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

Basically, you pour milk on the REAL kefir grains and let it sit in the cupboard for 24-48 hours, strain and drink.

More about Whole Food Probiotics 101 and Homemade Probiotics



Pat RobinsonWellness Educator


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Comment by Laurie Neverman on June 18, 2010 at 10:55am
Thanks for sharing. :-) I really need to get my milk kefir and viili cultures rehydrate...maybe when the rain moves in later today. So far I regularly consume kombucha, water kefir, sauerkraut, and yogurt. I notice the biggest difference with heavy meals.
Comment by Pat Robinson on June 18, 2010 at 11:24am
Are you getting enough selenium to bind the heavy metals?? Brazil nuts are very high in selenium. Just one a day is plenty (small toxic range). Also, adequate vit C (fruits and veggies) help to clear toxins. Glutathione is HUGE too for clearing metals. Epsom salt baths for the magnesium and sulfate.

Sounds like you have more ferments brewing than I do, lol!

Comment by Laurie Neverman on June 18, 2010 at 11:32am
I've been eating one or two Brazil nuts per day. A friend has a foot detox bath I want to borrow. Maybe I'll splurge and have an Epsom salt soak tonight after working in the garden. I feel guilty running a whole tub full of water, not to mention just sitting there soaking - I get bored!
Comment by Laurie Neverman on June 18, 2010 at 11:35am
I've noticed two strange itchy red patches on my ankles - one on each leg, symmetrical, on the outside of the ankle just to the front of that knob on the ankle. I also had a weird bump (like a large pimple with no head) show up on my neck. I suspect detox effects. I've been treating the itchy spots with plantain in EVOO, and currently have a plantain poultice on the neck bump. (It's what I had handy, and at the very least it should do no harm.)
Comment by Pat Robinson on June 18, 2010 at 12:00pm
Yes, Epsom salts and plantain!

Comment by Sarah Wood on June 28, 2010 at 9:35am
In regard to "Probiotic resistance," this only occurs with probiotic supplements, not whole foods probiotics? (The only probiotic I definitately consume every day is kefir!)
Comment by Kelly on January 22, 2011 at 11:42am

Will Water Keifer work as well as milk or soy keifer? I am having a hard time keeping up with milk keifer and am wondering if water keifer is better. (we dont' drink milk - lacto and soy intollerant). I know that keifer has little lactose but the milk is expensive.



Comment by Pat Robinson on December 12, 2012 at 12:23pm


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