Table of Contents
Nutrients, Volume 11, Issue 8 (August 2019)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Fermented foods have seen a surge in popularity in the Western world, mainly due to the proposed [...] Read more. Fermented foods have seen a surge in popularity in the Western world, mainly due to the proposed health benefits. This review aims to define and characterise common fermented foods (kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, natto, miso, kimchi, sourdough bread), their mechanisms of action (including impact on the microbiota), and the evidence for effects on gastrointestinal health and disease in humans. Surprisingly, no randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have been conducted on the impact of kombucha, miso, kimchi or tempeh in gastrointestinal health. The effect of kefir, sauerkraut, natto and sourdough bread has been tested in at least one RCT, with kefir being the most widely investigated fermented food. This review highlights the limited clinical evidence for the effectiveness of fermented foods in gastrointestinal health and emphasizes the need for high-quality clinical trials. View this paper