Nutritional Content of Kefir

More than just beneficial bacteria!

In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.

Kefir’s ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.

Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin which aids the body’s assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity.

  • Rick

    I’ve just started making and using kefir using organic raw milk. Good stuff. I bought a kefir starter kit that said to start really slowly, like with a tablespoon a day and work your way up, but here I read that people are drinking like 8 ounces a day of the stuff. Interesting. I’ve been taking 2 tablespoons twice a day, mixed in with smoothies. Probably time to bump that up.

    I have a question: what is the probiotic content of raw homemade kefir? Is it high enough that I could stop taking a probiotic supplement?

    • Nichole

      I’ve only found one piece of information that discussed the probiotic content of kefir. According to their studies 500 ml of kefir contains 5 trillion organisms. I would assume that this number can fluctuate quite a bit depending on the type and quality of milk used as well as fermentation time. But, even if the kefir only has half of what they state that’s a LOT. I’m inclined to believe it though. I’ve been taking large amounts of probiotics for quite some time and I have never noticed an effect like I did when I started drinking kefir. I’m confident enough in kefir’s ability to provide probiotics that I’m going to stop buying the probiotic capsules that I’ve been spending so much money on. Kefir is considerably cheaper and if you make it yourself you know the quality of what you’re consuming.

    • gloria

      I know this is a waaay old thread….. however, here goes.
      Someone else might benefit from this info.

      I have totally replaced my probiotic with kefir… i do a second ferment to increase the organism count.

      I have pyroluria and mthfr gene anomaly and I just jumped straight in with the kefir. The first time I made it from the grains it smelt just like the yeastiness of Krapfen doughnuts to me and I just downed the whole cupful. Lovely stuff.

      Then I found out that you get a massive exponential increase in vitamin yields if you go in for a second ferment of 12 – 18 hrs, after straining off the first lot. Especially good for those with mthfr issues… it has a huge folate profile of different forms so your body can ‘select’ the best form for you to digest without conversion by the liver. Mthfr sufferers know what I mean by that. It also further breaks down the lactose.

      Honestly, if you eat yoghurts and such, don’t be afraid to go straight in with the kefir. Only be wary if you have gut issues.
      I honestly love the sour taste, but if you don’t, go smoothie.

      I soak all my flours, brans and beans in kefir, and make great dosas on the waffle iron after fementing the batter with kefir.
      If you ferment your buckwheat and quinoa flours in kefir, it takes away the awful flavours, and leaves you with mild and nutty flavours that the fussiest eaters will enjoy.

      It gives you ultra fluffy and light batters, even with wholegrains… no more doormats made in the name of pancakes!

  • mohana

    does yr write up on nutritional content in kefir refer to cow milk only, would it apply to other milks too?

  • mary

    I’m a newbee, I started drinking kefir little amount for three days and I found that I am getting stomack cramps and i stopped drinking the kefir, i was wondering if i would get use to it and could start again.

    • Diane

      Mary, I am also new to kefir. My first little taste was only 2 days ago. Yesterday I had slight stomach cramps which made me a little nervous about being out, but after an hour or so I felt normal again. I believe the cramps might have been a detox side effect. I’m going to keep drinking kefir for all the benefits. I drink a half cup in the morning with breakfast and a half cup in the evening before bed. I’m making small batches because I didn’t have many grains to start with. I’m on batch 3 and the grains have really multiplied!


    Hi all,

    i have IBS which has improved much using the GAPS diet, cultured veg, probitics and chlorella – but as i minor issues with my kidneys i am concerned not to overdo the protien and quite honestly a diet of mostly veg, with fish, meats, healthy fats and eggs yokes, and occasional fruit gets a bit samey. i have started introducing the odd red skinned jacket potatoe, brown rice etc on a rotation basis.

    I think that leaving out dairy helps, but i hear such good things about kefir i am very tempted to use it. Is it easier on the digestion to use raw goats milk or raw cows milk, and would it be beneficial to use lactase enzyme and any particular probiotics at the same time as introducing kefir?

    thanks to all who contribute to this great site.

