has very real and very special health benefits," concludes Smolyansky.

ABOUT LIFEWAY FOODS KEFIR

Lifeway's foundation product is Kefir -- a creamy probiotic dairy beverage similar to but distinct from yogurt. Lifeway offers the largest selection of Kefir in the world. Based on whole milk, low-fat or non-fat pasteurized milk, Lifeway Kefir has a unique effervescent quality that stems from the exclusive blend of kefir grains, which contains ten live and active "friendly" microorganisms compared to two or three in yogurt. www.lifeway.net

Lifeway Kefir is on Facebook and followed on Twitter http://twitter.com/lifeway_kefir. Starfruit is on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter http://twitter.com/starfruitcafe. For more information, contact Lifeway Foods, Inc. at (847) 967-1010 or e-mail at info@lifeway.net and visit http://www.lifeway.net

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