Historia del kéfir
Se remonta varios siglos a los pastores de las montañas del Cáucaso. Ellos
descubrió que la leche fría llevada en bolsas de cuero ocasionalmente
fermentar en una bebida efervescente.
las montañas del Cáucaso, la leyenda dice que el kéfir final “granos
(no es verdaderamente un grano verdadero) fueron un obsequio para los ortodoxos de Mahoma, que
les instruyó sobre cómo utilizar los granos. Mahoma los prohibió estrictamente
regalar el misterio de la preparación de kéfir a otra gente, o pasar a cualquiera
granos de kéfir, porque perderían su “fuerza mágica”. los
La leyenda enseña por qué los granos de kéfir y el método para la preparación del kéfir han sido
rodeado de secreto por consiguiente tiempo
La más grande parte de la historia registrada, el kéfir era poco popular fuera del Cáucaso
Montañas, aunque Marco Polo lo mencionó al narrar sus viajes.
Las bebidas a partir de lácteos con gas siguen siendo populares en Rusia,
Sudoeste de Asia y Europa del Este y del Norte, y hace poco ganó algunos
popularidad en los USA.
Producción de kéfir
el kéfir se hace por fermentación de los granos de “kéfir”, que se asemeja
coliflores en miniatura del tamaño de granos de trigo. Estos granos consisten
de caseína y colonias gelatinosas de microorganismos que crecen juntos
simbióticamente La microflora dominante son los kéfir Saccharomyces, el kéfir Torula,
Lactobacillus caucasicus, especies de Leuconnostoc y estreptococos lácticos. En
Además, hay algo de levadura. Estos son bastantes microorganismos beneficiosos
separa el kéfir de prácticamente todos los demás productos lácteos cultivados, que
normalmente utilizan únicamente una, y extraña vez más de tres especies en el cultivo
proceso. Estos microorganismos generan una diversidad de cambios en la leche.
Provecho de salud del kéfir
Los cambios químicos de los cultivos hacen que la leche sea bastante más fácil de digerir, lo que permite
cuerpo para absorber más de los nutrientes presentes naturalmente. La transformación de
la lactosa al ácido láctico facilita a la gente, inclusive con intolerancia a la lactosa,
digiera el kéfir y obtenga todos sus provecho. El kéfir es abundante en calcio, aminoácidos,
Vitaminas B y ácido fólico. El kéfir puede desempeñar un papel escencial en el avance de un
tracto digestivo saludable en bebés, debido a que asegura contra los efectos negativos de
radiación y es aporta un beneficio para el sistema inmune. Las culturas amistosas del kéfir también
producir sustancias antibióticas específicas que tienen la posibilidad de vigilar indeseables
microorganismos y actúan como componentes anticancerígenos. Kéfir también asistencia a
Mejorar la función intestinal y vigilar la candida: una condición donde hay
crecimiento elevado de células de levadura. En referencia a Candida, el Dr. Orla-Jenson, un
señaló bacteriólogo danés especializado en investigación láctea asegura que
“El kéfir digiere las células de levadura y tiene un efecto bueno sobre el intestino
El investigador en todo el mundo ganador del premio Nobel, Elie Metchnikoff (1908) encontró
que el kéfir activa el fluído de saliva, seguramente gracias a su ácido láctico
contenido y su rápida proporción de carbonatación. El kéfir impulsa el peristaltismo y
jugos digestivos en el tracto intestinal. Por estas causas, se sugiere como
un alimento postoperatorio debido a que la mayoría de las operaciones abdominales hacen que los intestinos se detengan
contraer y mover los comestibles (peristalsis).
propiedades únicas tienen dentro su uso como remedio para inconvenientes digestivos debido a
su tensión de cuajada muy baja, lo que supone que la cuajada se rompe muy fácilmente en
Partículas increíblemente pequeñas. La cuajada de yogurt, además, tiene
juntos o se rompen en grumos. El pequeño tamaño de la cuajada de kéfir facilita
digestión presentando una enorme área para que trabajen los agentes de digestión. En
Además, el kéfir tiene caracteristicas laxantes suaves. También se recomienda
Restaurar la flora intestinal de la gente que se están recuperando de una patología grave.
enfermedad o ser tratado con antibióticos.
El kéfir es predigerido gracias a la fermentación
proceso que se regresa soportable para esas personas que no tienen la posibilidad de tolerar los lácteos
La historia del kéfir está llena de distinciones: una historia de 2.000 años, una mención de
Marco Polo y, en la década de 1980, un obsequio simbólico intercambiado entre superpoderes en
El fin de la guerra fría.
es un producto lácteo fermentado que tiene dentro organismos probióticos vivos y rico en
nutrientes requeridos por el cuerpo: proteínas, minerales y vitaminas. Se produce
agregando un cultivo de granos fermentados a la leche.
en la antigüedad por los pastores nómadas en los Balcanes, el kéfir era poco popular en
Occidente a lo largo de 1.900 años, más allá de ser citado por Marco Polo. Entonces, por orden
del zar ruso, fue traído a Rusia a inicios del siglo XX
siglo y se realizó habitual en muchas partes de Europa.
K efir es un producto culto y cremoso con espectaculares atributos de salud. Sus
El gusto agrio y refrescante es semejante al de un yogur al estilo de beber, pero
contiene levadura beneficiosa, así como bacterias amigables ‘probióticas’ que están en
yogur. Las bacterias y levaduras naturales en el kéfir se combinan
simbióticamente para dar servicios de salud superiores cuando se consume regularmente. Es
cargado de valiosas vitaminas y minerales, tiene dentro fácilmente digerible
proteínas terminadas, y tiene caracteristicas antibióticas naturales, un natural
antibiótico hecho con leche!
Para los intolerantes a la lactosa, los kéfir
La abundancia de levaduras y bacterias buenas brinda lactasa, una enzima que
consume la mayoría de la lactosa que queda después del desarrollo de cultivo.
El kéfir se puede llevar a cabo con cualquier clase de leche, vaca, cabra u oveja, coco,
arroz o soja Más allá de que se está formando sutilmente mucosa, la mucosa tiene una
calidad “limpia” que crea condiciones especiales en el electrónico digestivo
tracto para la colonización de bacterias amigables.
El kéfir está hecho de partículas gelatinosas blancas o amarillas llamadas
“granos”. Esto provoca que el kéfir sea único, debido a que ninguna otra forma de cultivo de leche
granos Estos granos tienen dentro la mezcla de bacterias / levadura agrupada con
caseína (proteínas de la leche) y azúcares complejos. Se ven como piezas de coral o
pequeños grupos de coliflor y van desde el tamaño de un grano de trigo hasta ese
de una avellana. Se conoce que varios de los granos crecen en enormes hojas planas
que puede ser lo bastante grande como para contemplar tu mano! Los granos fermentan la leche,
incorporando sus organismos amigables para hacer el producto cultivado. los
Los granos se eliminan con un colador antes de consumir el kéfir y
agregado a un nuevo lote de leche.
I Además de las bacterias buenas y la levadura, el kéfir tiene dentro minerales y
aminoácidos fundamentales que asisten al cuerpo con la curación y el cuidado.
funciones Las proteínas terminadas en el kéfir se digieren medianamente y, entonces,
más fácilmente usado por el cuerpo. Triptófano, uno de los aminoácidos fundamentales.
abundante en kéfir, es bien popular por su efecto relajante sobre el sistema nervioso.
Porque el kéfir también da una cantidad enorme de calcio y magnesio, que también son
minerales destacables para un sistema nervioso saludable, el kéfir en la dieta tiene la posibilidad de tener un
efecto calmante especialmente profundo en los nervios. Extensa oferta de kéfir de
El fósforo, el segundo mineral más abundante en nuestros cuerpos, contribuye a utilizar
carbohidratos, grasas y proteínas para el desarrollo celular, cuidado y
El kéfir es abundante en vitamina B12, B1 y
Vitamina K. Es una increíble fuente de biotina, una vitamina B que asistencia a
asimilación del cuerpo de otras vitaminas B, como ácido fólico, ácido pantoténico,
y B12. Los varios provecho de sostener un rango correcto de ingesta de vitamina B
desde la regulación de los riñones, el hígado y el sistema nervioso hasta contribuir a aliviar
trastornos de la piel, incrementar la energía y fomentar la longevidad.
T Los resultados positivos de consumir kéfir regularmente en la dieta son varios.
Fácilmente digerido, limpia los intestinos, brinda bacterias buenas y
levadura, vitaminas y minerales, y proteínas terminadas. Porque el kéfir es tal
Alimento equilibrado y nutritivo, ayuda a un sistema inmunológico saludable y tiene
se ha usado para contribuir a pacientes que sufren SIDA, síndrome de fatiga crónica,
herpes y cáncer. Su efecto tranquilizante sobre el sistema nervioso tiene
benefició a varios que sufren trastornos del sueño, depresión y TDAH (atención
trastorno por déficit de hiperactividad).