    • Peace

      Hi Christian,
      Kefir pre-digests most of the lactose in milk and leaves heaps of lactase, which helps to digest the rest of the lactose during digestion. I find it to be the most digestable milk product i have ever used. I also use the kefir grains to make beet kvass, a fermented beetroot drink, which is an amazing alternative to a milk based kefir. Raw milk is definetly the best option if you can get it, because it naturally contains lactase and lactobacillus, which is destroyed through pasteurisation. It also generally hasn’t been skimmed at all, which means your getting around 30% cream on top and the also improves to digestion and uptake of calcium.

    • gloria

      Old thread, but I hope this helps others…
      You must do a second ferment of twelve to eighteen hours, to ensure all the lactose has been digested. Then I wouldn’t bother with the lactase, but if you feel nervous, go ahead. It won’t hurt.

      Kefir is superior to most available probiotics, so I don’t know why you would, but again, if you’re nervous, doesn’t hurt.

      I would choose goat milk over cow, any day of the week, simply because it has mostly a2 proteins as oppsed to the modern hybrid cow which produces mostly a1. a2 is the original protein produced by these animals throughout human history, which was why not a lot of people had eczema and such. These days it seems like every third person that you meet.

      If you can get raw cow milk from an a2 (only) producing herd, then go for it. Most modern herds have a mix of a1 and a2 in the milk, so beware of labels that say ‘ contains a2’. You could label any old cow milk with that.

      Having said that, if you can get sheep milk, or buffalo (also a2), that seems to bother the immune system least of all, but that could depend on your personal gene expression profile.

      All these proteins, however are broken down by the kefir, so you shouldn’t have any problem given that you do the second ferment. PLEASE, ALWAYS do the second ferment if you have any dairy sensitivities or allergies.

      You should do so anyway, simply for the massively increased benefits.

      Good luck.

  • Shaon


    I just wanted to share a story with you regarding kefir grains and metal. A week ago, I had made a batch of water kefir. I usually heat the water up just a tad so that the sugar dissolves faster. Then when the water is cooled I put the kefir grains in. I did not know it but I had accidentally left a metal spoon in the jar. The spoon was sitting at an angle and I was in a hurry and did not see it. The spoon sat in there for 48 hours until I went to harvest. When I noticed the spoon I was concerned and started to do research on the safety of the kefir. Not much was out there. Anyway, the liquid tasted fine, the grains did multiply quite rapidly. However, I went to actually try some of the grains themselves and OH MY, an EXTREME metallic taste to the grains themselves. After this, I am convinced that metal does affect the grains even though the liquid may not necessarily taste any different.

    Thanks, Shaon

    • xtopher66

      Metal kills Kefir grains. Only use plastic.

      • Cherry Fairy

        Definitely DON’T use plastic, nor Metal. Only use glass (or ceramic) containers and wooden spoon/utensils.

        • Angus Files

          some probiotics likeLactobacillus rhamnosus bind mercury.So possibly they bound the metal from the spoon.

    • Dan []

      Kefir is mildly acidic, increasingly so the longer it ferments; so I could see it dissolving enough metal to taste if it sat in there for two whole days. But aside from leaving a spoon in there for hours, let alone days on end, there’s no reason not to use metal utensils to stir it, as I do.

  • Rene

    I have contemplated switching form soy milk to Kefir, but I am concerned about the cholesterol content. Does anyone have anything comments in this regard or links they can refer me to. I keep my cholesterol down with diet, but I also hate to not get the benefits of goat milk. Also, I am interested in the amount of bacteria per serving, which is not indicated on the nutrition label.


    • Baking N Books

      You don’t have to switch. Although soy can be bad for the digestive system. Consider almond or hemp milk instead. You can still just enjoy kefir in small quantities. My ND told me to add a couple of tablespoons to yogurts, cereals, smoothies, etc. daily without replacing it. If your concerned about cholesterol that might work better for you. Just get the plain kefir though – the cholesterol isn’t going to be a big deal.

