This study was designed to determine whether kefir accentuates the positive health benefits assessed by measures in fitness, body composition, or both, as a measure of cardiovascular disease risk as well as the biomarker C-reactive protein (CRP). Sixty-seven adult males and females aged 18 to 24 yr were assigned to 1 of 4 groups: (1) endurance training + control beverage, (2) endurance training +kefir beverage,(3) active control + control beverage, or (4) active control + kefir beverage. The exercise groups completed 15 wk of structured endurancetraining while the active control groups maintained their usual exercise routine. Additionally, each group was assigned to either a kefir or a calorie/macronutrient matched placebo beverage that was consumed twice per week. No significant interactions were found among groups with respect to outcome variables with the exception of serum CRP. The endurance training was effective in improving 1.5-mile (2.41 km) times and kefir supplementation may have been a factor in attenuating the increase in CRP that was observed over the course of the intervention period. This preliminary study suggests that kefir may be involved in improving the risk profile for cardiovascular disease as defined by CRP.
Keywords: C-reactive protein; exercise; inflammation; kefir; probiotics.
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