La utilización regular de kéfir puede ayudar
aliviar todos los trastornos intestinales, fomentar el movimiento intestinal, achicar la flatulencia y
Crear un sistema digestivo más saludable. Además, su efecto limpiador sobre el
todo el cuerpo contribuye a detallar un ecosistema de adentro equilibrado para una salud óptima y
El kéfir también puede contribuir a remover los antojos de comestibles poco saludables al lograr que el cuerpo
Más nutrido y equilibrado. Su increíble contenido sobre nutrición da curación.
y provecho de cuidado de la salud para la gente en toda clase de condición.
Dos exquisitas recetas de kéfir
Lleve a cabo el kéfir con la leche más fría viable y agregue la más grande cantidad de
siguientes elementos, según se desee:
1 cucharada chica. de aceite de semilla de lino sin refinar
Lecitina, que contribuye a la digestión de grasas, a
Fibra, como Nutri-Flax
Probióticos (bacterias amigables)
Aromatizantes naturales o hierbas tales como
Stevia, nuez moscada, canela, vainilla sin alcohol o saborizante natural de frutas
Frutas orgánicas frescas o congeladas,
fresas, frambuesas, plátanos, kiwi, mango, etc.
Mezcla todo para conseguir un delicioso
¡Desayuno, almuerzo o merienda nutritiva y disfruta!
Apósito (sin aceite)
tazas de kéfir fresco
tbs colmadas. perejil fresco, picado
tbs colmadas. cebollino fresco, picado
tbs colmadas. ralladura de limón fría, finamente picada
tbs colmadas. ajo fresco, finamente picado
cucharadita sal marina
cucharadita Herbamare TM
cucharadita goma de xantano
1. Mezcle todos los ingredientes
(excepto goma de xantano) y combinar bien.
2. Agregue lentamente goma de xantano y continúe
mezclar hasta que la mezcla espese.
3. Se desarrollará un gusto terminado después de 6 a
Nota: Los productos lácteos se mezclan mejor con vegetales sin almidón y
frutos ácidos No tengas dudas en añadir algo de aceite de linaza a esta receta.
T la forma más fácil
¡tener kéfir fresco utilizable cualquier ocasión es llevarlo a cabo usted mismo! Entre las
beneficios del kéfir casero: puede escoger la leche que usa: orgánica,
leche sin crema, baja en grasa, entera, de cabra o de vaca; es muy abundante en microorganismos
y, desde luego, no puede ser más fresco.
Estos se dividen en 4 grupos de Género:
Lb. casei ssp. alactoso
Lb. casei ssp. rhamnosus
Lb . casei
Lb. helveticus ssp . lactis
Lb. delbrueckii ssp. lactis
Lb. delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus
* Lb. kefirgranum sp. no
* Lb parakefir sp. nov.
STREPTOCOCCI / LACTOCOCCI
Lc. lactis ssp. lactis
Lc. lactis var. diacetilactis
Lc. lactis ssp. cremoris
S. salivarius ssp. thermophilus
Kluyveromyces marxianus var.
K. fragilis / marxianus
Candida kéfir   
Saccharomyces ssp . Torulopsis holmii
Enciclopedia de alimentos
Tecnología de Comestibles y
Nutrición bajo “ Kéfir ”
* Dos nuevos
especies descubiertas hace poco. Revista En todo el mundo de Bacteriología Sistemática
44 (3) 435-439 (1994) [21 ref. Es]
La investigación exhibe que las entidades de conteo de microbios en kéfir los granos que fueron teñidos con Gram fueron:
Bacilos (células particulares, pares, cadenas), Estreptococos
(par, cadenas) y Levadura (solo
celdas) . Los medios y rangos fueron
: Bacilos 66, 62-69%; Estreptococos 16,
11-12%; Levaduras 18, 16-20%.
Nota: No tengo conocimiento de C. albicans tiene
en algún momento fué aislado del kéfir
granos, de hecho, con la asistencia y la utilización de ingestas del día a día de kéfir , he ayudado a eliminar
yo mismo C. albicans infección (sobre crecimiento).
Estos dos espectaculares artículos se escribieron por
Cathy J. Saloff-Coste
de Danone en su sitio web
El kéfir es un
refrescante leche fermentada con un gusto sutilmente ácido. Está hecho solo de
granos de kéfir o cultivos madre preparados desde granos, aunque intenta
producir kéfir con cultivos puros están en avance.
Los granos de kéfir son
Una mezcla complicada y específica de bacterias y levaduras unidas por un
matriz de polisacárido. Las bacterias del ácido láctico y la fermentación de levadura de la leche.
resulta en la producción de varios elementos, introduciendo ácido láctico, CO2, a
pequeña proporción de alcohol y una diversidad de moléculas aromáticas, todas las cuales
proporcionar kéfir con sus caracteristicas organolépticas únicas. Varios provecho para la salud
relacionados con el consumo de kéfir se han visto, pero la investigación rigurosa
El uso de métodos científicos modernos está en sus primeras etapas.
El kéfir es un fermentado
bebida que se ha consumido a lo largo de una cantidad enorme de años. Se originó en el
Las montañas del Cáucaso en la vieja Unión Soviética donde se fermentó la bebida
naturalmente en bolsas hechas de pieles de animales. En la actualidad se está ampliando su uso.
por sus caracteristicas organolépticas únicas y su extendida tradición de salud
se distingue del yogur de leche fermentada más popular en que es
tradicionalmente hecho solo de granos de kéfir que tienen dentro una mezcla complicada de
tanto bacterias como levaduras. El kéfir final tiene un organoléptico único
características. La investigación sobre sus provecho para la salud solamente está empezando, y allí
Quedan muchas cuestiones sin responder.
de kéfir existen: azucarado, un agua endulzada fermentada; y lechoso, un fermentado
Bebida de leche. Este artículo aborda la diversidad láctea, cuya norma ha sido
establecido por la Federación En todo el mundo de Lechería (2), y proporcionará un
Resumen de sus características y una discusión de su salud potencial
Características y consumo de kéfir
El kéfir es un
refrescante leche fermentada sutilmente carbonatada y ácida (3). Puede ser
se consume como és o se puede utilizar para cocinar (en sopas, salsas y pasteles). los
propiedades organolépticas distintivas difieren del yogur en que pequeñas proporciones de
El CO2, el alcohol y las moléculas aromáticas se generan como producto de un doble
fermentación de bacterias ácido lácticas y levaduras.
Aunque el kéfir es
acaba de ser descubierto en varias zonas de todo el mundo, fué muy habitual en
la ex Unión Soviética, Hungría y Polonia a lo largo de varios años. En la antigua
Unión Soviética, el kéfir representa el 70% de la cantidad total de leche fermentada
consumido (4). También es bien popular en Suecia, Noruega, Finlandia y Alemania (5)
, así como en Grecia, Austria, Brasil e Israel (6). Es actualmente
disponible en los USA, primordialmente como una bebida étnica, y está creciendo en
popularidad en Japón
Granos de kéfir
En tanto que el yogur puede
se puede llevar a cabo fácilmente desde las bacterias del ácido láctico presentes en el yogur fresco, el kéfir
solo se puede llevar a cabo con granos de kéfir y cultivos madre preparados desde granos.
Los granos tienen dentro un equilibrio de microorganismos subjetivamente permanente y específico.
que hay en una complicada relación simbiótica. Los granos se forman en el
proceso de llevar a cabo kéfir y solo desde granos que ya existían. Se parecen a pequeños
flores de coliflor, y cada grano tiene un diámetro de 3 a 20 mm (7). Granos de kéfir
son grupos de microorganismos unidos por una matriz de polisacáridos.
Los granos tienen dentro primordialmente bacterias del ácido láctico (lactobacilos, lactococos,
leuconostocs) y levaduras, e tienen dentro bacterias de ácido acético y probablemente otras
La organización de los microorganismos de los granos no está totalmente aclarada. Más
más de mil años de consumo demostraron que los microorganismos
en kéfir no son patógenos. Aún más, la leche inoculada con granos puede
suprime el desarrollo de algunos patógenos como Salmonella o Shigella (1). los
la matriz de grano está compuesta por un complejo de 13% de proteína (en peso seco), 24%
polisacárido, más restos celulares y elementos extraños (6). El director
El polisacárido es una sustancia soluble en agua popular como kefiran. Varios
especies de Lactobacillus homofermentativas, dentro L. kefiranofaciens y L.
el kéfir (9-11) produce este polisacárido. Son una sección integral de la
grano, y sin su presencia, los granos de kéfir no tienen la posibilidad de propagarse. los
mecanismo, no obstante, no se sabe totalmente.
Fabricación de kéfir
métodos de producción de kéfir (ver Figura 1). Los científicos de comestibles son actualmente
estudiando técnicas modernas para producir un kéfir con las mismas características que
los que están en el kéfir clásico, pero sin algunos de sus problemas.
