Cancer Preventive Potential of Kimchi Lactic Acid Bacteria (Weissella cibaria, Lactobacillus plantarum)

J Cancer Prev. 2014 Dec;19(4):253-8. doi: 10.15430/JCP.2014.19.4.253. Epub 2014 Dec 30.


The number of death due to cancer has been increasing in Korea. Chemotherapy is known to cause side effects because it damages not only cancerous cells but healthy cells. Recently, attention has focused on food-derived chemopreventive and anti-tumor agents or formulations with fewer side effects. Kimchi, most popular and widely consumed in Korea, contains high levels of lactic acid bacteria and has been shown to possess chemopreventive effects. This review focuses on Weissella cibaria and Lactobacillus plantarum, the representatives of kimchi lactic acid bacteria, in terms of their abilities to prevent cancer. Further studies are needed to understand the mechanisms by which lactic acid bacteria in kimchi prevent carcinogenic processes and improve immune functions.

Keywords: Anticancer; Kimchi; Lactic acid bacteria; Lactobacillus plantarum; Weissella cibaria.

Publication types

  • Review