~ Food Has Power ~
I'm kinda a probiotics pusher, lol.
Commercial kefir has significantly fewer beneficial microbials than homemade kefir and a lot more sugar. Making milk kefir is so simple and inexpensive too.
Here are two of my favorite 'how to' videos of kids making homemade milk kefir. They are really cute. :-)
Love this video about making milk kefir. Easy peasy!
There are some 500-1000 different microbials which inhabit and reproduce in the gut. Some are only there transiently and therefore, to have a "healthy" gut (based upon our historical traditional cultures), we need to consume beneficial microbials regularly. Whole food probiotics more effectively remain viable until they reach the large intestine. Most bottled probiotics are denatured during transportation, and don't survive the stomach acid to make it to the gut.
Also, the regular consumption of probiotics alters the ph in the gut, which impacts which microbials can survive and reproduce there. By consuming whole food probiotics (proper ph medium for surviving until they reach the large intestine, more microbial balance, etc.), we create an environment which is less hospitable for pathogenic bacteria. Btw, antibiotics DAMAGE the gut microbial balance by killing off the beneficial bacteria, which often leads to candida overgrowth and disrupted gut ph, and thus fewer beneficial bacteria and more pathogenic bacteria repopulating the gut.
"Selection Criteria for Probiotics": http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ISW/is_2003_Feb-March/ai_97...
Basically, most probiotics are not viable all the way to the gut, due to heat destruction during transportation and storage, acidity in the stomach, and low viability powders and capsules, and yogurts without billions of "Active Live Cultures".
Also, it is important to rotate probiotics otherwise "probiotic resistance" could develop, I've read. Don't use single strain probiotics exclusively; and DO rotate them every 4-7 days. The Probiotic Solution champions the "pulsing and rotating probiotics". http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0ISW/is_252/ai_n6112818/
Sacchromyces boulardii is a "good" yeast which lives in the gut longer and displaces candida. It is in kombucha.
I prefer whole foods which are naturally cultured or fermented: kefir or yogurt from cow, goat, coconut, almond, hemp seed milk, etc. And fermented foods. Bubbies brand sauerkraut and dill pickles are easy to add to the diet. Plus, kombucha, which actually displaces and replaces candida albicans in the large intestines---caution if you have or ever had any mercury (silver) fillings in your teeth.
"Homemade yogurt that is fermented for 24 hours, will have an average concentration of 3 billion cfu/mL of yogurt. If you were to eat a small bowl (500 ml) of 24 hour fermented homemade yogurt, you would receive 1.5 trillion beneficial bacteria - 100 times more bacteria than a 15 billion capsule.
Furthermore, freshly made kefir can have an average microbial count as high as 10 billion cfu/ml. This includes a mixture of various bacteria and yeast strains. This means that a 500 ml glass of homemade kefir could contain as many as 5 trillion beneficial microorganisms or even more!"
"Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products... ...but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.
Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species.
It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.
Kefir's active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy.
Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, invalids and the elderly, as well as a remedy for digestive disorders."
Oral administration of milk kefir and soymilk kefir for 28 days significantly increased the fecal populations of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, while it significantly decreased those of Clostridium perfringens.
Milk kefir and soymilk kefir also significantly decreased the serum OVA-specific IgE and IgG1 levels for both groups, but not those of the IgG2a analogues. Consumption of milk kefir and soymilk kefir suppressed the IgE and IgG1 responses and altered the intestinal microflora in our supplemented group, suggesting that milk kefir and soymilk kefir may be considered among the more promising food components in terms of preventing food allergy and enhancement of mucosal resistance to gastrointestinal pathogen infection.
Research published by the Society of Chemical Industry reports kefir contains bacteria which could help reduce allergic responses. The research indicated that feeding babies kefir may help to protect against some food allergies.
More probiotic info: http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1090912&h...
Everything you ever wanted to know about kefir: http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=203282
Pat Robinson, Wellness Educator
P.S. Favorite Posts:
• The Beet Test (stomach acid?)