What is Kefir?
Real Kefir is a fermented milk product made with milk kefir grains and not to be confused with store bought kefir using artificial kefir starter cultures. You can get the full benefits of kefir by making your own at home which are jam packed with probiotics and healthy metabolites. It's very simple and economical to make because kefir grains can be re-used over and over. Fake kefir cultures can only be used a few time before you have to buy more. Additionally the amount of strains are very limited and lose potency very quickly.
You can learn how to make kefir here It is very important to source your kefir grains from a reputable supplier. Nourishme Organics are the only company in Australia with independently tested kefir grains. You can find all the major species of bacteria in Nourishme Organics milk kefir grains here
Can Homemade Kefir Bacteria Colonise the Gut?
This is a question I've asked myself for some time, so I embarked on a mission to find kefir bacteria in my gut with some help from my friends at Allele Microbiome
For the past eight years or so I have been consuming 500 to 600g of milk kefir per day. Once in the morning and once before dinner. My expectation was that milk kefir probiotics were exerting a health benefit as per the
FAO/WHO definition of a probiotic—“live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”
And not necessarily surviving and colonising parts of the colon.
So, to find out definitively, I took a faecal sample and sent it for analysis using a DNA based method called Whole Genome Sequencing which is like taking a high resolution snapshot of the gut to identify low abundance species (bacteria that many be found in small quantities).
My results came back and I was pleasantly surprised to find approximate 60 to 80 billion Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens living in my gut.
This particular species of milk kefir bacteria is the main probiotic and has been shown to be antimicrobial and anti biofilm against oral pathogens and gut opportunistic pathogens. Hence kefir is such an important weapon in your gut health arsenal.
Antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activities of Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens DD2 against oral pathogens.
Modulation of gut microbiota and increase in fecal water content in mice induced by administration of Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens DN1.
I feel reassured that years of milk kefir consumption has resulted in the colonisation of good bacteria in my gut for greater digestive health.
With Gratitude, Grace and Love