Kefir vs. Yogurt

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, the elderly and people experiencing chronic fatigue and digestive disorders.

Body Ecology Kefir Starter contains the following beneficial bacteria:

  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. diacetylactis
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
  • Lactobacillus kefyr (thermophilic)
  • Saccaromyces unisporus
  • Dextrose as a carrier (consumed during fermentation)

Contains 6 packets which can be used an average of 7 times each. 1/4 cup of previous batch will ferment 1 quart of liquid. 1 cup will make one gallon, and so on. For prolonged shelf life, keep refrigerated before using.

  • http://ocfemia.jhet@yahoo.com JHET

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    • Helfried Lombo

      I am interested in kofir. please send your email or phone and your office or home address, so I can go to buy or order the kofir.

    • Aliria

      Hello:

      ,

      • http://ocfemia.jhet@ahoo.com jhet

        here is my mobile num 09161521911 tnx hope to see u soon guys

  • Beverley Watson

    I sampled kefir twice and then a week later was given a starter. Because it looked, smelled and tasted the same as the samples, I was confident that it was OK and had no doubts about my batches. I felt great before I started but I would like to sleep better so will drink it at night in future. Look up Wikipedia for facts, it is very widely used around the world. Expect more Australians will enjoy the benefits as we share the starter culture around.

  • Candy Mildcasemom

    I searched for “healing with goat kefir” on facebook and there were no matches. Does this group exist?

    • http://www.camelmilkassociation.com Clare Kuepfer

      Hi candy, Yes the group Healing with Goat Kefir does Exist on face book. I’m not sure what you did wrong. Best thing I could suggest is to try again. It is a private group so you will need to ask to join. Sorry for the hastle! If you still have trouble shoot me an E-mail at goatmilkkefir@gmail.com.

    • Rose Hall

      I was not able to find the “healing with goat Kefir” on facebook. My search did not find any matches. My guess is the privacy setting your group has set, causes it not to show on a search.

      • http://www.camelmilkassociation.com Clare Kuepfer

        I will try to check out the privacy settings. Thank you for letting me know!

        • http://www.camelmilkassociation.com Clare Kuepfer

          i checked the privacy settings and you should be able to see the group although you will not be able to view the posts until you join. Try to log onto facebook and then type it into facebook’s search bar.

  • http://trafalgarkennels.com Mariette

    I am new to Kefir . I happened on it @ my market & am wondering if I will get the same beneifts by drinking it pre-made
    & fruit flavored! Many thanks.

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  • nadia barajas

    i just discovered kefir and i ordered some grains, i was wondering why is it that u have to wait or more like… do a few badges of kefir before u consume them(saw it on a instructional video about kefir) ??? is this necessary? or can i just get my grains put them in milk wait the 12-24hrs and just drink it? the video said that since im getting my kefir in the mail i would have to wait until they plum up and get “going” or they get use to their new enviroment aka the jar in my kitchen? lol help please

    • Terran Ambrosone

      I can see no reason why you can’t consume the kefir immediately after brewing your first batch. There would be nothing harmful in the brew. If the grains had gone a bit dormant, you might need to wait a bit longer than 12 hours for it to ferment (you will notice the milk thickening when it does). If you stir the brew several times during the day it will stimulate the fermentation process, and climatize the grains quicker. Also brewing it in a warmer environment will help speed things up. Hope this helps:)

      • Terran Ambrosone

        Forgot to mention, they will “plump up” naturally as soon as you add the milk.

    • cindy

      I think just in case they were lost in the mail for a little while or there could of been some big tempature changes and the milk the kefir is in turned bad, they might want you to do a batch or 2 just to let the Kefir clean itself off…(refresh itself) safty reasons!

  • Clare Kuepfer

    Hi everybody,
    We have started a new discussion group on facebook called (healing with goat kefir). If you have questions or answers about kefir, we would like to see you there.

    • barbara

      Hi Clare,
      Fresh goat’s milk is hard to come by. It’s definitely better than cow’s milk for sure. Could we make kefir out of powdered goat’s milk? What’s the procedure to join the discussion group on Facebook?