1. Desarrollo clásico
o artesanal, el método de llevar a cabo kéfir se consigue en la actualidad añadiendo directamente
granos de kéfir (2-10%) a la leche que fué pasteurizada y enfriada a 20-25 ° C.
Después de un período de fermentación que dura cerca de 24 horas, se eliminan los granos.
por filtración La bebida, que tiene dentro microflora viva del grano.
(ver Tabla 1), entonces está listo para el consumo. Los granos crecen en el desarrollo de
producción de kéfir, y se reutilizan para fermentaciones posteriores (6). Los granos pueden
luego secar a temperatura ámbito y sostener a temperatura fría (4 ° C). Para
conservación más extendida, tienen la posibilidad de liofilizarse (liofilizarse) o congelarse (14).
El método, popular como el “método ruso”, facilita la producción de kéfir en
a más grande escala, y usa una secuencia de dos fermentaciones. Lo primero que hay que hacer es
preparar los cultivos incubando leche con granos (2-3%), como se termina de detallar.
Los granos se eliminan después por filtración y el cultivo madre final es
añadido a la leche (1-3%) que se fermenta a lo largo de 12 a 18 horas (6). Varios
Los inconvenientes asociados con el kéfir clásico llevaron a un método más moderno de
producción. El método clásico produce solo pequeños volúmenes de kéfir, y
requiere numerosos pasos, cada paso agregada incrementa el compromiso de
los granos en sí mismos no se comprenden bien, y no están bien
revisado. La fuerte presión del contenido de gas CO2 puede conducir a
explosión del envase a menos que sean contenedores apropiados que resistan
se usan escapes de gas (14). Por último, la vida útil del kéfir clásico es
Muy corto, menos de tres días.
2. Desarrollo reciente
Para solucionar las adversidades anteriores, algunos productores en
Europa del Este empezó a usar cultivos liofilizados concentrados hechos de
granos (7). Estas culturas madre se usan como iniciadores a granel para la producción directa.
inoculación de la leche. Más control sobre el desarrollo y menos pasos proporcionan
Una calidad más consistente.
3. Current areas of research
Attention is now being turned toward producing kefir
from pure, defined cultures (15-17). This method will allow for a better
control of the microorganisms involved, an ease of production, and a more
consistent quality. The product will also have a longer shelf-life (14) of 10
to 15 days at 4¡C. It will also permit various modifications of the product to
achieve certain health or nutritional benefits.
procedures for manufacturing kefir have been developed using pure cultures
isolated from kefir grains. Milk can be inoculated simultaneously with lactic
acid bacteria and yeast, or it can undergo two fermentations, the first with
lactic acid bacteria and the second with yeast. Results have been encouraging,
but finding the right equilibrium of bacterial and yeast strains to create a
product with the characteristic properties of traditional kefir including both
the organoleptic qualities and the health benefits – is a difficult task. los
major difficulty is understanding the microbiology of kefir.
The microbiological, chemical, and nutritional
composition of kefir
and flavor of kefir vary significantly, depending on a variety of factors
including the source (cow, ewe, goat, mare) (18) and the fat content (regular
fat, lowfat, nonfat) of the milk used, the composition of the grains or
starters, and the technological conditions of production(14).
Table 2 lists some of the biochemical components of
the range of kefir. The major products formed during fermentation are lactic
acid, CO2, and alcohol. Many aromatic compounds, including diacetyl and
acetaldehyde are present in kefir (14) .
produced by Str. lactis subsp. diacetylactis and Leuconostoc sp. (7). The pH of
kefir is 4.2 to 4.6 (19). As in yogurt, the lactose content is reduced in kefir
(14), and the b-galactosidase level is increased as a result of fermentation.
Information on vitamin and mineral content is limited and sometimes
contradictory, but overall, there do not seem to be significant variations from
that of the milk used. There is also a small increase in proteolysis, leading
to an increase in free amino acids (2).
Health properties of kefir
Kefir enjoys a
rich tradition of health claims. In the former Soviet Union, it is used in
hospitals and sanatoria for a variety of conditions, including metabolic
disorders, atherosclerosis, and allergic disease (1). It has even been used for
the treatment of tuberculosis, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders when no
modern medical treatment was available. Its consumption has also been
associated with longevity in Caucasus (20) . Various scientists have observed
digestive benefits of kefir (21, 22) , but controlled studies have yet to
confirm their empirical findings.
research teams around the world have reported encouraging results, but several
methodological difficulties still need to be resolved. Most studies to date
have been performed in vitro or using animal models, and human studies are not
available. Further, the effects of kefir grains or their isolates are
often studied, rather than the product kefir, and there is no evidence that the
observed effects would occur using the drink itself. Also, kefir products vary
significantly according to the composition of the grains used and even
according to the region in which it is made, and therefore specific effects may
not be demonstrated in all kefirs. Given these caveat, a variety of health
benefits are being investigated. Table 3 presents recent studies using kefir
studies have investigated the antitumor activity of kefir (20, 23, 24) and of
kefir grains (25, 26) . Specific cultures isolated from kefir were also shown
to bind to mutagenic substances such as indole and imidazole (27, 28). Immune
system stimulation with kefir (24) and with sphingomyelin isolated from the
lipids of kefir (29) have been demonstrated in both in vitro and in vivo
possesses antimicrobial activity in vitro against a wide variety of
gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria (20, 31), and against some fungi (20)
. In Zacconi et al.ís recent study (30), the antagonistic effects of kefir
against Salmonella kedougou were attributed to the complexity and vitality of
the kefir microflora. De Vrese et al . (32) demonstrated that fresh, but not heat treated,
disintegrated kefir grains suspended in kefir directly enhanced intestinal
lactose digestion in minipigs. This effect was attributed to microbial
b-galactosidase activity of kefir. The above studies provide encouraging
results, but much more research is necessary in order to demonstrate similar
effects using kefir in humans. Further, a standardized, well-defined product
must be used in order to provide useful information.
Research on fermented milks (FM) has grown
dramatically in the past 20 years. FM have probiotic effects since their
consumption leads to the ingestion of large numbers of live bacteria which
exert health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Major results of research are as
follows. Yogurt consumption reduces symptoms of lactose maldigestion compared
to milk. FM, may have antibacterial and immunological properties.
Ingestion of the lactic acid bacteria bifidobacteria improves the colonic
microflora by increasing bifidobacteria levels. Lactobacillus casei reduces the
duration of some types of diarrhea. Future research conducted using human
subjects, with rigorous methodology and modern statistical analysis, will
provide further information on the health benefits of FM.
Keywords: fermented milk, probiotic, yogurt, kefir, Lactobacillus streptococcus,
Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus casei, bifidobacterium
bacteria (LAB): a large group of bacteria with the common characteristic of
producing lactic acid as the primordial end product of metabolism; found in milk
and other natural environments LAB can be: a. homofermentative: produce 70-90%
lactic acid; e.g., L. bulgaricus, S. thermo-philus, L. acidophilus b.
heterofermentative: produce at least 50% lactic acid agregado other compounds such
as acetic acid, CO2, and ethanol; e.g., L. casei, bifidobacteria a. mesophilic:
grow best at a temperature range of 25-30¡C; e.g., L. casei b. thermophilic:
prefer a range of 40-44¡C; e.g., L. bulgaricus, S. thermophilus a.
Facultatively prefer anaerobic anaerobic: conditions for metabolism, but are
aero-tolerant (most LAB fit in this b. Strictly anaerobic: survive only in
anaerobic conditions; e.g., bifidobacteria
Foods that, by
virtue of physiologically active food components, provide health benefits
beyond basic nutrition (Working definition of ILSI Functional Food Task Force,
Brussels, February 17,1997). Interleukin, interferon, tumor necrosis factor:
examples of cytokines, which serve as signals between cells involved in immune
response. sIgA: secretory immunoglobulin A; primordial antibody produced by the
gut immune system.
Azoreductase,§-glucuronidase, glycocholic acid hydrolase, nitroreductase:
colonic enzymes implicated in the conversion of procarcinogens to
carcinogens. LDL/HDL: ratio between blood levels of low density
lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein; level above 3 indicates increased
risk of cardiovascular disease. Breath hydrogen test: measurement of hydrogen
expired after oral lactose load of 12-50 g compared to base level; > 10-20
ppm indicates malabsorption.
From legend to science: Historical perspective
fermented milks have been purported to provide a large gamut of health
benefits, from improving well-being to increasing longevity. One story recounts
that in the sixteenth century, King Fran*ois the First of France suffered from
persistent diarrhea, and after several unsuccessful treatments, a Turkish
doctor was sent in. He brought with him sheep and a secret recipe for yogurt.
The king was soon cured of his intestinal infection.