    • kindelan

      The cholesterol thing, that is, saturated fat is the biggest health scam ever perpetuated on the human species. Soy, by the way, is a wonder food, it’s a wonder that anyone would eat it in any way except fermented and organic. Regarding cholesterol, if you go to
      and for over an hour your fears of cholesterol should be dispelled. I did an experiment with fat. I had a lipid panel done, that’s triglycerides, LDL, HDL, and my doctor who has been brainwashed by big Pharma said my cholesterol was high. I told her I was going to go on a high fat, high protein diet. I ate lard, raw butter from pastured cows, coconut oil, tallow, and palm oil at every meal, plus high fat cheese from France, chicken with the skin, eggs from pastured chickens, and especially the yolk for if I throw out anything it will be the white, bacon, whole kefir I made myself and so forth. My next lipid results showed an increase in HDL and my triglycerides were below 50, my blood pressure was 124/76, my cholesterol was at 214 and still my doctor insisted that it should be less than 200. The reason is, she’s not that bright and many doctors aren’t. They are themselves controlled by the AMA, who is controlled by Big Pharma, who also controls government and they have over 600 lobbyists in Washington. It’s a very bad game that’s being played. Protect yourself, forget that ridiculous new food pyramid, it was the work of politicians and food industry creeps whose only goal is profit, not one nutritionist formed the pyramid, it’s about getting fools to buy shit.

      • Olga Szewczuk

        Kindelan – I’m with you all the way – good post. How do we convince doctors and lay people that our body actually needs cholesterol, and that saturated fat is better and safer that all the rancid oils and plastic margarines. I so love coming across like minded people like you. Keep up the good work. 🙂

        • Hussein

          Hi Olga – The all pervasive brainwashing and financial incentives by big pharma over many decades has been so powerful that generations of doctors simply swallow its nonsense. In their quest to pack in as many patients as possible during their day to boost billings to support their expensive lifestyles, there is neither the time nor the inclination for them to open their minds to facts.

          I should know. I was married to one and have a son in the same profession who fit the stereotype and no amount of reasoning and research material that I offer has ever made the slightest difference. Unbelievable!

      • kris gallagher

        It’s about making sure that diseases stick around…’s about population control.

        • Eleanor Vallone

          My cholesterol was 250 in March. I begain six tablespoons of flax oil (cold pressed) per day, along with 1/2 to one cup cottage cheese (low fat), mixed together well and turned into a smoothie with banana etc.

          My cholesterol in November is 190.

          Not sure about the animal fat thing, but flax oil seems to cut cholesterol down.

  • Kathy

    Can someone tell me how to store milk kefir grains while not in use. In the fridge, I’m sure – but in milk or water, or other?
    Also, is it possible to add some kefir grains to your yogurt, along with the yogurt starter, in order to add those strains of probiotics to the yogurt as well? Thanks for help

    • Hi Kathy, When not in use in milk we store our kefir in filtered water. Just rinse it really thoroughly and cover with water. Will keep in fridge for a fair while but if you’re not making it for a long time or going on holidays, it’s best to freeze it. It will regenerate well after freezing.

      • jackie biggs

        i was wondering that myself thank you

    • Peter

      According to those who have experimented with mixing the Kefir with any other bacterial and yeast strain, you will create a “hybrid which will become a little of each (Kef-oghurt) although unknown what will happen with a store bought yoghurt)

  • bequi

    I’ve seen a few people say you shouldn’t touch your kefir grains with metal, but my sister has been using a metal strainer and spoons for almost a year and it seems fine, with the culture growing quickly. Why shouldn’t I use metal?

    • joseph

      Only stainless steel metal can be used

  • Donnie

    Does Kefir ice cream still retain the probiotic qualities or does the freezing process kill the live culture rendering it ineffective?

  • Nellie

    Can you freeze kefir and still get the benefits? Sometimes I make a large smoothie and save half, it would be better if I could freeze it and then have it the next morning.

