RESULTS: The search revealed 139 publications ranging over a 90-year period from 1921 to 2012. The majority of publications originated from Europe (48.6%), followed by the United States (30.7%) and Asia (10%). More than half of the research (56.8%) focused on food analysis, and 23.7% evaluated the impact of sauerkraut on health, including riskfactors or digestive well-being. Direct research in humans was almost constant over time at about 11.5%. The studies found that sauerkrautinducedinflammation locally, but repeated intake may result in diarrhea. Some studies pointed out anticarcinogenic effects of sauerkraut, while others concentrated on the interaction with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).
CONCLUSION: Although sauerkraut has a variety of claimed beneficial healtheffects, they need to be interpreted with caution as it can also cause some unwanted or even allergic reactions, in particular in high-risk populations, such as depressive or allergic patients. Future research in this area should include clinical studies investigating further effects in more detail, including an appropriate sample size as well as the assessment of possible adverse events of sauerkraut.