Scientific interest began much later, in the early
twentieth century, when Elie Metchnikoff, a Nobel-prize winning biologist at
the Pasteur Institute in Paris, first suggested that lactobacilli might
counteract the putrefactive effects of gastrointestinal metabolism (1). En el
past twenty years, scientific research has blossomed, with an interest in
topics ranging from antimicrobial effects to reduction of risk of cancer. Much
valuable preliminary work has been done using animal or in vitro models, which
allow for much greater control over cambiantes than when studying humans, and
which offer reproducible results. These models are also useful for studying the
Studying the effects of FM on humans presents several
challenges. Fermented milksare unctional foods, and as such, their impact on
human physiology is of a small amplitude and not easily detected. Also, early
humans studies, though numerous, were generally case reports rather than modern
experimental studies (randomized). Currently, researchers are beginning to
address these methodological problems.
Yogurt, the ever-popular fermented milk
According to the
Codex Alimentarius (5), yogurt is milk (usually cowís milk) that has been
fermented by Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus under
defined conditions of time and temperature. Each species of bacteria stimulates
the growth of the other, and the products of their combined metabolism produce
the characteristic creamy texture and mild acid flavor. Fermentation is stopped
by cooling, and the final product, which contains100-1000 million live bacteria
per ml, is refrigerated until use. As a fresh dairy product, it has a limited
1. Milk digestibility
Given all the
research to date on FM, the fact that lactose is better digested from yogurt
than from milk by lactase-deficient individuals is the most well-established
health benefit (6). Yogurt ingestion leads both to less hydrogen production in
the breath hydrogen test (lactose maldigestion) (Figure 1) and to reduced
symptoms (lactose intolerance) (Marteau, 1990; Lerebours,1989; Kolars, 1984).
This effect is related to the living bacteria, the enzymatic content ( e.g
,§-galactosidase), and the texture of yogurt.
2. Recovery from diarrhea
the duration of certain types of diarrhea, especially in children (Niv, 1963;
Boudraa, 1990). The World Health Organization (WHO, 1995) recommends that
during treatment of diarrhea, yogurt should replace milk when available since
it is better tolerated than milk and can help prevent malnutrition or
reestablish nutritional adequacy.
3. Immunomodulating effects
Yogurt has been
shown to enhance various parameters of the immune system in invitro models (13)
and in mice (14-16). In humans, one study found an improvement in clinical
symptoms of nasal allergy, but no changes in any parameters tested (17) . UN
recent report with atopic subjects found no significant modification of immune
system parameters, showing that there was no aggravation of the immune system
caused by yogurt (18) . Very high concentrations of yogurt bacteria have led to
increases in IFNy, B lymphocytes, and natural killer cells (19) , and yogurt
consumption increased 2í,5í-a synthetase activity (a reflection of production
of IFNy) (20).
4. Reduction of risk of cancer
epidemiological study from France showed that people consuming yogurt had less
risk of developing large colorectal adenomas (21). In addition, the consumption
of yogurt in elderly subjects with atrophic gastritis led to a decrease in the
procarcinogenic fecal enzymes nitroreductase and azoreductase (22). Research in
this field is intriguing, but preliminary.
5. Blood cholesterol levels
Mann and Spoerry
(23) reported over 20 years ago that Maasai warriors consumed several liters of
FM per day and yet had low serum cholesterol levels. This observation sparked a
series of conflicting studies on the possible hypocholesterolemic properties of
yogurt and other FM. Results have been inconsistent (24). What is clear is that
regular consumption of yogurt does not increase plasma cholesterol
concentration (24, 25); yogurt can be part of the daily intake of individuals
who are concerned about heart disease.
Kefir, another traditional fermented milk
Kefir is a
stirred beverage made from milk fermented with a complex mixture of bacteria
(including various species of lactobacilli, lactococci, leuconostocs, and
aceterobacteria) and yeasts (both lactose-fermenting and
non-lactose-fermenting). The small amount of CO2, alcohol, and aromatic
compounds produced by the cultures give it its characteristic fizzy, acid taste
(26). Kefir fabrication differs from that of yogurt in that kefir grains (small
clusters of microorganisms held together in a polysaccharide matrix) or mother
cultures from grains (27) are added to milk and cause its fermentation. Kefir
is actually a family of products, in that the grains and technology used can
vary significantly and thus result in products with different compositions.
benefits have been traditionally reported. Kefir has been used for the
treatment of atherosclerosis, allergic disease, and gastrointestinal disorders,
among other diseases (28). Until recently, most research has been limited to
studies lacking modern statistical practices or to reports written up in Slavic
languages, rendering them inaccessible to most western scientists.
studies have investigated antibacterial (29), immunological(30), antitumoral
(31), and hypocholesterolemic(32) effects of kefir consumption on animals.
Results suggest potential benefits. Fresh, but not heat-treated grains in kefir
enhanced intestinal lactose digestion in minipigs (33). While awaiting more
research, it is important to remember that kefir, like yogurt, has been and
continues to be a part of the regular diet in central and eastern Europe for
centuries. Bifidobacterium: a natural inhabitant of the intestines
Bifidobacteria were first described in 1900 by Tissier (34) . Since that time,
their classification has evolved continually, and currently includes around
thirty species (35, 36) . In general, they are strictly anaerobic,
Gram-positive rods which often have special nutritional needs and grow slowly
in milk. Very few strains are adapted well enough to milk that they both grow
in sufficient numbers and survive well throughout the shelf-life of the FM.
bifidobacteria produce both lactic acid and acetic acid as major end-products
of metabolism (heterofermentative), many microbiologists consider them to be
lactic acid bacteria, albeit a special case. Tissierís hypothesis almost
100 years ago that bifidobacteria might have health benefits(37) was based on
the following observations. Bifidobacteria are habitual inhabitants of the human
intestinal tract throughout the life cycle, beginning just days after birth.
Further, they are often the predominant microorganism in the gut of breast-fed
infants. It has since been shown that breast-fed babies are less at risk for
diarrheal disease than formula-fed infants (38). In addition to the above
inherent characteristics of bifidobacteria, some strains of the micro-organism
survive intestinal transit in sufficient numbers to exert a metabolic effect in
the gut (39,40).
1. Effects on the intestinal microflora
Ingestion of milk
fermented with bifidobacteria leads to an increase in fecal bifidobacteria
levels, both in infants (43) and in adults (44) . Elevated levels return to
normal after cessation of consumption (39). Ingestion of FM with bifidobacteria
has also led to a decrease in §-glucuronidase activity, but not in other
enzymes associated with colon (44).
2. Effect on mild constipation
transit can be partially corrected in women by the regular consumption of a
milk fermented with yogurt cultures and bifidobacteria (41). This effect was
not observed with yogurt as a control, thus demonstrating the specificity of
bifidobacteria for the increased colonic motility (42).
3. Prevention of diarrhea
Few studies have
sido llevado a cabo. One double-blind study of infants demonstrated that a formula
with added B. bifidum and S. thermophilus reduced the incidence of
hospital-acquired diarrhea compared to a standard formula. It also lowered the
rate of rotavirus shedding into the environment (45).
4. Immunomodulating effects
Ingestion of milk
fermented with B. bifidum led to an increase in phagocytic activity in
peripheral blood compared to milk consumption (46). A mixture of B. bifidum and
L. acidophilus decreased chronic inflammation of the sigmoid colon and
increased humoral immunity in a group of elderly subjects (47).
Lactobacillus casei: new interest in an old bacteria
The group L.
casei consists of several species of facultatively anaerobic and
hetero-fermentative, mesophilic lactic acid bacteria(48). Their metabolism
provides organoleptic qualities to several traditional FM and cheeses, and more
recently, to new fermented milks. L. casei have been detected in the feces of
both infants (49) and adults (50). Their ability to survive transit through the
intestinal tract in adequate numbers to have a physiological effect (50) ,
coupled with their potential health benefits make L. casei an ideal candidate
for a probiotic.
1. Treatment of diarrhea
blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials have demonstrated that oral
consumption of L. casei reduces the duration of diarrhea (51), and in
particular, rotavirus gastroenteritis (52) in children. In addition, L. casei
may help disminuye the duration of diarrhea associated with children in day care
centers (53), antibiotic treatment (54) and travelerís diarrhea (55).
2. Effects on the intestinal microflora
In addition to
increasing lactobacilli count in feces (50), milk fermented with L. casei has
been shown to lower the activity of the colonic enzymes §-glucuronidase (50,
56), glycocholic acid reductase, and nitroreductase (56) in healthy adults. UN
recent study demonstrated a decrease in §-glucuronidase and §-glucosidase
activities in infants after ingestion of a milk fermented with yogurt cultures
and L. casei. This effect was not found with yogurt alone or with gelled milk
(control) (57) , thus suggesting that the modification was due to L. casei or
to the association between L. casei and yogurt.
