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.

  • Alicia

    To an earlier comment Kefir can be made with canned coconut milk and its delicious.

  • Anthea

    I am wondering how much and how often I should take kefir for the best nutritional benifit.

  • K.C.

    I used freeze-dried YOGOURMET kefir to make my kefir. It says to let stand @ room temp. for approx. 24 hrs. I forgot about it and didn’t get it refrigerated until it had been sitting out for 36 hours. Was the nutrition/integrity compromised?

  • kenneth

    For all the newbie’s who are just starting there Kefir experience, hang in there it really is a great trip i have been using Kefir grains for many years now and i would not want to been with out them, it has improved my colon 95% over the last few years, and that is saying something, being i had one third of my colon removed back in 92 and Kefir has been a blessing for me, sometimes it can take months to do it’s job but that is the way nature works, hang in there. Mr.juice

  • kenneth

    I have been making kefeer, for over ten years, and it is keeping my colon in great health, it my take a few months to do it’s best job but after that you will be blessed with a great digestive track. Kenneth

  • Jeanette

    I am new to this, and am hoping you can help me! I have the starter for Kefir, I have made a batch and know that I can use some of this batch for the next. Questions: do I have to hold back a 1/4 cup when it is done and before I put it in the fridge? Does the milk I add the 1/4 cup to have to be warmed up and cooled like the original batch?

    • MR. Q

      After the first batch I just dumped them in 20oz glass jar and left for 48 hours. I do not use any metals, plastic or glass only. I blend with mangoes, strawberries, and other types of fruit. I sometimes sweetened it with honey or drops of a natural sweetener. That is all. Let it not be too hot 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If you want it to work fast let it out of the fridge, if you cannot tend to it that often then place inside the fridge for it to work slowly. Sometimes I skipped days, but they are thriving. I like to use organic or unpasteurized whole milk, but it will work with 2% too.

  • Joanne Raynow

    Does baking or cooking (Bread, pancakes) kill the beneficial bacteria in kefir? Jo

    • Rebecca

      From what I’ve heard, it does. The heat kills it.

  • Mary

    Has anybody tried alternative milks such as rice or oat milk. Does it work.

  • stuart

    to smidge , soy is very safe as long as you don’t overdo it . does the kefir have lactose that will bother someone allergic to it ?
    will kefir help soothe a stomach rumbling from ibs problems ?

    • Rebecca

      We know a family with a little girl who is deathly allergic to milk, but she can have kefir and it doesn’t hurt her.

    • lora

      Kefir grains turn lactose in milk in to lactate, which can be then easily digested by someone who cannot do lactose. And yes, kefir absolutely helps people with ibs problems. Read up on the benefits of kefir, you will find the part on the ibs along with a gazzillion of other things it’s good for.

    • lora

      If you think soy is safe and good for you, read this article very carefully

      • jo

        im allergic to soy and read up alot about it once i found out and from what i read soy is very very bad for you unless you consume it fermented only and soy is everywhere, in everything, its terrible and is one of the quickest grown allergin

        • Jennifer

          Yeah… I stay away from the soy – its a toxin… Great marketing has convinced people that it’s good, when infact it is not. The best thing you can do with unfermented soy is bury it cause the ni will help the ground.

      • Sarah

        That same site, also argues strongly on how cow’s milk and even raw milk is extremely harmful to people. I am wondering if you have found any scientific research to support these claims? I am interested in finding out more to make an informed decision.

    • Cheri

      Soy is only safe if not GMO, unfortunately MOST soy is the US is GMO – frankenfood. I never eat the stuff or drink it, it causes all sorts of health problems. Refer to Dr. Mercola web site for advice.

  • sikemullivan

    I bought some dried grains on amazon and it took a week to rehydrate them. After a week, I began making 10 ounces of kifer per day with Vitamin D cows milk. I tried using goat’s milk but I found that since it was Ultra-pasturized, it won’t kifer. I make a smoothie every morning mixing in stawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and a tablespoon of Stevia in the Raw. I also add some Garden of Life products as well. Two scoops of Omega-zyme, one large scoop of Superseed, and two scoops of Primal Defense. Making your own kifer is definately worth it and it’s extremly easy to do. My stomach hasn’t felt this good since the day the doc overdosed me on anti-biotics. The dumbass really f’ed my life up and then told me I was crazy and needed to take anxiety pills. Read the book “Patient Heal Thyself”, the author is my hero!

    I’ve learned to stay away from Bananas. They turn my saliva into malasses! : P Bananas are evil!

    I may name my next kid “Kipher” as well! : ) Love this stuff

    • sikemullivan

      Oh…. I also add a tablespoon of Coconut oil : )

    • Argy

      In Greece the pasteurizedgoat milk works just fine – so maybe it was the particular brand you tried.

