If youre under the weather....it may be just what you need....
Sauerkraut could fight bird flu, say scientists
By Jasper Copping
the dish adored in Germany but much maligned in Britain, could prove to
be a secret weapon against the threat of bird flu, experts revealed
Scientists believe that the traditional recipe, which
is made from chopped cabbage that is fermented for at least a month,
contains a bacteria that may combat the potentially fatal disease.
findings follow a study in which kimchi - a spicy cabbage dish popular
in South Korea and similar to sauerkraut - was fed to 13 chickens
infected with bird flu. Just one week later, 11 of the birds showed
signs of recovery from the virus.
"The feed has been shown to
help improve the fight against bird flu or other types of flu viruses,"
said Prof Kang Sa-ouk, who led the research at Seoul National
Prof Kang's team claims that
lactobacillus, the lactic acid bacteria created during the fermenting
process, is the active ingredient that could combat bird flu.
experts have already agreed that there may be some truth to kimchi's
curative properties, prompting an increase in the consumption of the
dish in South Korea.
Sales of sauerkraut in the United States
have also soared as a result of the research, and now Britain is
starting to catch on. Last night, importers of the dish to Britain said
that sales were rising and they were increasing stocks in the
expectation that demand could escalate.
Geoff Hale, the
commercial manager for Euro Food Brands, said: "Sales are very buoyant
at the moment. We bring in about half-a-million jars of sauerkraut to
Britain from Germany every year and that number is definitely going up."
Sales of sauerkraut were up 20 per cent on this time last year at Sainsbury's, according to a spokesman for the supermarket.
or not sauerkraut does cure bird flu, the dish is said to have a number
of other health benefits, among them cancer-fighting and detoxifying
It is also a rich source of vitamins.
serving, which contains only 32 calories and has four grams of fibre,
provides 102 per cent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, 12
per cent of iron and 35 per cent of vitamin C.
Mithen, from the Institute of Food Research, in Norwich, said: "Eating
kimchi or sauerkraut may be good for your health and help fight off
"I wouldn't recommend anyone rushing out to stock up
on sauerkraut specifically to fight off bird flu, but it may help your
A further study on sauerkraut, carried out
recently by Polish and American scientists, concluded that the meal
might be the reason for the lower breast cancer rate observed among
Polish immigrants in America.