3. Immunomodulating effects
Challenge tests (
e.g ., using Salmonella typhimurium ) with oral ingestion of L. casei in mice
has led to increased protection in animals infected with pathogenic bacteria
(58, 59). A few reports using human subjects have shown an enhancement of
non-specific immune system activators, such as y interferon and interleukins
(ex vivo) (60) and of specific immune responses to various challenges,
including rotavirus vaccine (61). In a recent study infants with atopic
dermatitis were given formula with added L. casei. Not only did the
concentration of fecal tumor necrosis factor-a decrease significantly (a
measure of the immune response), but clinical symptoms improved as well (62) .
Viability of the bacteria is an important aspecto of its effectiveness (61).
In addition to
the probiotics discussed above, other bacteria, some well known and some more
recent, offer additional health benefits. In especial, much research has been
conducted on L. acidophilus. Several studies suggest a hypocholesterolemic
effect of L. acidophilus (63) , while others have investigated its ability to
prevent various types of diarrhea (64) and to disminuye the incidence of candidal
In addition, consumption of L. acidophilus has led to
modifications of various parameters of the immune system (46), and to a
decrease in several fecal enzymes associated with colon cancer (66). Less
well-known bacteria include Lb. helveticus (67), L. plantarum(68) , and L.
reuteri (69). These lactic acid bacteria have different microbiological and
metabolic characteristics than the ones listed above, but may also exhibit
health effects, such as stabilizing the intestinal microflora or reducing the
duration of diarrhea.
effects of lactic acid bacteria and FM can be categorized in the following way:
effects on the small intestine and digestion, direct modification of the
colonic microflora and its metabolism, and general effects initiated in the
colon. Thus, yogurtís main health benefit is related to improved lactose
digestion; while bifidobacteria primarily affects the balance of the colonic
microflora; and kefir and L. casei provide more global benefits, the first in
relation to its antimicrobial effects and the second to diarrhea. In all cases,
the lactic acid bacteria must be present in the FM in very large numbers, and
must be live and active. Not all effects have received as yet adequate
scientific attention. Few studies have compared various types of FM. As more
research is performed using human subjects and with rigorous methodology and
statistically valid conditions, the variety of health benefits of FM will
become more well-defined.
plethora of sometimes contradictory evidence, it is important to remember the
nutritional and organoleptic qualities of yogurt and kefir that make them both
healthful and pleasant choices in a balanced, varied diet, regardless of
probiotic effects. The probiotics discussed in this report are incorporated in
FM because of health benefits beyond inherent nutrition, and are appropriate
for individuals with specific health goals. Taken together, they represent the
best of both tradition and modern science; FM and probiotics have journeyed
from nutrition practice to nutrition science and back again.
These two wonderful articles were written by
Cathy J. Saloff-Coste from Dannone at their website www.dannone.com
heard about Caucasicum offered through a nutritional MLM. Can you tell me more
information is about the best probiotic and anti-oxidant of which I’ve learned
during my research this year. We were so impressed with its qualities both my
husband and I have been using it since January. Its ingredients are far ahead
of ordinary yogurt, as made commercially. Because it is in capsule form, it can
easily be swallowed by those who don’t like yogurt, and want a product which
will give them more pro-biotic or friendly bacteria, along with its amazing
Caucasicum, is a combination of Kefir grain, which is among the world’s first
known grains, and a type of yogurt culture derived from Kefir. The end result
is a complex, symbiotic mixture of the micro-organisms that indigenous peoples
of mid-Eastern countries have been consuming for many centuries. It naturally
contains 4 crea and 11 species of probiotic, or friendly, bacteria. Es
then freeze-dried at low temperatures, and 2 probiotic growth accelerants are
added, recognized as superb. The end result is a complete, alcohol and
yeast-free, Kefir complex in every capsule.
yogurt which most Americans eat is quite basic. The yogurt manufacturers
usually add 2 species of friendly bacteria to milk, along with flavorings,
sugar, and small amounts of overcooked fruit. It is then bottled in various
shapes of containers, and then allowed to ferment in incubators. This is more
of a dessert than anything else. Even the plain yogurt, while a good
calcium-rich food, is no match for the de hoy probiotics, or friendly bacteria,
contained in the Kefir Caucasicum. However, there is a use in a healthful diet
for both the plain, calcium-rich yogurt, and the Kefir Caucasicum.
other part of Caucasicum Agregado is one which helps to give the product its unique
properties and astounding healthful benefits. Rhodogen, a Trade- Marked
Formula, is an unusual extract from the root of an extremely rare variety of
plant named Rhododendron Caucasicum. It is also known as the Snow Rose, and
usually grows at altitudes above 7,000 ft. on the Caucacus Mountains in the
Republic of Georgia. This was once part of the southern border of the Soviet
Union. It is not unusual for people to live beyond 100 years of age in that
region. About 40 years ago Soviet scientists launched a full scale research
project to discover the reason for this longevity.
was discovered that the Georgian peoples traditionally brewed the roots of
their Snow Rose into what they called Alpine Tea. and added it to their widely
used Kefir culture, which proved to be the key to their longevity. The reasons
they did so were three-fold. The Alpine Tea or Rhododendron Caucasicum
sweetened the Kefir culture, while protecting it from harmful bacteria, or
turning rancid before it could be eaten, and they learned over a long period of
time that it gave them strength and energy. They also discovered that it
protected them from what today we call “free radicals, pathogens, and
viruses.” But to them it just seemed to ward off many diseases from which
their neighbors in surrounding countries were always dying.
scientists learned that the Rhododendron Caucasicum has many important
properties of its own. It improves physical abilities, increases activity of
the cardiovascular system, and increases blood supply to muscles and especially
to the brain. It also shows tremendous anti- bacterial activity against the
harmful bacteria, but allows “friendly” or probiotics, such as are
found in Kefir culture, to thrive.
were many clinical studies and experiments performed over the years in the
First Central Moscow Hospital using the Rhododendron Caucasicum alone. Estas
all proved very successful in cases of Heart Disease, Gout, Neuropsychotic (brain)
Disease, severe Depression, Capillary fragility, and Detoxicant (increasing
discharges of toxins from the body.) The most important discovery, however, was
that it was the most tremendously effective ultra-antioxidant or “free
radical” scavenger in their experiences.
are other plant extracts such as pine bark and grape seed, sold under several
different product names, that have shown strong anti- oxidant activity.
However, they are, by nature, much less effective “free extremista”
scavengers. Furthermore, the methods of extracting and producing those extracts
almost always include the use of organic solvents, which generate highly toxic
and powerful “free radicals” them- selves,–the very things the
products were meant to destroy. So, much of the scavenging energy of pine bark
and grape seed extracts is spent cleaning up the very dangers that they
Rhododendron Caucasicum in CAUCASICUM PLUS is not only a much more effective
antioxidant or “free extremista” scavenger, but it is also absolutely
organic solvent-free, and 100% water soluble.
added to the Kefir Caucasicum culture, are concentrated minerals from the
waters of the Georgian mountains. Each of these ingredients are incredible by
themselves, but when all 3 are combined, the final result is the unique product
known as Caucasicum Plus.
Caucasicum Agregado helps to increase the circulation in the legs, it is a valuable
Formula to take on a regular basis. I will Forward a Testimonial to you
further information on Caucasicum Agregado, again please look in my Web Site below.
Also, if I can help you further in any way, don’t hesitate to write me with
Health for YOU, and Everyone!
Kefir is a cultured,
enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your
“inner ecosystem.” More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, it
supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins.
Why should I drink kefir?
is fácil and inexpensive to make at home.
is used therapeutically around the world in relieving Candidiasis, Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome, A.D.H.D., Crohn’s, Emphysema, and restoring the inner
eco-system after antibiotic therapy.
is great for kids who eat lots of junk food or sugar.
is a natural tranquilizer and antibiotic.
is excellent nourishment for pregnant and nursing women, the elderly, and
those with compromised immunity.
What if I’m lactose intolerant, don’t do dairy
digest milk products well –
is kefir right
The beneficial yeast and friendly bacteria in the kefir culture consume
most of the lactose (or milk sugar). Eat kefir on an empty stomach first thing in the morning before (or for) breakfast and
you’ll bedelighted to find it can be easily digested — as numerous people who
have been lactose intolerant for years have discovered.
We offer a kefir starter culture, an easy, reliable way to have fresh kefir whenever you desire.
If you prefer to purchase ready-made kefir at your health food store (in
this form it is perishable and would be found in the refrigerated section), the
only such product approved by Body Ecology is made by Helios Nutrition.
