Cancer survivors get a taste for kefir after exercise

Study shows kefir is a good way for cancer survivors to enjoy a fortifying post-exercise dairy drink without stomach upset, reports the Journal of Dairy Science®


Philadelphia, PA, July 12, 2017

Kefir may be a beneficial post-exercise beverage for cancer survivors. It means that cancer survivors can enjoy the nutritional support that milk provides without the potential for significant stomach upset, report researchers in the Journal of Dairy Science®.

Regular exercise plays an important role in improving cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, and feelings of fatigue in cancer survivors during and after treatment. However, many people with cancer experience digestive upset due to treatment and may be wary of incorporating dairy products into their diet to help support their recovery.

Kefir is a fermented milk product that is a good source of protein, health-promoting bacteria, and carbohydrates. Documented health effects attributed to the consumption of kefir include improved lactose use, anticarcinogenic activity, control of intestinal infections, and improved milk flavor, and nutritional quality.

Investigators explored cancer survivors’ attitudes about consumption and acceptance of a kefir recovery beverage made from cultured milk, whole fruit, natural sweeteners, and other natural ingredients. A kefir beverage that met the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for recommended nutrition after endurance and resistance exercise was developed and manufactured at the Louisiana State University Creamery. It was made by inoculating and fermenting milk with kefir grains. The kefir was then mixed with a fruit base and given to 52 cancer survivors following an exercise session.

Participants evaluated the acceptability of the beverage samples (overall appearance, aroma, taste, mouth-feel, and overall liking) using a nine-point scale, and they evaluated the smoothness using a three-category just-about-right scale (not enough, just about right, and too much). They also expressed their physical and psychological feelings about the beverage using a five-point scale (ranging from 1 = not at all to 5 = extremely) and indicated their intent to purchase the drink.

Following the initial test, the health benefits of kefir were explained and participants sampled the product a second time, answering the same questions related to overall liking, feeling, and intent to purchase.

Participants showed a high intent to purchase both before and after they learned about the health benefits, but the beverage scored significantly higher for overall liking after the health benefits were explained.

“Kefir may be a great way for cancer survivors to enjoy a post-exercise dairy drink in the future,” commented lead investigator Laura K. Stewart, PhD, Associate Professor at the University of Northern Colorado, School of Sport and Exercise Science. “The beverage received high scores overall and, except for an improvement in overall liking, we observed no significant differences in physical and psychological feelings before and after participants learned that it contained kefir and had potential health benefits.”

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Notes for editors
The article is “Short Communication: Sensory analysis of a kefir product designed for active cancer survivors,” by K. O’Brien, C. Boeneke, W. Prinyawiwatkul, J. Lisano, D. Shackelford, K. Reeves, M. Christensen, R. Hayward, K. Carabante Ordonez, and L. K. Stewart (https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12320). It appears in the Journal of Dairy Science, volume 100, issue 6 (June 2017) published by Elsevier.

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request; contact Eileen Leahy at +1 732-238-3628 or jdsmedia@elsevier.com to obtain copies. To schedule an interview with the authors, please contact Laura Stewart at +1 970-351-1891 or Laura.Stewart@unco.edu.

About Journal of Dairy Science®
Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), official journal of the American Dairy Science Association, is co-published by Elsevier and FASS Inc. for the American Dairy Science Association. It is the leading general dairy research journal in the world. JDS readers represent education, industry, and government agencies in more than 70 countries with interests in biochemistry, breeding, economics, engineering, environment, food science, genetics, microbiology, nutrition, pathology, physiology, processing, public health, quality assurance, and sanitation. www.journalofdairyscience.org

About the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA)
The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) is an international organization of educators, scientists, and industry representatives who are committed to advancing the dairy industry and keenly aware of the vital role the dairy sciences play in fulfilling the economic, nutritive, and health requirements of the world's population. It provides leadership in scientific and technical support to sustain and grow the global dairy industry through generation, dissemination, and exchange of information and services. Together, ADSA members have discovered new methods and technologies August that have revolutionized the dairy industry. www.adsa.org

About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, more than 35,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professionals and business customers across industries. www.elsevier.com

Media contact
Eileen Leahy
Elsevier
+1 732-238-3628
jdsmedia@elsevier.com