The Japanese fermented beverage, homemade kefir, contains six lactic acid bacteria: Lactococcus. lactis subsp. Lactis, Lactococcus. lactis subsp. Cremoris, Lactococcus. Lactis subsp. Lactis biovar diacetylactis, Lactobacillus plantarum, Leuconostoc meseuteroides subsp. Cremoris and Lactobacillus casei. In this study, we found that a mixture of the six lactic acid bacteria from kefir increased the cytotoxicity of human natural killer KHYG-1 cells to human chronic myelogenous leukemia K562 cells and colorectal tumor HCT116 cells. Furthermore, levels of mRNA expression and secretion of IFN-γ (interferon gamma) increased in KHYG-1 cells that had been treated with the six lactic acid bacteria mixture from kefir. The results suggest that the six lactic acid bacteria mixture from kefir has strong effects on natural immunity and tumor cell cytotoxicity.
Keywords: cytotoxicity; kefir; lactic acid bacteria; natural killer cell.