You can call them toll-free at 1-888-3HELIOS (343-5467) to find out where it
may be available in your area. You can also visit their Web site at: http://www.heliosnutrition.com
THE CAUCASUS KEFIR
1908, Metchnikov wrote in his book, “The Prolongation of Life” that
the secret to longevity that he found in the Russian mountains was the yogurt
that the people were making and eating.
villagers of Caucasus mountains gave us yogurt. But this part of the world
is also the origin of fermented milk product that may be good for your health
called Kefir . los
history of Kefir is
centuries old. It is mentioned in the Koran and is very well known in
acid bacteria (LAB) have been used to ferment foods for at least 4000
years. Without understanding the scientific basis, people used LAB and
kefirs (bacteria and yeast complexes) to produce cultured foods with improved
preservation and with different characteristic flavors and textures from the
original food. A wide variety of foods including sausage, ham, wine,
cider, beer, sauerkraut, olives, and pickles contain LAB and other GRAS
(“Generally Recognized As Safe”) microorganisms. LAB are used
for many fermented milk products from all over the world as well, including
yogurt, cheese, butter, buttermilk, kefir , and kourniss. Although kefir is just being
discovered in some areas of the world, it has been very habitual in Europe and
the Middle East. In the former Soviet Union, kefir accounts for 70% of the total amount of
fermented milk consumed. It is also well known in Sweden, Norway,
Finland, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Greece, Austria, Brazil, and Israel.
yogurt, kefir is
milk based. The process to make kefir involves fermenting milk with what are called kefir grains. los
grains are a mass of safe bacteria, yeast and polysaccharide (complex
sugars). The grains are a living growing mass that have been the subject
of much study to define exactly what makes up the grains. Origin, storage,
temperature, growth, media (what you feed the kefir to make it grow) and handling all
influence the make up of the grains.
polysaccharide that makes up the mass of the kefir grain has been shown to be unique and has
been given the name kefiran. The fermentation process takes about twenty
four hours, during which the grains change milk into a sour tasting
drink. Many years of consumption in these countries have demonstrated
that the microorganisms in kefir
are not pathogenic or disease causing. Kefir is actually a preventative. Eso
processes antimicrobial activity against a wide variety of gram positive and
gram negative bacteria and against some fungi. In a recent study by
Zacconi, the antagonistic effects of kefir against Salmonella was attributed to the complexity
and vitality of the unique microflora found in this complex.
folklore of Kefir
enjoys a rich tradition of health claims. In the former Soviet Union, it
is used in hospitals and Santeria for a variety of conditions, including metabolic
disorders, atherosclerosis, and allergic disease. It has even been used
for the treatment of tuberculosis, abnormal cell growth, high cholesterol
levels, gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases, hypertension, ischaemic heart
disease and allergy. The mild acid taste and its characteristic
microflora facilitate salivation, enzyme secretion in the stomach and pancreas
and improved peristalsis. Kefir
contributes to more even movement of food in the intestine and the presence of
lactic acid, acetic acid and antibiotic substances inhibit decomposition
processes in the small intestine.
consumption has also been associated with longevity in Caucasus Mountains where
the drink was fermented naturally in bags made of animal hides. For
additional information, read the research of Dr. Kornai.
This is from the folklore of the region
and we make no claims as to the effectiveness of our kefir to treat or control disease. Eso
is, however, a very healthy drink which can help control bad bacteria and
yeasts in the digestive tract.
Caucasus Kefir was
brought to us by a Christian missionary in 1983. We have kept this
complex alive since that time and have studied the many. microorganisms it
contains, including Saccharomyces boulardii, a now well known yeast which is
antagonistic to Candida albicans and pathogenic bacteria which cause severe
gastrointestinal upset for the travelers. After years of work we were
able to stabilize and freeze dry the complex so that it could be encapsulated
and shipped to those in need.
thousands of years, the villagers in the Caucasus mountains had never allowed
their precious complex to be used outside their area, but the missionary (who
was originally born and raised in the village), convinced them that this
discovery was too important to be used by only a few people. We are
honored that the people of the Caucasus have shared their unique
development with us.
How to Make Kefir
is a fácil procedure, requiring only a few minutes of your time. Writing a recipe,
however, is a problem. It is easier to start in the middle with the daily
routine of making Kefir
and then go back to explain how to buy your first Kefir grains.
that there is a quart jar of 2 or 3-day old Kefir standing on the counter top in the
kitchen, this is the procedure:
Taste the Kefir to
see that it is finished to your taste.
Pour the Kefir
through a strainer into a bowl.
With the back of a spoon, gently press some of the remaining liquid from the Kefir grains.
Wash the Kefir
grains that are in the strainer under the faucet or with a spray. Move the
grains around in the strainer once or twice to be sure that the grains at the
bottom are also being washed. The grains should be thoroughly clean.
Put the washed grains of Kefir
into a quart of fresh milk. (Do not have the jar of milk completely full. Allow
room for the addition of the Kefir
tea cupful of grains to a quart of fresh goats milk is just about right for a
slightly thick Kefir
drink. As your Kefir
grains grow past this amount, you can start a second jar of milk.
Stir with a clean spoon, place a saucer on top of the jar to keep out the dust,
and equipo the jar back out of the way on the counter top.
Pour the strained Kefir
that is in the bowl back into the jar that it was made in, put on a top, and
Allow the new Kefir
to stand for two or three days, stirring once or twice a day as you think of
Taste the Kefir milk
occasionally after the second day in order to determine when it is done to your
Repeat this process from No. 2 through No. 9 to start a new jar of Kefir .
Trum Hunter has an excellent section on Kefir on pages 75-83 in her book, Yogurt & Other
Milk Cultures . She gives the history of Kefir , its unusual health values, and a few
excellent recipes. If her directions for freezing Kefir grains (middle of page 79) are followed
carefully, it is a fácil matter to store your Kefir grains during the winter when your goats
Kefir is a
living relationship, a symbiosis, of a number of bacteria and yeast, which form
grains or cauliflower-like structures. These living organisms ferment milk into
the living food Kefir . Kefir is a Super Yoghurt, up to 36 times
more probiotic than yoghurt.
Kefir does not equal Kefir
There are at least three different varieties of cultures. The water Kefir has grains like milk Kefir , but is grown in water with sugar
and dried fruit. It’s also called ‘Japanese water crystals’ or ‘Tibi’.
Scientific analysis indicates that there are many different friendly bacteria
and yeasts combined in Kefir . Kefir grains are mostly sold as dried
granulates. However, there is in most cases a problem to revive the grains.
Over the years I have sold the dried grains, and all my customers have not been
able to grow new grains to give to friends or produce a Kefir as pleasant tasting as the Kefir made from the LIVING Kefir -plant.
The LIVING Kefir plant
looks like a cauliflower where many of the grains form one plant.
However, there is a problem with the culture, since it can only survive in milk
or only for a few days in water. This is the reason why LIVING Kefir must be given from friend to
friend. This is why the International Kefir
Network was founded.
Kefir grains are a biological production
centre. Living foods like Kefir
are pro-biotic. Kefir helps to
detoxify, support and balance digestion and to build up the immune system to
counteract negative influences.
During the fermentation process the Kefir
grains change habitual milk into the Kefir
beverage. Lactic acid, ethanol, acetic acid, carbon dioxide and other compounds
are produced as well as vitamins. The delicious microbiological LIVING
food Kefir can be very helpful
in regenerating the bowel flora and works in this way, in many cases like a
Kefir converts habitual, unhealthy
(pasteurised, homogenised) milk, which we buy in grocery shops, into living
healthy food. Kefir also
revitalises milk powder and even soymilk into living food but not microwaved
For further reading the book Kefir
For pleasure, beauty and well-being is recommended. The book has many
recipes showing how to use Kefir
for your taste buds’ pleasure, like Kefir
champagne , ice cream, salad dressings and how to make your own products for
beauty, hair, foot and body care. Kefir
is excellent for skin treatments and beauty. The book Skin Saver Remedies
is recommended for further reading.
It is recommended in some publications that you should replace your Kefir Culture for “hygienic
reasons” after a 2-month use.
If you make Kefir with a healthy
living Kefir Culture you will
find, that this culture will reproduce many new cultures within this 2-month
Why should you throw away perfectly healthy Kefir cultures?
How was it done over the centuries in the countries
where Kefir is found?
Was there ever a Kefir
culture, which reproduced many new cultures, which was not healthy itself and
had to be replaced?
There is NO reason to replace a reproducing Kefir culture.
Dried Kefir grains are often
dead. If your culture does not reproduce, you most probably make nothing else
than sour milk with dead Kefir
grains were taken to the Moscow Dairy and in September, 1908, the first bottles
of kefir drink were
offered for sale in Moscow. Small quantities of kefir were produced in several small towns in
the area where there was a ready market for it, people mostly consume it for
its alleged medicinal value.
Commercial manufacture of kefir
on a large scale began in Russia, in the 1930s. However, it is difficult to
produce kefir by
conventional methods on a commercial scale.
was made in cows or goats milk in sacks made from the hides of animals.
Occasionally it was also made in clay pots or wooden buckets or oak vats and in
some areas sheeps milk was also used. Usually the kefir sacks were hung in the sun during the day
and brought back into the house at night, when they were hung near the door.