  • Hi all!
    I really new to the kefir movement. I have a 2 year old who suffers from moderate ezxcema. I currently have no kefir grains and was wondering if I could just use a kefir starter from wholefoods. Can someone please give me some kefir grains or let me know were to purchase some. Also some information on how to prepare?
    Thanks a million,
    Desperate mom

    • The Table of Promise

      Hi! Kefir is not like kombucha which sometimes will spontaneously create a new SCOBY from finished kombucha tea. Kefir requires grains. I got mine from a woman online, The grains are great, very healthy and have grown very well in the high fat milk organic grass fed milk that I use. Best!

    • Anna

      Hello, not sure where you from but I do have Kefir grains i can give away. My almost 3 year old and myself drink it drink it everyday, I started giving it to my son when he was around 6 months old and he loves it..
      Very easy to make, put grains in a cup, add milk, when ready (i do it every 24 hours) separate grains from kefir, drink kefir or refrigirate, rinse the grains under room temperature water put back in a cup and add milk again. that’s all it takes.

      • jackie biggs

        in arkansas

    • jackie biggs

      on line has a number to call she is very helpful she has grains for sell and will help with info on how to do

    • Marcela

      Hi There–
      My son’s battle with eczema was helped by Kefir, no question about it. He still drinks it and loves it. Eczema is closely related to the digestive track, and kefir improves tremendously the good bacteria in your system. I can tell you though, just kefir is not enough. Good luck!
      Where you able to get the grains? Is the kefir helping?

    • Diane

      I obtained my kefir grains from a dairy farmer when I discovered they sold raw milk. She was not able to sell them to me due to gvmt regulations, so she gave me a tablespoon of them and they have greatly multiplied. You could contact some dairy farms to inquire. Organic farmers are much more informed on healthy products and are more willing to share their healthy ideas. My farm lady has a cheese factory usiing cow milk from pasture fed animals. I really lucked out finding her.

      • Kathy

        Hi Anna, just to let you know that, according to Dominic Antifeatro, often regarded as the guru of kefir grains, it is not even necessary to rinse the kefir grains in water between batches. Just strain, place strained grains in a jar and add fresh milk. I have doing it this way for over 6 months now and haven’t encountered any problems. Makes it even easier to make kefir! Dominic has a VERY detailed website with everything you need to know about kefir.

    • We’re do you live? I have plenty if Kefir grAins that I can spare. I am in northern NJ.

  • Luda

    A few days ago I bought Kefir 1% cultured milk out of curiosity. Label didn’t provide much info so I chose to check it out online. I have had severe abdominal/stomach symptoms for several months. Tried various remedies that have not helped at all…pre-probiotics, supplements, breathing exercises, organic food shopping (which I still follow), colonoscopy, etc. My body is in constant bloated, swollen and, sometimes, very uncomfortable condition that keeps me up at night with very little sleep or non at all. How long should I test this product to experience some relief? Does anyone else have similar symptoms or digestive problems? Has Kefir made a major difference?

    • Maureen

      HI Luda,
      I have issues w/ bloating, diverticulitus, irritable bowel, you name it. By eating smaller portions more frequently and having a smoothie in the a.m. w/ 8oz of kefir, I have been doing great. The bloating is under control and I feel good. I think drinking enough water but not too much is also a key factor.

    • Meadowsweet

      Check out a diet called ‘The Specific Carbohydrate Diet’ to help with your intestinal problems. Many people have been able to cure their colitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, chronic diarrhoea etc by following this diet. Good health to you. 🙂

    • Elena

      Hi Luda. It sounds like you need to make some major changes in your diet. The “Specific Carbohydrate Diet”, as Meadowsweet mentioned, is known to help tremendously with intestinal issues. It is an excellent start. Also, you need to educate yourself about raw milk. Reduced fat commercial milk is not likely to help your intestinal issues… fermented or not. I highly recommend checking out for information about REAL food. You will find a wealth of information on this excellent site. And, yes, when kefir is made properly it makes a world of a difference in digestive health. Commercially made 1% fat kefir is not exactly the substance you are looking for. Good luck to you and healing wishes!

    • Scott

      Have to check yourself for gluten intolerance or celiac disease? This sounds like you might have some of those systems.

