Kefir - Ingredients and Effects of the Kefir Grains
Ingredients and Effects of Kefir / Milk Kefir
Attention, Science! What is Kefir / Milk Kefir and how does it work?
The beneficial effects that also help your digestion and well-being are mainly due to its unique combination of living microorganisms. In Kefir cultures lactic acid bacteria and yeasts clump together forming chunks, the so-called Kefir grains.
The lactose contained in the milk is gradually being processed into lactic acid turning the milk “sour”. Aside to carbon dioxide and depending on duration and other factors, fermentation also yields a small amount of alcohol which may be between about 0.1 % and 2 % in the finished product.
At the end of the process when the milk is completely processed (after about 48 hrs of fermentation), a single milliliter of Kefir may contain more than a billion lactic acid bacteria and a million colonies of yeast according to several scientific studies. By then, almost all lactose contained is fully processed leveling up the wholesomeness of the Kefir drink. And furthermore, Kefir seems to advance the digestion and tolerance of lactose for adults in general.
At low temperatures, the fermentation of yeast prevails: Your finished Kefir contains more carbon dioxide and alcohol and tastes more yeasty. Whereas at higher temperatures the lactic acid fermentation preponderates giving your finished Kefir drink less alcohol and a sourer taste (similar to yoghurt).
Just like the legendary Kombucha tea fungus, Milk Kefir (Tibetan Mushroom) also lives in a community, a so-called symbiosis: Different organisms live together while providing each other the right living conditions and nutrients. Valuable lactic acid bacteria do need various substances and vitamins for their survival and reproduction which they get from the yeasts. On the other hand, the bacteria produce lactic acid which is used by the yeasts as food. The effects of Kefir are precisely based on this interplay.
Ingredients of Kefir / Milk Kefir (Tibetan Mushroom)
Kefir is produced through a fermentation process which, according to numerous studies, typically involves several different lactic acid bacteria and yeast strains. Taken from specialized literature and studies, we have listed in the following some of the ingredients Kefir may contain.
Featured bacteria attested for Kefir:
- Lactobacillus kefir
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Streptococcus lactis
Featured yeast strains attested for Kefir:
- Saccharomyces kefir
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Candida kefir
Acetic acid bacteria are occasionally also involved in the fermentation. Fermentation products are lactic acid, carbonic acid, carbon dioxide and ethanol (amongst others).
Since it is a mixed culture, your Milk Kefir may vary depending on the origin, type of preparation and living conditions to a great extent. The final formula of your beverage (the amount and type of ingredients) and its effects are naturally subject to the individual Kefir community, fermentation time, used milk, and all other factors alike.
An interesting example: Kefir may contain many healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are usually found in fish. You should use organic milk for your Kefir grains in order to get these acids. Several studies have shown that organic milk delivers much more omega-3 fatty acids than regular milk – only one of the reasons why our team from Wellness-Drinks uses exclusively organic milk for the cultivation of Kefir grains. To learn more about the subject matter, please read our German article about Kefir and organic milk: “Do Kefir Grains Grow Better in Organic Milk?"[GERMAN PAGE]
Please notice: Exact quantities of the Milk Kefir ingredients cannot be given since they are subject to individual fluctuations that are common to an all-natural product like this. For legal reasons we cannot guarantee that your ready fermented Kefir will contain certain ingredients in certain quantities.
But according to many studies and sources, the following
vitamins and minerals have been attested for finished Milk Kefir drinks:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Folic acid
If you want to find out more about Kefir / Milk Kefir and its possible effects, we recommend that you consult the applicable literature and also that you get in touch with your health care professional or family doctor for individual advice on the consumption of Kefir drinks.
Due to strict food and competition law, we are, as a manufacturer and direct distributor, strictly prohibited from making any statements about the possible health effects of Kefir drinks without elaborate and expensive medical studies which we cannot afford given that we are only a small workshop for the “organic” life style. Large food corporations have no major interest in such studies because traditional beverages such as Kefir cannot be patented that easily. This is actually the same fatal reason why nowadays many other traditional natural remedies and for centuries reliable preparations are also offside and hard to get and or why they have even completely vanished from the market. No one may afford studies that run quickly into six-digit heights; for an herbal tea for example which basically everyone could produce and sell in the end. This is just one example of how the legislation, which is partly inspired by lobbyists, subtly supports major corporations and monopolies – bearing that well established products become displaced. However, it is clear that Kefir is no medication but a natural, biological active food and in this sense it is basically correct that shady promises of salvation, the Internet is unfortunately full of them, are strictly forbidden for any distributor.
Note: All information and tips on our website have been selected and verified by us with great care. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee for the currency, completeness and validity of the given data. We assume no liability for any damage and or accidents.
When following our recommendations, tips, and notes, please also use your own personal judgment and experience in the proper and safe handling of food.