Everyone who entered or left the house was expected to prod the sack with their
foot to mix the contents. As kefir
was removed more fresh milk was added, making the fermentation process
By the 1930’s kefir was being made as a set-type product which entailed
growing a quantity of grains milk and then straining out the grains and adding
the cultured milk to a larger batch of fresh milk. The mixture was incubated
and, when equipo, allowed to cool.
Unfortunately, this type of product was not as good as the one produced using
the tradition home-style method. During the 1950’s workers at the All-Union
Dairy Research Institute (VNIMI) developed a new method for commercial kefir production which gave a
drink semejante to that produced in the home by traditional methods. The kefir was produced by the
Fermentation, coagulation, agitation, ripening and cooling, were carried out in
a large vessel, and then the kefir
In 1973 the Minister of the Food Industry of the
Soviet Union sent a letter to Irina Sakharova thanking her for bringing kefir to the Russian people.
Presently, kefir is
the most habitual fermented milk in Russia. Various reports have stated that it
accounts for between 65% and 80% of total fermented milk sales in Russia with
production of over 1.2 million tons per year in 1988. The average yearly
consumption of kefir
in the Soviet Union was estimated at approximately 4.5 kilograms per person per
year in the early 1980s. Currently kefir
is being manufactured on a commercial scale in Czechoslovakia, Finland,
Hungary, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia and various of the former
soviet union states, Denmark, the United States, France, West Germany, Canada
and parts of southeast Asia.
Kefir Caucasicum and Fungus
Hi, I am a surgical technician, and sales associate at
a department store. I am on my feet all day and night so I have always had a
problem with foot fungus and toenail fungus. I finally cleared up the foot
fungus but the nail fungus is alive and ugly!!! I work with several podiatrists
and the only solution is oral medication with side affects and a monthly
monitoring of liver functions. So to say the least I opted not to take the
In the meantime, through Team Platinum I found some
“Feed the Brain” products for my sons with ADHD and COD, and they
were starting to help. I highly believe in antioxidants so I bought the Kefir Caucasicum. YOU ARE WONDERING WELL
WHERE IS THIS LEADING???
Well this is how it happened, I started to take 2
capsules a day of the Kefir Caucasicum
due to a lot of stress and lack of rest that I am putting myself through for
now. The more stress and free radicals we subject our bodies to, the more
antioxidants are used and needed.
NOW FOR THE PUNCH LINE:
I was having my morning ritual in the restroom and as I was sitting there, for
lack of things to do I was looking at my feet and noticed that the new growth
on my toenails next to the skin was nice and pink, not that white or yellow
opaque nail I was used to. I was so excited that when I got out of my shower I
asked my son to look real close to make sure because I couldn’t find my glasses
fast enough. Jajaja Sure enough it was so….
Today I ran into one of the podiatrists and asked him
if a vitamin or mineral deficiency caused the fungus. He asked me if I was
eating large amounts of YOGURT??? I said NO but I am taking an antioxidant high
in YOGURT Kefir Caucasicum derived from
kefir grains. The end result is a
complex, symbiotic mixture of microorganisms.
Kefir Caucasicum is true kefir .
He then said well that’s it. That is what is EATING UP THE FUNGUS IN MY SYSTEM
(CLEANSING MY BODY). That’s the part no other antioxidant has ever done for me.
Just as the claim says, it is not only an antioxidant but a scavenger of free
radicals and a cleanser
I am proof,
have been making our own kefir
fermented milk since the late seventies. It has fallen nicely into our routine:
David, my husband, makes the kefir
while doing the washing up and then it comes to the table either as a topping
for soft fruit, a drink, or disguised in all sorts of dishes, even bread or
fizzy drinks, prepared by me. However a few years ago we appreciated how
important it was to us when, on coming back from a one year sabbatical abroad,
we were dismayed with the news that our unlabelled kefir container in a friend’s freezer hadn’t
survived a spring cleaning.
took us long a while to find a source of real kefir grains. Eventually a friend turned up with
a jar that had been at the back of someone else’s fridge for ages. The culture
had grown into an extraordinary ribbon about 3 cm wide and would you belive it,
after a few passages followed by vigourous sieving, we were back to our beloved
after visiting Dom’s inspirational site I
realised that there is a very active worldwide community of kefir users united by the
web. Indeed thanks to Dom there is now a kefir e-group . I have
also discovered that Adnan Smajlovic has set
up a wonderful Kefir community site to help
anybody find REAL live Kefir
grains in their area. So stimulated by these efforts I have decided to improve
my collection of kefir
recipes and share them with all of you. Also just like Dom I am only one e-mail
away, so do give me your
Subject to availability we can provide you with some of our spare kefir culture, in starter
bottles, all we ask is for a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Group of Great
Britain (MDG). Your donation will go entirely to this charity
and will be used for research on these sometimes devastating diseases. Nosotros
actively support the MDG , our younger son has CMD , so the packaging
and posting costs will be our own donation to the charity. If you are
interested just get in touch with Maria Fremlin , 25
Ireton Rd, Colchester CO3 3AT, England, +44 1206 767746 for more details.
Please note that there might be difficulties sending a live culture to some
countries, so first check the regulations of your own country.
This is a very interesting culture which reliably
produces yoghurt of good quality with very fácil operations. Es
astonishingly robust. We have had this especial kefir since 1998, but it
seems identical to one which we kept from 1982 to 1996 without problems.
Subject to availability we can provide you with some of
our spare kefir culture, in starter bottles, all we ask is for a donation to
Dystrophy Group of Great Britain (MDG). Your donation will go
entirely to this charity and will be used for research on these sometimes
devastating diseases. We actively support the MDG ,
our younger son has CMD , so the packaging and posting costs
will be our own donation to the charity. If you are interested just get in
touch with Maria
Fremlin , 25 Ireton Rd, Colchester CO3 3AT, England, +44 1206 767746
for more details. Please note that there might be difficulties sending a live
culture to some countries, so first check the regulations of your own country.
In the bottle you will find some soft granules, looking a
bit like badly overcooked cauliflower florets, in a few spoonfuls of milk.
There are two ways of making kefir: the traditional sieve regime or the pouch
method. The latter is quicker and produces a milder tasting kefir that looks
more like yoghurt.
(i) Put the grains either loose or in a pouch in a glass
jar with milk, not airtight.
(ii) Leave it around until it’s ready.
(iii) Put it in the fridge until you want to use it.
(iv – a) If the grains are loose pour through a sieve (helping it along with a
spoon) to separate the grains from the yoghurt.
(iv – b) If the grains are in a bag all you have to do is remove it.
(v) Resist the temptation to wash the grains, or the bag, under the cold water
tap, as this is known to adversely affect their growth. Put them back in a
clean jar with fresh milk, if using a bag give it a good shake in the fresh
milk to dislodge the clots from the mesh.
(vi) Drink the kefir.
You do not need to heat the milk. You do not need to keep
the culture at any especial temperature, though of course its growth will be
more predictable if you always leave it in the same place. You do not need to
sterilise anything, just keeping things very clean will do. We have been making
kefir since the late seventies and only once or twice had what seemed to be a
mild contamination, which spoilt the flavour a little for a week or so, but the
culture has always recovered. When we go on holiday, we just freeze the grains,
with or without milk, in a little Tupperware container. Our record for
successful recovery is of a culture frozen for just over a year.
We recommend using a glass jar so that you can judge the
progress of the fermentation from the outside. We find that a good
tablespoonful of the grains, in a 1 liter/ 2 lb glass jar, on the kitchen
windowsill, gives an agreeable yoghurt in about 48 hours. But you may find that
you prefer a milder or stronger yoghurt. The culture will grow and the excess
can either be passed on to friends or composted. Now for some details. los
particular dose you have in the little bottle that we send you is a starter
pack, and we suggest experimenting with half-pints of milk for the first couple
of cycles, using shorter rather than longer incubation periods, while you find
what suits you. For the sieve, we use a deep metal sieve with a 1 mm mesh but
other people might prefer plastic. For the pouch, we use a 8×19 cm (3×7.5
inches) bag made out of dress net, which is a widely available synthetic
material with a mesh identical to the sieve. It is easily made at home; once
ready just pop the grains inside and tie a knot at the top. If you would
like us to send you a bag in the starter paquete, please say so and allow for that
in your donation to the MDG.
A word of warning: after periods of neglect – either in
fridge or freezer – the culture is a bit slow and not perfectly reliable for a
couple of cycles, and you may want to start it up gently with short cycles in
small quantities. A thick velvety layer on the top of your kefir is a sure sign
Please note that kefir’s fermentation skills are not
confined to milk, be it cow’s, goat’s or soy milk. Its potential in the kitchen
is unlimited, just go to the bottom of this page and click on kefir recipes for
Kefir flat bread
This bread was inspired by Tom Jaine’s recipe for naan
bread which is in his excellent book: Making Bread at Home, 1995. However
instead of using the recommended lump of the previous day’s dough, I decided to
experiment with the kefir
fermented milk as the one and only source of leavening. The results were
very good indeed and I have now come to the conclusion that any recipes calling
for either a lump of the previous day’s dough, or a sourdough starter, or a
biga can easily be adapted to the this method. Moreover the kefir dough starter
works equally well with kefir made either with the sieve or the bag method.