    • The Table of Promise

      Have you considered whether you could be experiencing a reaction to gluten? I echo meadowseets recommendation for the Specific Carohydrate Diet, or the very similar GAPS diet.

    • Florisabel Castillo

      HI there!
      Kefir DOES make a huge difference, but please get the real thing. Don’t drink the stuff they sell in the stores.

      • Renee

        That’s for sure, we make the real deal with A-2 milk & Kefir grains, we have seen a huge surge in health!!! We love it!!!

        • Robin Davidson

          The farmer I get my milk from has Jerseys, grass fed, is that A-2 or A-1 type milk?

          • Renee

            Jersey is 70% A-2 & that’s the one you want. & grass fed is awesome. I think that’s good milk. There is a list online, I think it says Guernsey is 95% A-2, Jersey & milking shorthorns are 70% A-2. Guernsey cows are brown & white, Jerseys are very pretty brown cows . There are also African cows which are in Africa & India are also mostly A-2 beta casein, they are beige in color. Holsteins which are black & white cows are A-1

          • Robin Davidson

            Thanks, I had never heard about this, and the Jersey milk is the only one I have available, I am glad there is at least some A-2 content. I have been making my kefir with it for about 3 years now. I recently managed to kill my kefir and have had some issues crop up and just got some new kefir grains. I’m sure the digestive issues will clear up now. These grains smell way more like yeast than the ones I had before, though. Any thoughts?

          • Renee

            My kefir grains have a yeasty smell to them too. I read the breakdown at one point & it was 6 species probiotics as a byproduct of Kefir grains some are healthy bacteria & some are healthy yeasts anything in the sachamoyers family is a yeast. There are good yeast that push candida out of your body. I used to take Sachamoyers Ballardi (it’s a probiotic yeast capsule) but it colonizes for 5 days, it was building up in my system & giving me a bloated tummy, since then I have read that most wellness doctors say take that probiotic yeast on & off so you don’t get a buildup. I don’t get that bloating from Kefir so that’s good. Also I take Braggs Apple Cider vinegar 2 tablespoons in water every other day. I don’t eat fermented vegetables that often so taking the Braggs ACV is another fermented food form me.

          • Corene Heaps

            When the kefir grains smell strong and yeasty, rinse them

          • TTeddy

            I grew up on raw jersey milk. I SO miss it!!

          • TTeddy

            Doesn’t matter, it’s all good! I grew up on a farms and always had a Jersey which dad milked every morning. I really miss it!

          • Joan Linney

            Jersey’s give the best A-2 good stuff

          • Trish Truitt

            Jersey’s are usually A2 but they can vary. The farmer has to have them tested to be sure.

      • Eric Rowland

        At the moment, I am buying my kefir from my local Polish store here in the UK. It tastes absolutely delicious and a litre only lasts me a couple of days. Plus, it’s extremely cheap. For what reason would this be inferior, to any great extent?

    • Ed

      Hi Luda. after having all sorts of internal probs I stumbled onto fructose intolerance. All the healthy things I’d been eating were my enemy. Since changing my diet I’ve stopped using any asthma meds, sleep apnea machine and am feeling great.

    • Estelle de Bruyn

      my feeling is wheat is your enemy. I am on paleo diet and all symptoms have disappeared

      • Marcy Grote

        You might try sprouted grain breads.

    • Pat

      My daughter also has stomach bloating but finds the probiotics very helpful. There are many different brands out there. Make sure you get a top quality probiotic. 70 billion CFU per serving would be a top quality probiotic.

    • Renee

      Use whole milk A-2 from Sprouts. Look up the benefits of A-2 milk online! & then make it, it’s fun & easy & you will be making for your family & friends in not time!!! & Feeling very healthy!!!

    • Marcie Perry

      I have a friend that has very similar symptoms. She has gastroparesis. It is a horrible thing, but I think Kefir is definitely a great thing to try. Go to a health food store (Or I ordered mine on Amazon) and buy the Kefir grains. Then you make it yourself. Very easy! I add a spoon of truvia and some frozen fruit to my fresh kefir in the morning and it makes wonderful smoothies. A great way to start the day! Good luck!