      • http://www.camelmilkassociation.com Clare Kuepfer

        Hi Barbara,
        First as far as joining the discussion group on facebook. Search (Healing with goat kefir) on facebook and request to join. I will be notified when you send the request, and will accept you as a member as soon as I can get online. Alright as far as making kefir out of Powdered milk. I am only guessing but I think yes you could make kefir; however the quality of it will not be as good as using fresh raw milk, and I would guess you will also have a rather strong goat flavor. We sell both raw goat milk kefir, and raw goat milk at http://www.camelmilkassociation.com, however if you should decide to buy from us I would strongly recommend you to simply get the Kefir, because of the fact that you will get a goat flavor when you warm the milk up and make kefir. Hope to see you on the Healing with Goat Kefir discussion group on facebook. Also if you try the powdered milk, I’d like to know how it turns out. Thanks

        • barbara

          Thanks Clare, I shall try to get on Facebook one of these days and join the discussion group. Hope I shall succeed. Cheers for now.

  • barbara

    Hello Jeanie,

    I wish I had discovered Kefir 50 years ago! However, better late than never – my digestive system at 71 has never been this good. I’ve stopped taking a liver tonic for my fatty enlarged liver and have not suffered heartburn for well over two months, despite enjoying rich spicy food now and again. So do give it a try, I don’t think you will regret it.

  • Jeanie

    More than 50 years ago I remember my mother making “yogurt” as she called it. For years I’ve looked for what she called “yogurt cultures”. After hearing about how to ” make” kefir and seeing the pictures I realize now what she was making. Every day or so she would pour the milk off and drink it then she would rinse the curds off with water and cover it with milk and put it back in the refrigerator. She was always sharing the curds with her friends.. I never tasted it because it looked a lot like buttermilk that she was so fond of but we children did not enjoy. Maybe I’ll try it.

  • barbara

    Hello Joy,
    I started out with three pea sized kefir grains and used to consume the kefir within 12 to 24 hours. The kefir grains were growing at a slow rate until I discovered that the longer they are kept in a small quantity of milk – say 36 hours, the better chances they have of growing. However, this makes the kefir very tangy and so I decided to make cheese, separating the whey from the curds and hanging the curds in a muslin bag for 24 hours, adding salt later on to form a creamy cheese and then refrigerate. I use the whey for my hair each week, resulting in less hair fall.
    The grains grew pretty fast (almost golf sized) and within six weeks, I found a number of baby grains which I have now separated from the ‘mother’ grains and placed into a new jar. I keep both jars covered with a quarter cup of milk and feed them 12 hours before I consume the kefir. Ideally, I pour a glass of milk into each bottle at 9.00 a,m. One can always add more, if more kefir is required, it does not matter. It’s ready to drink by 9.00 p.m. Drinking a glass of kefir an hour before bedtime is beneficial to those suffering from sleepless nights, hence my preference for a kefir nightcap. BTW, I always prefer boiled milk to raw, it’s safer. I’ve experimented with pasteurised milk as well as powdered milk, different taste and texture, but still good. I hope I have answered your question. Do give me feedback if you find any progress. Good luck.

    • Anne Marr

      Hi Barbara
      I’ve just started with kefir grains about the size of 2 ten cent pieces. Did not know about no metal so have been using a stainless steel spoon and metal sieve. I put it in glass bottles over night. It is thick, creamy and all the family loves it. I also have been
      putting the tops on the bottles. I have noticed on this site everyone is saying cover it with cloth, don’t use anything metal. Have
      I damaged the plant at all. It has doubled in size over one week. I am using A2 milk.
      Also I am very interested in making it into cheese. Could you let me know a little more about doing cheese. The grains were passed on to me by a friend who received them from a friend who has been using the same grains for over 25 years. The person who gave them to me didn’t mention anything about no metal and he is putting the lids on his bottles too. I am unable to get in contact with the original person who passed them on now.

      • barbara

        Hi Anne,
        When I first received my pea sized kefir grains (Nov 26, 2011), I used a metal spoon and strainer (just once), but after having read that one should avoid using metal, I switched over to plastic, just to be safe. It’s better to cover the kefir grains with a lid (do not tighten the lid) rather than cloth, more hygienic. The kefir bottle should be washed at least once a fortnight after transferring the grains into a fresh clean bottle.
        My kefir grains have grown enormously and multiplying rapidly and now that the weather is less cold and the grains many, the kefir tends to become tangy after 8 hrs. If it’s left for more than 12 hours, it becomes very tangy, it is then that I turn it into cheese. I store the very tangy kefir in a large bottle in the fridge, until the bottle is full, then I strain the kefir (preferably at night) through a thin cloth which rests in the strainer over a glass bowl, tie it securely and hang the cloth on a hook, allowing the whey to be emptied into a glass bowl below. The next day (midday is ideal) I squeeze the rest of the whey and place the cloth on a clean board or plate and scoop out the contents into another bowl. I sprinkle sea salt or table salt and whisk it around till the salt is dissolved, and cover the bowl with a lid or clingwrap and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for any length of time if kept in the fridge. I love it on toast with marmalade or even with a sliced banana. The marmalade or banana cuts the tanginess of the cheese.
        I use the whey as a conditioner for my hair as it strengthens the hair. Massage a cup of warm whey into the hair and wait for 5-7 minutes before washing. The shampoos that are marketed do more damage than good. One should get back to nature and try natural methods, rather than using chemicals that one finds in shampoos. There are step by step videos on kefir cheese making on the internet. Try googling them to get a better understanding, that’s what I did.