Just go for it!
250 g/ 1 3/4 cup/ 9 oz
unbleached white strong bread flour
about 3/4 cup kefir
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon clarified butter
(ghee), butter or margarine
Oven at 220ºC, 425º F, gas mark 7.
The day before add enough kefir to your flour in order to
make a nice kneading bread dough. Do not forget the salt. Knead until the dough
is elastic and smooth. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave
overnight in a warm place. I leave mine in the airing cupboard. Next day, when
the dough is well risen and before it collapses, knock it down and divide into
little lumps. I usually made 16 little ones, but you can make bigger ones if
you like. Stretch them out by hand so that the dough is about 1/2 cm thick.
Place on a well oiled tray dusted with maize meal, cover with oiled cling film
and leave in a warm place for about half an hour or until risen. Before baking,
gently brush the tops with the melted fat of your choice as this gives the
bread an plus touch of luxury. Bake for about 5 to 8 minutes or until they
have coloured a bit. Watch out that they don’t get toasted, this bread should
be soft. Serve at once or keep wrapped in a cloth until needed.
These little flat buns don’t keep that well. However you
can revive them, by sprinkling with water and placing them in a hot oven or
grill, just for a few minutes. You can, before baking, sprinkle the buttered
tops with poppy or nigela (charnuska) seeds. Or even with some garlicky herb
I have also used this kefir dough as a pizza base. For
that just make enough dough the day before for your usual size pizza. As a
rough guide for each cup of flour you need a third of a cup of kefir. Si tu
haven’t got enough kefir to spare, top it up with water. With luck the errores in
the kefir grains will not let you down. Any problems? Then get in touch with me . I would love your retroalimentación.
Quick kefir sourdough bread
I have hit upon the iniciativa of using the kefir
fermented milk for making a sourdough starter. It works very well; it is also
quicker and simpler to make than the special milk
free kefir sourdough starter . Unlike some touchy starters this one is
simple and reliable. All you need to have is a continuous supply of kefir,
which is not at all difficult once of have got your own grains.
This starter is very fácil to make, it is also smells
very nice, just like kefir really. Moreover I have now come to the conclusion
that any recipes calling for either a lump of the previous day’s dough, or a
sourdough starter, or a biga can easily be adapted to the this method.
320 g/ 2 cups/ 11 oz
unbleached white strong bread flour
about 2/3 cup kefir
Add enough kefir to your flour in order to make a nice
kneading bread dough. Knead until the dough is elastic and smooth. Place in a
bowl, cover with cling film and leave overnight in a warm place. I leave mine
in the airing cupboard. Next day, when the dough is well risen and before it
collapses, knock it down and go to the next step.
Yield : 3 loaves
750 g/ 5 cups/ 2 lbs 3 oz
430 g/ 3 cups/ 7 oz strong unbleached
white bread flour
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 sachet/ 7 g easy blend
3 slugs of good olive oil
1 tea spoon honey
1 cup/ 240 ml/ 8 oz warm
water, see text
Oven at 220º C, 425º F, gas mark 7.
Move your starter to a large bowl and to it add the
flours, salt, yeast, honey and oil. Slowly add enough water to obtain a good
kneading dough. Knead vigorously until the dough is soft and elastic. Cover
with plastic or damp cloth, and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled.
Knock down, divide in three equal portions, put them in well oiled tins. Cover
again, this time with oiled cling film so that when you remove it doesn’t stick
to the dough and deflate it. When well risen, remove the cling film and bake in
a very hot oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until it sounds hollow. Cool on
I must tell you that I have got into the habit of
dividing the dough not in 3 parts as I mention above. I tease out a forth
smaller one and with it I made a pizza. So it has become a habit to have pizza
on the bread baking day or vice-versa. Whichever way I say it saves quite a bit
of my time and the pizza is particularly popular! To do bake the lot in one go
I start by baking the loaves first and then time the pizza so that everything
is ready at the same time.
I am pretty sure that any of your favourite bread recipes
can be adapted to this method. Just let me
know of your successes as I would love to hear from you.
Does consumption of water- kefir endanger your driving licence?
Water- kefir is a lightly sweet,
carbonated, and alcoholic beverage. In naturopathy, positive effects on many
diseases such as diarrhea, heart attack, gastrointestinal ulcers and even
eczema are attributed to water- kefir .
On the other hand these positive effects could not be confirmed decisively by
Normally, all these health-related attributes should be declared in accordance
with food law. But as water- kefir
is not commercially available it is not subjected to food quality control. For
this reason hygiene is very important when handling with fungus. After use the kefir should be washed
carefully. If there is no development of carbonic acid 15-30 minutes after
preparing, the water- kefir
should no longer be used . Because of the danger of explosion, the vessel
should not be covered gastight during fermentation. Habitual preparation requires
two liters of water, 6 tablespoons (ca. 120g) of kefir -fungus, 150g of sugar, two dried figs and
one lemon. After two days at room temperature, the drinkable water preparation
can be separated from the kefir .
Its maximal content of alcohol (38g per liter) is semejante to that of beer (5%
vol.): 40g alcohol per liter are equivalent to 5% per volume. In practice, that
percentage cannot be reached before 7 to 10 days. In a study of water- kefir of different origins,
only 2,7 up to 15,9g/L (0,3 – 2,0 vol%) alcohol could was measured after two
The rate of alcohol production depends on the temperature, the amount of
fungus, and on the conditions of reaction (rather aerobic than anaerobic).
Therefore the amount of alcohol found in the study varies. Under anaerobic
conditions, the yeast in kefir
grain produces more alcohol and carbon dioxide than under aerobic conditions.
In the latter case production rates of alcohol and carbon dioxide decrease, to
the advantage of the growth of fungus (Pasteur-effect). If one increases the
sugar in the preparation, total alcohol could also be increased.
Kefir is a fermented milk semejante to yoghurt.
It is one of the oldest cultured milk products in existence, enjoying
widespread popularity in Russia and the Caucasus. The history of kefir making and the legends
connected to this amazing food are described below.
Amongst the people of the northern slopes of the
Caucasian Mountains there is a legend that Mohammed gave kefir grains to the Orthodox
people and taught them how to make kefir .
The ‘Grains of the Prophet’ were guarded jealously since it was believed that
they would lose their strength if the grains were given away and the secret of
how to use them became common knowledge.
Kefir grains were
regarded as part of the family’s and tribe’s wealth and they were passed on
from generation to generation.
So, for centuries the people of the northern Caucasus enjoyed this food without
sharing it with anyone else they came into contact with.
Other peoples occasionally heard strange tales of this unusual beverage which
was said to have ‘magical’ properties. Marco Polo mentioned kefir in the chronicles of
his travels in the East.
However, kefir was
forgotten outside the Caucasus for centuries until news spread of its use for
the treatment of tuberculosis in sanatoria and for intestinal and stomach
diseases. Russian doctors believed that kefir was beneficial for health and the first scientific
studies for kefir
were published at the end of the nineteenth century.
However, kefir was
extremely difficult to obtain and commercial production was not possible
without first obtaining a source of grains.
The members of the All Russian Physician’s Society
were determined to obtain kefir
grains in order to make kefir
readily available to their patients.
Early this century a representative of the society approached two brothers
called Blandov and asked them to procure some kefir grains. The Blandov’s owned and ran the
Moscow Dairy, but they also had holdings in the Caucasus Mountain area,
including cheese manufacturing factories in the town of Kislovodsk.
The plan was to obtain a source of kefir
grains and then produce kefir
on an industrial scale in Moscow.
The Blandov’s were excited since they knew that they
would be the only commercial producers of this much sought after product.
The true story of the Blandov’s quest for the elusive kefir grains is below.
Nikolai Blandov sent a beautiful young employee, Irina
Sakharova, to the court of a local prince, Bek-Mirza Barchorov. She was
instructed to charm the prince and persuade him to give her some kefir grains.
Unfortunately, everything did not go according to plan. The prince, fearing
retribution for violating a religious law, had no intention of giving away any
‘Grains of the Prophet’.
However, he was very taken with the young Irina and didn’t want to lose her
either. Realising that they were not going to complete their mission, Irina and
her party departed for Kislovodsk. However, they were stopped on the way home
by mountain tribesmen who kidnapped Irina and took her back to the prince.
Since it was a local custom to steal a bride, Irina was told that she was to
marry Bek-Mirza Barchorov. Only a daring rescue mission mounted by agents of
her employers saved Irina from the forced marriage.
The unlucky prince was catted before the Tsar who ruled that the prince was to
give Irina ten pounds of kefir
grains, to recompense her for the insults she had endured.