  • Denise

    I have the wonderful tibetan milk mushroom and am making kefir. After it has ‘cured’ for 24 hours can I put it in the frige. I love the tast cold but room temperature doesn’t work for me.

  • Leslie

    I have discovered kefir as a way to deal with intestinal problems resulting from being on antibiotics – it has worked perfectly.

  • J. Williams

    Hey, isn’t this what Donald Southerland named his son after?

    • AJ

      No that was Keifer (Keif sounds like Keith) and the drink is Kefir (kef-eer).
      I can’t believe I’m actually explaining this.

      • Rob

        Hey AJ!

  • pbc

    Has anyone with PMR used this? I am looking for ways to boost my immune system. I would appreciate comments from someone who has made it.

  • ksenia

    What about ready – to- drink kefir, that sold in the stores?

    • Bob the Bill Dur

      That’s what I use…from Trader Joe’s of course (1% milk, strawberry flavored). I use it in my smoothie instead of yogurt. Add a banana and Trader Joes’ frozen strawberries (i don’t use orgnaic just b/c i am financially burdened at the moment and need to save wherever i can) and you have a fantastic, healthy, great tasting (I have a sweet tooth!) delicious breakfast.

      Enjoy your day! Just finished mine and my morning is starting out great!


      • Stephanie

        Cool story, bro.

      • Ann

        Why kefir instead of Greek Yogurt?

  • Abby

    Instructions said: 1 cup will make one gallon, and so on.

    Does this apply to goat’s milk too?

    • Myrto

      yes, Abby, you can use whatever fresh, pasteurized or raw, milk you find. Goat’s milk produces lower fat kefir. But I’ve also tried to make kefir with raw buffalo milk, which was amazing! I haven’t tried with coconut, soy or rice milk, but I’ve read it can be done. Find guidance at DOM’s Kefir webpage, which I found of great help

      • Smidge

        Seriously, you are drinking kefir for your health and you are considering drinking the poison of soy milk!!!! Go to the Weston A. Price website and read the Soy Alert and other papers on the dangers of soy.

  • Claudia Rush

    can you put kefir starter in yogurt ?

  • Vera Miller

    How long does coconut kefir keep? How long do the young green peeled coconuts last? We live over 45 miles away from an Asia Food Market and didn’t know how many to buy. I know it takes 3 coconuts to one batch of starter.

    Thanks, Vera Miller

  • Charlie Sommers
  • ruth

    How in the world do I correctly pronounce this word, kefir? It seems that almost anything goes.

    • VM


      • AJ

        That’s how to pronounce Donald Sutherland’s son’s name. Kee-fur (actually spelled Keifer) Sutherland

        • SSH

          It’s actually Kiefer Sutherland (and not Keifer) and is pronounced Kee-fer or Kee-fa’. Kefir (the healthy yogurt drink) is pronounced Ke-feer as many already pointed here.

    • Leslie

      I found a “talking” pronunciation dictionary on line (just search “kefir pronunciation” and it turns out the correct pronunciation is “ke-FEER”

      • AJ

        I agree with Leslie. It’s an Arabic word and is pronounced with a short first kef (like the ef in heffer) syllable and a long eer like in sneer.

        • lora

          Actually back in Ukraine, that is how we pronounce it as well. Ke-feer. So when I hear every one including Dr.Oz saying Kee-fur, it makes me laugh… It also makes me laugh when people say things like “how long should it kefir for”

          • marcela

            That is how we pronounce it in Slovakia too ,Ke-feer.

      • Florisabel Castillo

        I love KEFIR! and thank goodness in Spanish you read it like you write it. But yeah, the word is actually Arabic in its origin cause the grains were first given to the Tibetan monks by the prophet Mohammed. I am blessed to have the original grains from Russia and I don’t think there’s anything quite like it out there. Keep on Ke-fir-ing!

        • Becca

          I really want to try making my own kefir, it sounds like it’s just what I need to get my gut back to health. I live in the UK (Edinburgh) and was wondering if anyone in the UK knows where I gan get kefir grains or if anyone had any to spare? Many thanks.

          • Rona

            Hi Becca, I live in Fife and I got mine from E-bay and have been making it for about a year now and I love it. as you know we can’t buy raw milk in the uk as it’s illegal so I use organic full fat. I am diabetic and on a high fat low carb no sugar diet and no more than 40g carbs a day and I have never felt this good in my 60 years, I don’t do meds and kefir doesn’t spike me, I have it in the morning when I get up I like it run through my blender with peanut butter and a bit of sweetener it’s very nice. I am thinking about maybe having it at bedtime too it might be more beneficial at bedtime. My daughter has had a lot of auto immune problems IBS, Alopecia raynauds to name a few she drinks a lot of kefir and her hair has started to grow back and her IBS has gone. Hope you get some you will love it.