Effects of an exopolysaccharide (kefiran) on lipids, blood pressure, blood glucose, and constipation

Biofactors. 2004;22(1-4):197-200. doi: 10.1002/biof.5520220141.


Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens was reported to produce an exopolysaccharide named kefiran. In the present study, we developed a new medium, rice hydrolyzate (RH) medium, for the culture of L. kefiranofaciens. Structural analyses revealed that the exopolysaccharide produced by L. kefiranofaciens from RH medium was composed of a hexasaccharide repeating unit, and essentially identical to the kefiran reported in previous studies. A study on the effects of kefiran in animals demonstrated that kefiran significantly suppressed increase of blood pressure and reduced the serum cholesterol levels in SHRSP/Hos rats when subjects consumed excessive dietary cholesterol. Kefiran supplementation demonstrated the ability to significantly lower blood glucose in KKAy mice. In addition, the administration of kefiran in constipated SD rats caused an obvious improvement in the levels of fecal moisture and wet weights of feces. These results suggest that kefiran could be used as a functional food to prevent some commonly occurring diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Edible Grain
  • Lactobacillus
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Lipoproteins / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred SHR
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Polysaccharides
  • kefir grain polysaccharide
  • Cholesterol