        • barbara

          Hi Anne,
          This is the site I would advise you to see: “Dom’s Kefir-cheese in-site”. It’s very good, you will be amazed at the amount of information that’s contained therein regarding Kefir cheese making.

  • Sandie

    Hi Joy I started to use kefir to try to help with chronic fatigue and it works. I use only half
    a jam jar so about third of a pint and started with a teaspoon of seeds I was told never to use metal
    with it so use it after about 36 hours I haven’t refrigerated it yet but will try after reading Barbara’s comment
    I don’t strain it just take it out of the jar with plastic spoon put it in clean jar add milk and
    away it goes again. Perhaps try to cut down the milk it the six weeks I have been using
    it I have divided it up four times. Hope it helps
    Sandie
    I

  • barbara

    Correction, I meant the kefir has grown into the size of a golf ball and NOT a tennis ball. However, at the rate they are growing, they are quite likely to get to the tennis ball size. That would be worth watching.

  • barbara

    I have been drinking Kefir for almost two months now and have not looked back. My IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) problem is almost cured (90%). I am more energetic, my nails are growing again, hope my hair does as well – I’m 71 and experiencing hair loss for several years. So here’s hoping!
    The grains were brought from Turkey, the size of a pea, now they are the size of a tennis ball and still growing. Ten babies (puppies they are called) have sprung out of these grains and each day I discover one more. I have started sharing them with neighbours and have told them to google Kefir if they want more information about this God given wonder food. I’m obsessed by it and do a daily research on kefir. When it gets too sour, I strain the contents through a thin cloth and hang it overnight, the next day it turns into cheese to which I add salt, give it a stir and put it into an airtight container and refrigerate. I find that the sourness lessens over time. I have often wondered whether the grains could be refrigerated as I was afraid they would die of cold. Thanks to all ye Kefir experts, I can now travel without the fear of the grains dying if I refrigerate them. May this wonderful God given food continue to spread good health to as many folks as possible for many years to come.
    PS: Could it be the ‘manna’ that God rained down on His people, and which they collected and preserved in milk? Would love to know how Kefir originated. Yes, I’ve read about Mohammed giving Kefir to his chosen ones, but who knows the truth?

    • Joy

      Hello Barbara, I have read your post regarding your kefir. I have been making kefir for almost a year with raw milk I buy from a local dairy. I love it so much, but my grains, which I ordered from Cultures for Health website have not grown any since I have been making it. I was hoping to give some to my daughter, but i can’t seem to get them to grow. Every other day I strain my grains which are about a tablespoon worth, and add more milk, about a pint jars worth. This barely makes enough kefir to have my smoothies every morning and also share some with my husband. Do you do anything different to get yours to grow? Or am I doing something wrong here? Thanks for your help. Joy

      • sandi

        Hi Joy, How long have you had your grains? I’ve been making kefir for over 2 years now and trust me, if you’re using raw milk, in a month you’ll have kefir to share. I am unable to get raw milk so I just use whole milk from the grocery store. I fed them to the dogs, I eat them, I gave some away and it keeps growing. I’ve got 2 one inch size grains right now and even that is too much for the amt I kefir. I find that for my taste, 12 hours will do it so I keep it in the frig till night and pull it out to sit on the counter till mid morning. It comes out creamy and not too sour. I used to get the flu once a year, but since I’ve been on kefir I’ve been able to get through the year without getting sick. I take breaks from time to time and recently started making and drinking it again because I haven’t been able to sleep at night. I’m happy to say that having kefir at night helps me get a good nights sleep. I love it and hope you do too!