  • Desperate

    I have a 4 year old daughter who is constantly on antibiotics for sinus infections. She now has built up an immunity to antibiotics and cannot seem to get well. Any suggestions on how to give her Kefir and how much and frequency. I have a friend who has given me a few grains in milk and it should be ready by tomorrow.

    • Elena

      Hi! You really need to go to Weston A. Price Foundation’s website and get yourself familar with this organization, mam! Here it is: I am willing to bet your little girl is vaccinated… hence so many infections. You can help her tremendously by giving her an excellent nutritional start. First of all, find a source of clean RAW milk! Your little girl needs it! Yes, kefir grains are excellent and they thrive in raw milk best. Cow or goat. Make sure cow milk is from old-fashioned cows (Jerseys, for example). Do not use Ultra Pasteurized milk. Once you start making kefir with those lovely grains, have your daughter drink at least a cup a day. Get her started on Cod Liver Oil too… She needs vit. A and D3. D3 is a major immune upregulator! See more on Weston A. Price Foundation’s site about Cod Liver Oil. You will be able to find a source of raw milk through the local WAPF’s chapter too. Antibiotics don’t heal, but wholesome, REAL food does. It just depends on how much “muscle” you are willing to put into this journey, mama. You can heal your honey. The key is to build up her immune system. Antibiotics destroy it. Good luck and blessings to you and yours!

      • Josh

        Being vaccinated does not cause infections if that is what you are stating! The amount of kids that died from H. Flu meningitis and Strep Pneumo were out of control before the modern advent of vaccines. Ask any pediatrician or pediatric pharmacist that have been practicing since the 1970’s. Antibiotics may kill the normal bacteria unintentionally in your body while treating an infection, but you were also wrong in stating that they destroy your immune system.

    • Charlie

      Regarding the 4 year old that is constantly sick… I had the same problem for the last few year. I have finally found an odd solution. I gave up wheat and sugar! It is amazing. I was always sick, always on antibiotics – my family used to say I have the immune system of the bubble boy and it was true. I recently decided to give up wheat and sugar for a detox diet and lo and behold I have not been sick since! Even though others around me have been fighting colds – I was healthy.

      I have not been tested for an allergy yet, but reading up on it I think it is most likely the wheat. According to my web research a sign of a wheat allergy is sinus infections, etc. Also, wheat is now one of the top 7 allergies most common to people.

      They say it takes about two weeks wheat free to see a difference. It is worth an allergy test or just remove it from your childs diet and see if there is improvement. Other things to remove that make a huge difference to me are eggs and sugar. Sugar ( and all things High Fructose corn syrup are immune system stunting.

      I hope your daughter feels better – I sure do!

    • molly

      I echo the sentiments of no wheat/no sugar. I had one sinus infection after another
      and a never ending prescriptions for antibiotics. Doc wasn’t very helpful (suggested surgery!) After
      doing some research I decided it was all to do with fungus infection. Put myself on a candida type
      diet for six weeks, cleaned my system out and have never felt better. Kefir is a huge part of my diet now
      and although I re-introduced my body to almost everything else, I avoid wheat and sugar (yes, even the supposedly
      healthy ones, ie honey,) like the plague.
      Even when everyone else is hacking and hewing, I have nary a sniffle. Added bonus, my seasonal hayfever seems to have
      left the building, (this after forty-odd years)
      Hope this helps. Good luck.

    • Dear Elena: you daughter most likely have an overgrowth of Candidiadis Albucan(generally known as Candida). I have suffurred this condition for several years and have seen many doctors to no avail. My sinuses hav e completely disappeared since I quit sugar in all forms(I use Stevia), yeast(bread/cookies) and started taking Kefir. I can offer you a lot more info if interested. [email protected].

