Background: According to WHO report, cancer is the second leading cause of death
globally, and approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries.
From this point, more attention has been given to the role of nutrition in the prevention of cancer
Methods: A structured search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research literature dealing
with the role of kefir in cancer prevention and treatment was undertaken.
Results: Probiotics are one of the most important food fortifications which are proved to have anticarcinogenic
properties. Probiotics can directly bind to carcinogens and alter the production of enzymes
by modifying the intestinal environment. Kefir, originating from the Balkan–Caucasian region,
is a synbiotic composed of a wide number microflora and exopolysaccharides with approved
in vitro and in vivo biological activities. Kefir plays a great potential role in cancer prevention and
treatment, interfering with apoptosis, proliferation and transformation.
Conclusion: This review highlights the important role of probiotics, exopolysaccharides and common
kefir in preventing different types of cancer, including colon cancer, sarcoma, breast cancer,
lung cancer, leukemia, gastric cancer and melanoma.