Benefits of kefir include helping lactose intolerance, keeping cholesterol in check and possibly helping the body fight breast cancer, according to alternative medicine expert Cathy Wong for About.com. People also use kefir as a natural remedy for a number of conditions including acne, depression, high blood pressure and insomnia.
Though there have been a few studies on kefir, as of 2015, there is not a lot of research available on the benefits, states Wong. In the previous studies, kefir might have worked to fight bacterial infections, enhance immunity and reduce inflammation. For people with lactose intolerance, studies show kefir can help the body digest the lactose and reduce pain in the abdomen and diarrhea.
Kefir may also help to keep cholesterol in check, claims Wong. In this instance, animal studies show that animals fed a diet of soy milk kefir for eight weeks had lower cholesterol than those that did not drink the supplement. When it comes to breast cancer, studies done on mice with breast tumors that took kefir show delays of tumor growth. There are no studies showing the effect of kefir on breast cancer in humans. Kefir is relatively safe, but there are possible side effects including intestinal cramps and constipation. It is best to speak with a doctor about how adding kefir to a diet may be beneficial.