  • Lynn

    I’ve just started using Kefir. My friend gave me about a tablespoon of grains on Monday morning, and by Friday morning, they had grown to about 1/2 cup. I’ve been adding a pint of 2% milk each day, drinking it after 24 hours with the culture. My question of the seasoned Kefir users is, What do I do with the additional grains? Can it be added to food and eaten? Should it be divided from the amount I need for my daily use and put it into my compost? How long can it be kept between batches? Should I discard any that turns yellow?
    To each of you who reply, thank you for helping me to fully enjoy and benefit from home brewed Kefir.

    • Andrea

      Hi Lynn, you can put the extra kefir grains into a smoothie, blend and drink it for a extra pro-biotic boost. Also, I always keep some in the freezer just in case anything happens to my main grains (rinse them in water, get most of the water off with a paper towel, then cover them in milk powder to avoid freezer burn) they keep about 3 months in the freezer. Other than that, I just throw my extra away (I’m sure putting them in the compost would be just fine), unless of course I can find anyone to give them away to!

      Hope that helps!

      • Lynn

        Thank you for your suggestions. Since I wrote my first questions, I have been culturing for about 2 weeks. The seasonal temperatures are rising here, and my culture now doubles in size every day! I’m glad to know I can eat the culture, but the milk itself is now becoming more like tiny curds and whey. It tastes tangy but no longer has the effervescence that I enjoyed a few days ago, and is a little strange to drink. In this form, it would probably be best as a smoothy ingredient. I’m wondering if I should refrigerate the jar for 12 hours then put it out on the counter over night to reduce the culture growth and regain the fluidity of the milk product. I’m still learning. The freezer backup culture idea was helpful, too.

        • Elena

          Hey again, Lynn… Ok, I know your dilemma. I live in TX! Cut down on the amount of grains you are using per batch. Since the grains grow so well, the smaller amount of grains will take more time to ferment and the milk won’t separate into whey and curds as quickly by the time you are ready to drink kefir. You can safely half or quarter your usual amount.

    • Elena

      Hi Lynn! Yes, you can eat the extra grains for added probiotic benefit if you can stomach the texture. You can compost extra grains too. The best thing to do is to share them, this way you will have others in the network who can give back to you if something happens to your grains! You can also freeze grains for keeping. If your kefir grains are of good quality, they shouldn’t turn yellow and they should keep indefinitely if cared for properly. Never use metal to touch your grains. Use a plastic strainer and a wooden spoon. Brew kefir in a glass jar. The more grains the quicker you will have kefir. Be gentle with the grains, don’t press them when you strain kefir. A few extra curds around the grains are ok. It is best to use whole, organic milk. Never use ultra-pasteurized milk. Raw is best! You can get a lot of information about kefir from too! Good luck and happy kefir brewing! Blessings of great health to you!

  • brenda bartekds

    can you buy this at any grocery store of health food store os does it have to be ordered through internet?

    • Laird

      Kefir can be purchased at many grocery stores around the country as well as health food stores. If it is not at the store of your choice, ask the management to bring it in for you.

  • pam swain

    Hi Joan,

    I am so sorry to hear about your trials.
    The intestinal disruption that occurs when undergoing a variety of treatments seems to just add insult to injury. Although ingestion of probiotic foods (such as kefir) does wonderful things to regulate the bowel and provide healthy intestinal flora, some research has suggested introduction of these foods at the time of the onslaught (treatment) may not be enough, especially in children. My suggestion would be to add kefir to your diet but take some additional probiotic supplements along with it during the treatments Antibiotic induced colitis was diminished by Saccharomyces Boulardii, a probiotic yeast, in a mayo clinic study. In many European countries antibiotics will not be prescribed without Saccharomyces Boulardii. Anecdotally, my uncle’s oncologist recommended Natren Healthy Trinity, a Lactobacillus and Biffidobacterium probiotic supplement for severe diarrhea during chemo and it worked well for him. Be careful not to take too much he ended up constipated when he took more than recommended.
    Since then, for over 7 years now, my entire extended family has used these two supplements as a preventative measure whenever antibiotics, chemo, or other treatments are administered with great results. I even give them to my children along with antibiotics.

