Skip to comments.Sauerkraut could fight bird flu, say scientists
Posted on 11/14/2005 9:34:46 AM PST by Red Badger
Sauerkraut, 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 yesterday.
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.
Their 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 University, yesterday.
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.
Health 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.
Whether 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 properties.
It is also a rich source of vitamins.
One 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.
Prof Richard Mithen, from the Institute of Food Research, in Norwich, said: "Eating kimchi or sauerkraut may be good for your health and help fight off infections.
"I wouldn't recommend anyone rushing out to stock up on sauerkraut specifically to fight off bird flu, but it may help your immune system."
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.
Perfect, I love a good kraut dog. I'll be immune while I eat my infected chicken.
If true, then kimchee will be very, very popular..
I love sauerkraut. I'm glad to find that it's healty, but does it counter-act the sausage it's usually covering?
I'm doomed! Doomed, I say!
Think I'll have a reuben for lunch
But German sauerkraut is much different than the stuff we see here in the US. The german stuff is actually sweet. Personally, I like the US version which is tangy and don't smell like socialism.
Good god man, you're one kinky SOB.
And thus the god, Irony, said, "The Germans and Koreans shall inherit the Earth."
I'm a walking dead man.
And I can become safe!
I'm safe, love that sauerkraut.
Umm, Umm good.
Hot dog relish ought to do the same trick as sauerkraut.
I hate sauerkraut so I guess I'm a goner. Ah well, quality over quantity.
LOL, I LOVE sauerkraut! But then I'm half German, half Bohemian. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter just aren't right without it.
Article written by author who has stock in Frank's Sauerkraut?
You probably hate AMERICAN version of sauerkraut. German version is totally different..........
Hot dog relish? cure a cold maybe........
Saurkraut can vary in quality and character ~
If the virus doesn't kill us.....the smell of the cure will.
Try GERMAN version of sauerkraut, totally different taste and flavor...........
Kraut: it's loaded with vitamin C. The "limeys" used to sail with it to prevent scurvy.
Well, the gas will keep it from being transmitted human to human........no one will come near you...........
I've never had authentic German sauerkraut. All I know is that the American stuff tastes like it's already been digested and recycled five or six times. I know all the sauerkraut fans are going to hate me now! lol.
Try GERMAN version or kim-chee, totally different........
There are a host of saurkraut styles all over the place ~ I wouldn't say there's any specific "German" kraut.
Lactobacillus is also prevalent in yogurt, and can be ingested in capsule or powder form. Remember to get the refrigerated kind...non-refrigerated lactobacillus or bifidus is USELESS.
You've just never had it cooked right. Soak it in several changes of water to remove all the salty taste. (May take quite a few soakings). Braise it in the oven for 4 hours on very low heat with white wine, chopped onions & carrots. I guarantee even a sauerkraut hater will like it.
Another tip for liver haters - put calves liver in the freezer. When frozen, slice it into slices so thin you could read through them. Saute in butter for a quick minute. Melts in your mouth with none of that nasty mealy texture. Try it - you'll like it!
It's good to have a German Mommy that cooks on Thanksgiving.
"All I know is that the American stuff tastes like it's already been digested and recycled five or six times. I know all the sauerkraut fans are going to hate me now! lol."
How dare you criticise the kraut! Who the he!! do you think you are! Nah, I'm just kidding, saurkraut isn't for everybody.
Take a can of American kraut, drain it, rinse it in strainer, put it in a skillet, add a tablespoon of bacon fat and a sprinkle of sugar across top, stir and heat thoroughly.........close to it......
the best thing about kraut happens late at night, while lying next to your peaceful, unsuspecting wife....heh heh heh heh...
I will certainly try that. Sounds very good. I have not tried sauerkraut or liver in ages. My taste has changed so maybe it will be different this time around.
Raw cabbage has the same properties and may even be better.
Do you suppose the reporter just made this part up? This is the first I've heard of the supposed curative powers of sauerkraut in combating bird flu; but the reporter is making it sound like it's common knowledge in the states and we are flocking to buy sauerkraut because of it.
True, but many different German styles, are far superior to American types from the can........
sick, truly sick.
Bookmarked now to save my wife.
"sick, truly sick."
Hey!! That's exactly what my wife yells from under the covers after I pull them over her head!!!!
Americans will sure be annoyed when they learn that sauerkraut on our store shelves almost certainly lacks this bacteria. I'm fairly sure that the product would be heat-treated before packaging in this country.
I always have kraut in my pantry. Many people have never even eaten it, so they are trying it out I suppose........
I love Hebrew National Kraut in the bags, but I don't know if the canned stuff is processed the same or not..........
It sure fights any affection in my household.
Still, it doesn't matter if it's fresh or canned if you leave it out for a day or two to "ripen" or "freshen".
Best bet, though, is to simply go to your friendly neighborhood asian market and buy a jar of kimchi. It'll always be "fresh" ~ that's why it's kept in the refrigerator.
Asian people who never ate kimchi in their lives have learned to use it in America to help their digestive tracts overcome lactose found in many foods such as bread and pastry.
Someday kimchi will be part of the standard table in this country, just like pepper, salt, sugar, vinegar and paprika.
Pork chops, then?