      • Michelle

        I just bought my first kefir grains from Cultures for Health and mine are doing very well. The instructions say to change the milk every day (as opposed to your doing it every other day) and I have been doing that. Also, the grains need fresh milk to feed on…you may be ‘starving’ them with just a pint. Remember the grains need to eat (the sugar in the milk) in order to grow. Try doing it with a cup of milk, changing the milk every day. Good luck!

      • cindy

        Hi Joy, Try using less milk, Use whole at first even though it will do ok in other types. Let the grains stay in the milk 3 days unbothered, do this a few times and it should start to grow.

    • Tony

      Barbara,

      I use kefir grains and I understand kefir can be as individual as the regions it comes from. I have some wonderful grains but would like to strengthen my grains with some from other areas. Would you be willing to share some of your turkish grains with my by mail if I supply the return envelope postage paid? I’ll share some of my grains with you if you would like. If so, email me your address and I’ll send you everything you need to send me some grains. All you’ll have to do is rinse them in bottled water, seal them up, and drop in the mail.

      Sincerely
      Tony

  • Barbie /Ohio

    Really love the Kefir! What I have noticed is it has decreased my “sweet cravings”, and my appetite. It has also brought my triglyceride & chol levels down, have lost weight, all good things right? My really big issue is that I know I’m giving my body all of these great probiotics! Have been growing it now since Oct.,have probably gotten aprox. 20 people to start growing it also, spread the goodness ! People thought I was crazy when I told them what I was doing,but I told them about my results,printed off some info & if they were interested,I gave them enough grains to get them started. It really is like an experiment, in what medium to use, how long to let it ferment, what to mix it with. I must admit , I am not an organic health nut,so some of the things I mix it with , some might think -REALLY!?! Everyone has their own likes & dislikes, I like mine with :
    -vanilla & agave honey
    -grape juice (yum)
    -diet soda( rootbeer/orange/lemon-lime)
    -smoothie ( blueberries,strawberries,flaxseed,spinach,agave honey)
    All really yummy! Oh, and my dogs love it too! Sorry this was so lengthy,but I love talking about it!

  • Colleen

    Thinks for sharing the info regarding Kefir. I took Penicillin a few months back and it has been a nightmare in my body since. I was only on the antibiotic a short time, but the hives began when I took it. After I stopped the antibiotic, the hives still were coming out. There was nervouseness and utter distress with this. Well, I’ve been drinking Phenomenal Water which has been a miracle cure (check out the website). But in addtion, it popped into my head the other day to buy Kefir (never tried it before). It has really seemed to stablilize my digestion system. I feel almost better (hives are almost gone) by adding Phenonmenal Water, Kefir, and taking some Aloe Vera juice a couple of times a day. Kefir helps the digestion and the overall body.

  • David

    I have a question and I promise to try to get to it quickly. I’ve just started on Kefir and am really going to town. I feel like it’s REALLY helping me. I actually got the Body Ecology starter packets and so far, it’s actually really great way to, save for the sort of organizational nightmare of knowing how many batches in you are from the original foil pack, etc. (I’m labeling a lot).

    First, my question is whether or not there are things one should NOT use to make Kefir with the Body Ecology starter. So far, I have done raw cow’s milk, raw goat’s milk, raw young coconut water and all these are things I’ve found in the Donna Gates book. But I also took the dried Surthrival brand Colostrum (awesome stuff, btw) and blended it with a little bit of raw honey and made a kefir from that. It tastes fine, though not as strong/tart. I’m wondering if there are reasons to do or not to do this food or any other foods…? I also used the included recipe for a yogurt but added (a lot) to it. I took the recommended coconut meat, but then added raw cacao, again the colostrum, raw maca, raw goji powder, raw coconut oil and I think lucuma. The container actually burst (I used an emptied Dr. Schulze Superfood jar, if that matters) and I had some ooze to clean up. But to me, that just meant it REALLY fermented well. No? Any researched, credible info on the above is greatly appreciated. So…

    Backstory: This Spring, a traditional Western doctor told me my blood test came back high in sugar which, they said, meant that I was diabetic. With no more info than that other than a flyer she handed me regarding what to eat and what not to. That’s it.

    I literally pass out if I eat sweets or anything with high sugar content. So finally, for the past three months, I have cut out sweets altogether– even agave sweetened foods. The only sweets I have are the occasional fruit and stevia, xylitol and erythritol. Not even pasta is allowed. And my energy has gone up dramatically, my mood swings have all but disappeared– it’s pretty miraculous. I never realized what a profound drug sugar is, and a negative one in my experience.