    *Kefir contains a strain of Saccharomyces if cultured at home with the grains. The store versions contain many of the probiotic bacteria but cannot by law contain the probiotic yeasts (if left to long yeasts create an ever increasing alcohol content, a nightmare for regulators.) If cultured for shorter periods of time the alcohol is negligible. I and my kids drink it daily.
    Good luck in your battle. I hope this information helps you.
    Studies referenced can be found @ Mayo Clinic website search Saccharomyces Boulardii
    Reuters Health references pediatric kefir/antibiotic study results.*(Keep in mind Lifeway has no Saccharomyces in it, and studies have indicated that may be the most beneficial probiotic component of all.)

  • I have a very sensitive stomach that became worse since my last round of chemo almost 3 years ago. Because I have daily bouts of diarrhea, will Kefir help remedy the situation. I have tried probiotics with no positive results.

    • Elena

      Dear Joan, you may also benefit from reading Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Cambell-McBride as well as getting familar with Weston A. Price Nutrition Foundation. I highly recommend kefir as well! If you can find a souce of clean raw milk, it would be best! Good luck to you and blessings of health, Joan.

  • lillian ravago

    is coconut kefir good for diabetic person? how can i make my own coconut kefir

    • lillian ravago

      is coconut fefir good for diabetic person ? how can i make coconut kefir? do i need to refeigerate it to retain its freshness? many thanks hoping to get your answer soon.

      • Elena

        Hi Lillian! Coconut kefir is made with water kefir grains, not dairy kefir grains. There are two kinds! You can buy water kefir grains and put them in coconut milk (best if you make it yourself by simply blending the meat of one coconut with the water of one coconut together in a powerful blender). Water kefir grains love coconut milk and you should have excellent results. Do not use dairy kefir grains for this! Yes, coconut kefir is excellent for a diabetic. Yes, you will need to refrigerate the kefir, but not until it is fermented and strained. To make the kefir you will need to leave the coconut milk and the grains mixed together in a relatively warm place, such as a kitchen counter for example. I like getting grains from Marylin at Good luck to you!

        • Po

          Actually I’ve been successfully using milk kefir grains to ferment coconut for months now. I blend the flesh with the juice of the coconut, and the grains love it! The multiply very quickly, and the resulting kefir is lovely.

  • Katerina

    I would like to know how long can I use kefir,should I have pause or I can drink every day like yogurt.I am a healthy person.

    • Myrto

      Hi, Katerina

      I’ve been making and drinking kefir for more than three years now. What I do is following small ‘treatments’ of a week’s period and then stop for a week. But this is not standard. I found this to be convenient for me. However, there are no restrictions as to the dosage a healthy person should take. Kefir is a totally safe drink, especially when you make it yourself and you have control over the milk you use. Caucasians (who first introduced it to the world) used to (and still do) drink it everyday, and according to some, they even replace mother’s milk with kefir, because it’s known to contain larger quantities of calcium than milk, and be more nutritious. Anyway, if you visit DOM’s Kefir webpage, you’ll find out almost everything that is known about kefir. The guy has REALLY looked into it! Best regards, M

    • Laird

      Commercial Kefir usually has a 30 day shelf life.
      I make my own kefir and drink it every day some times twice a day. I started making it in August of 2010. I’m into my 31st batch with the original culture. I like 3.25% butterfat milk best because it is the creamiest and thickest. Whether you use 1%, 2% or 3.25% butterfat milk, the effervescent quality is always there. The sourness is something you learn to live with.
      I use kefir when I have an upset stomach too as well as drinking it as part of my morning routine.

    • Andrea

      Many people take a one or two day per week break from kefir (I take a one-day break every Saturday). I think I read that it’s good to do that on Dom’s Kefir website somewhere ( ). But I don’t think it would hurt to have it every day, see how you go. I have about 2 cups a day, 6 days a week with no problems. Hope that is helpful!

  • Ellen

    Could you please tell me list and amounts of probiotics in Kefir?
    Don;t see it on the bottle.
    Thanks for your help

    • danimal

      anybody have a reference for the nutritoinal content of kefir?