Q. What is *real* kefir? A. *Real* kefir is kefir prepared in the traditional fashion, starting off with kefir grains. Store bought kefir, on the other hand, is produced by culturing pasteurized milk with a limited number and species of organisms, which are strategically selected to imitate the flavor and texture of the real thing, but with limited properties. In particular, commercial kefir cannot be used to make new kefir on a continuous basis, because the culture inevitably loses viability. Kefir grains, instead, can continue to produce fresh kefir on an indefinite basis. Also, distinctive scientifically proved therapeutic properties of the actual kefir grains, when ingested, which enhance health, are not possible with the use of commercial kefir or a kefir prepared with commercial starter-cultures.
1. Kefir grains contain a vast amount of micro-organisms from 4 genus groups, including lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. The distinctive micro flora of kefir is compatible with the needs of our body. Kefir micro-organisms are able to stabilize or balance the Gastro Intestinal tract, as well as ensuring better digestion and fight off harmful bacteria, yeasts [including those which cause stomach ulcers, diarrhea, and yeast infection] and viruses. The consumption of kefir has proven to stimulate the immune system, which can also assist the cells of the body to increase the production of interferon [virus controlling agent] due to a unique lipid [sphingomyelin] found in kefir.
2. Kefir may provide other benefits: the friendly micro-organisms breakdown substances such as lactose in milk and from, this synthesize favorable substances, including lactic acid and "Kefiran", a health promoting polysaccharide unique to kefir grains and to kefir. Kefiran has proven to reduce the size of certain cancers, including having anti-inflammatory properties. Certain organisms of kefir produce lactase, an enzyme which breaks down lactose [milk sugar], which provides the body the ability, to further breakdown any milk-sugar [lactose] in the diet, while taking kefir with that meal.