    Also, I have lived with chronic acid reflux for 20 years. My entire life literally, I have had severe chronic bronchitis basically every time the weather changes to usher in a new season. I cough for weeks, sometimes months, often ending in coughing up traces of blood. I even get sick if the weather just fluctuates dramatically, and especially if humidity levels change dramatically and quickly along with the temperature. If we have one of those random weeks when it gets suddenly cold or hot, I have to be very on guard. And I’m sure the antibiotics Western docs have pumped me full of didn’t help me in the long run.

    BUT I was vegan for seven years. Intuitively, three years ago, I started eating fish and well-sourced egg and occasionally dairy products like the ones described above. I eat a lot of superfoods. I’ve done flushes/cleanses with some of the best of them. I’ve tried being totally raw (REALLY doesn’t work for my body at all to be 100% raw– although I love having a lot of raw food in my diet). You name it, I’ve done it. Exponentially.

    In less than a week, drinking Kefir has upped my energy (especially right when I drink it), seems to be helping to heal my lungs that were in the midst of trying to be sick, seems to be really healing my acid reflux (though not entirely, at least not yet)– dramatically and noticeably different. And not to overshare, but I had an itchy and very personal area of my behind. The itching has stopped. I also have crazy allergies (to everything), but I haven’t noticed a measurable change in that just yet. But knock wood…

    My little sister saw the now somewhat famous Dr. Joseph Mercola as her personal doctor when we were kids. She was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue. I had all the same problems, but she was the babied daughter. I was the son who was told to quit whining and being a sissy and tough it out. So I’d go to school and cough up blood there until I’d get sent home or my parents would physically see the blood themselves. But I digress. My point in mentioning this is that she was put on all these crazy diets at a young age. I don’t know if it helped her. But I’m a million percent sure we had all the same problems. Mine may have actually been more severe in some cases. So I just learned to beat up and my body and pound it into submission. Which is why I think it has been beating back as an adult. Forcing me to figure it out.

    Anyway, I’m partly just sharing my story. And I apologize for the presumptuous length (obviously, feel free to skip over me if this is just annoying). :) But if anyone else out there has a similar story, and especially if you’ve had good results with kefir– or anything at all– I’d love to hear about it. Either by emailing me directly or on this site.

    I’m a starving composer without two nickels to rub together, so that’s not an invitation to solicit expensive products. But I would truly love to hear from fellow travelers on this weird road back to health.

    Cheers

    • L

      David,
      Your story sounds so much like mine. You should do some research on mold or biotoxin illness. A good place to start is Dr. Richie Shoemaker’s sites: http://www.survivingmold.com/diagnosis , http://www.chronicneurotoxins.com/
      Dr. Shoemaker has a very strong personality, some do not like him because of this. I have a doctor that is following his protocol for biotoxin illness (read chapter 4 in Mold Warriors, by Shoemaker -not an easy read!) and at 52 I’m finally getting my life back!

      I have also started raw milk kefir and it’s been super helpful!

      Good luck on your road back.
      L

    • Tomato Joe

      Kefir is pretty good, but for serious illness or quicker results, try a chocolate shake … get the stool of a healthy person or if you want to loose weight, from a skinny person, mix with salt water and have a drink. this will give you a quick fix as it will completely change your gut flora. Feces transplants have done wonders to hopeless cases.

  • Wuzzy S

    I like pro bitoics. I don’t like that it puts me in the same category as people that think soy is poison.

  • Trisarahtops 7

    HAHAH so you guys can be Troll-man and Troll-wife and have Troll babies. HAHA

  • Stanilee

    Is keifer gluten free?

    • maryanne

      I have read that it helps for lactose intolerance .maybe it helps can it be bought from Libya as you said it is arabic .Any Libjan can answer me .Iam interested to try it . my grandson has lactose intolerance.

  • Andie

    I LOVE THE KEFIR, I USE WATER KEFIR AND THE MILK. I STARTED WITH THE WATER GRAINS AND THEY REALY DID HELP AND LATER I STARTED THE MILK AND I LOVE IT BUT IT REALY HAS STOPED MY BM. ANY INFO OUT THERE ABOUT IT?? I READ SOME WHERE THAT THE MILK HAD TO TO BE AT LEAST 48 HOURS OLD OR IT WOULD DO THAT. IT JUST IS NOT WORKING FOR ME. SO, I AM OFF OF THE MILK AND AM ONLY USING THE WATER KEFIR. THE WATER KEFIR IS VERY GOOD. TRY IT. THANKS