PROBIOTIC IN KEFIR &
By Probiotics Expert: Dr. Raga
What is probiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms such as
bacteria and yeasts which are believed
to be beneficial to the body when
consumed in adequate amounts.
According to most researchers, they
believe that probiotics are able to aid in
the improvement of digestive
imbalances. It has been thought by the
researchers that when the microflora in
the intestines are not balanced in the
way that they should be, certain health
problems arise such as disorders of
the gastrointestinal tract.
Probiotics are known to help in
restoration of the right amount of
beneficial bacteria in the intestines
Kefir is a fermented milk product which is believed to
have originated from the Caucasus Mountains in
Commercial Kefir is produced from a milk product that
is heated to remove possibly pathogenic bacteria.
Then, a mixture of bacteria and yeasts is added for
fermentation. This starter culture is called kefir grains
which has a cauliflower like appearance. This is what
gives kefir a unique taste and texture. Home grown
Kefir only requires grains.
The bacteria used in kefir production is Lactobacillus
caucasius which turns the lactose to lactic acid. This
results to its tangy taste.
Meanwhile, the yeasts, Saccharomyces
kefir and Torula kefir, ferment lactose into a small
amount of carbon dioxide and alcohol. This plays a role
Nutrient source: Kefir contains
essential nutrients and minerals that
are important for proper functioning of
the body such as protein, vitamin D,
calcium, and calories
Probiotics: It aids in the maintenance
of digestive health and prevents
growth of harmful bacteria in the
intestines. Also, helps in prevention of
Eases off lactose intolerance
Weight loss due to its low calorie
Possible cancer prevention
Kefir Probiotic Count
Kefir contains some probiotic strains which cannot
be found in yogurts. These are Lactobacillus
Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species,
Streptococcus species, Saccharomyces kefir and
It has three times the amount of probiotics that are
in yogurt. This is because of the fact that in order
to ferment a milk with kefir, 10 to 20 different types
of probiotic bacteria and yeasts should be mixed.
For example an organic kefir is comprised of
about 40 billion probiotic organisms per half cup
Another fermented milk product
which is made through bacterial
fermentation of milk. The bacteria
used in the production of yogurt is
called “yogurt cultures”.
In the process of fermentation, the
lactose (milk sugar) is turned into
lactic acid as a by-product. This
gives yogurt its tangy taste and
Some of the probiotic strains it
contains are Lactobacillus
delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus
Nutrient content: Yogurt is known to be rich in
nutrients and minerals such as
protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin
B6 and vitamin B12.
Also tolerable by people who have lactose
Aids in preventing antibiotic-associated
Consumption of low-fat product like yogurt can
aid in help in weight loss
Beneficial in prevention of osteoporosis
Yogurt Probiotic Count
A typical yogurt contains about 6 strains of
Common probiotic strains that are used for
most yogurt products are lactobacillus,
streptococcus, and bifidobacterium
A Greek yogurt commonly contains
approximately 60 million CFU per gram. Some
probiotic yogurts roughly reach 1 billion CFUs
Comparison between kefir and
Both kefir and yogurt are cultured or fermented
milk products. However, their main difference lies
on the strains of probiotics they contain as well as
Another difference between the two is that the
beneficial bacteria that is in yogurt are only
transient. This means these bacteria only reside in
the intestines for a certain period of time.
However, these bacteria maintains the balance of
the digestive system.
On the other hand, kefir contains probiotics which
are more likely to colonize the intestinal tract. This
means that probiotics from kefir are able to
multiply and establish their colony there for a
My Favorite Probiotic
Both Kefir and Yogurt are great when they
are homemade. The only problem that I
have with them is much of the benefits are
lost when they are bought from the store.
Probacto is the best probiotic that I have
ever run into. They use multiple strains and
they are spore forming so they can last
while not refrigerated. They do not use
cheap bacteria, but expensive ones such
as B. Subtilis.
Probacto also contains prebiotics to help
stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria
in your gut.
Probacto contains digestive enzymes to
assist in your digestion.
Probacto is enteric coated and made to be
slow release so it will release in your gut
Kefir and yogurt are actually both beneficial
probiotic products. However, there have been
a debate nowadays as to which is a better
probiotic food source. If it will be based on the
amount and length of stay at the intestine, kefir
is indeed better than yogurt. Although that’s
the case, they are still both very helpful food
products that aid in our maintenance of health.
These do not only provide beneficial bacteria
but also some nutrients and minerals. It
depends on a person’s preference which one
he/she will want to consume.