Kimchi, a fermented vegetable, improves serum lipid profiles in healthy young adults: randomized clinical trial

J Med Food. 2013 Mar;16(3):223-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.2563. Epub 2013 Feb 27.


Vegetable-based diets have generally focused on their health benefits including negative associations with the serum cholesterol concentrations. The aim of this study was to investigate whether serum lipid concentrations are influenced by the amount of kimchi intake. For the study, 100 volunteers were assigned to 2 dietary groups, low (15 g/day, n=50) and high (210 g/day, n=50) kimchi intake, and were housed together in a dormitory for 7 days. Identical meals except with different amount of kimchi were provided and subjects were instructed to maintain their normal physical activity. Concentrations of fasting blood glucose (FBG), total glucose, total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-C significantly decreased in both groups after 7 days of kimchi intake, but the effects were dose dependent. Lipid lowering effects of kimchi were more profound in the subjects with total cholesterol and LDL-C level over 190 and 130 mg/dL, respectively, in both groups. FBG was significantly decreased in the high kimchi intake as compared to the low intake group (P=.003). In conclusion, greater consumption of kimchi improved FBG and serum total cholesterol in young healthy adults.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / diet therapy*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Vegetables*
  • Young Adult


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Plant Preparations
  • Cholesterol