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Crohn's Disease Forum » Diet, Fitness, and Supplements » Kefir.... Does it help with IBD?


07-21-2015, 06:44 AM   #1
Danico85
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Kefir.... Does it help with IBD?

A few people lately have told me to buy Kefir as it has quite a few health benefits for people with IBD. I think its some sort of fremented milk mixed with Kefir seeds (whatever they are).

Has anyone ever tried it or heard anything about it before?

Thanks

Nicky
07-21-2015, 08:24 AM   #2
DEmberton
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I tried it for a week or two. It didn't seem to help, but then I had a stricture by that stage and nothing was likely too.

I think it's another way of getting "good" bacteria into your colon, so perhaps a better, cheaper or just more natural alternative to a probiotic.
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07-21-2015, 08:27 AM   #3
nogutsnoglory
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Kefir is fermented milk, it's basically like a yogurt but they call it the champagne of dairy because it's tangy and bubbly. I feel it does help regulate me and is full of healthy bacteria.
07-21-2015, 08:38 AM   #4
Danico85
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Hi there, thanks for your reply.

Do you feel like it improved your syptoms? ive just bought a batch of 8 bottles, so will see if i feel any difference.
07-21-2015, 08:39 AM   #5
Danico85
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Hi Demberton

Sorry it didnt work miracles for you. i hope your feeling much better now.

I dont see any harm in trying it but im usually dubious about all these alternative things.

Thanks
07-21-2015, 09:06 AM   #6
DEmberton
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You bought 8 bottles?

I just bought a packet of powder that you add milk to, and it kicks off the process. You can then take a couple of spoons from that batch, add milk and start off a new batch. You can keep this going for weeks and it doesn't cost you anything (except the milk).

It's a bit of an acquired taste though. It's something East European/Asian goat herders used to make as a way of keeping milk (or something similar to milk) before they had refrigeration.

I also tried (unsuccessfully) to make Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) which has the same effect, and the Koreans have Kimchi which is similar.

If you believe the hype this all knowledge that was lost to the western world and is the reason why we're all so unhealthy.

Last edited by DEmberton; 07-21-2015 at 10:55 AM.
07-21-2015, 01:58 PM   #7
nogutsnoglory
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I do feel it's helped my symptoms. I have a glass or 2 of organic Kefir daily.
07-22-2015, 06:09 AM   #8
InstantCoffee
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I can have dairy, but I can't have kefir or yogurt. I think my lactobacillus bacteria are already in a safe place and having more is probably counterproductive for my digestion.
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07-23-2015, 08:17 AM   #9
kikig
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Oddly enough, I saw a BBC tv series called Superfoods the other day and they had a segment on Kefir. They spoke to a Crohn's patient who was sure it was helping her.

They did some testing on a non-Crohnie and found that although the percentage of lactobactillus in Kefir was more likely to be preserved during digestion, they couldn't find any conclusive evidence that it was as beneficial as it is reported to be.

That said, I don't know if there is any conclusive research done on Crohn's patients using Kefir, the effects may be different. And it may be that a progressive build up over a period of time is required to see benefits.
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07-23-2015, 08:41 AM   #10
InstantCoffee
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Gut bacteria is all about balance, and we see from microbiome results that either
A) Testing is inconsistent
or
B) Microbiome between crohn's and UC patients vary within their respective diseases.

We see crohn's patience with bacteroidetes high and firmicutes low and vice versa. One tends to be linked to constipation and the other to diarrhea.

Other groups would see the same thing. If your lactobacillus is low, kefir will likely help.

If it's high then kefir will do little, or potentially be bad as it is with me.

Having high lactobacillus would explain both why I can have over half a gallon of milk a day without issue, and why high lactobacillus supplementation seems unproductive for me.

Having low lactobacillus would explain why many CD patients cannot ingest dairy.

You have to adjust your probiotic supplements to your deficiencies. The problem is that sometimes the way to bring one up is not to add more, or to feed that one, but to feed the bacteria which feeds it.

Many of our bacteria work by cross-feeding.

You're short in bacteria X.
Bacteria X feeds on biproduct of bacteria Y.
If you supplement bacteria X it dies off without bacteria Y to feed it.
So instead of just supplementing bacteria X, we need to supplement bacteria Y and eat foods that promote growth of bacteria Y.

The problem is the complexity of cross feeding is so huge we don't really know all the nuances to fix it.

This is why I believe we see that people taking probiotics will test positive for it in faecal testing, but when they stop taking the probiotics the tests come back negative. Their ecosystem is not able to support that bacteria naturally, so they can only maintain it through supplementation. That suggests to me the bacteria is not being fed, and if it's not being fed it's not doing its job of creating SCFAs or cross feeding other bacteria that do.

If you take kefir, but don't consume dairy, you'll maintain those bacteria only as long as you take kefir. Once you stop taking kefir, the bacteria will starve unless you start consuming dairy to feed it.
07-23-2015, 09:13 AM   #11
Danico85
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Jeezo its getting a little complex for me. I think i will try it out for a few weeks and if i feel better then it is working and if i dont then its not.

But i do appreciate everyones comments
07-23-2015, 10:47 AM   #12
InstantCoffee
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Simple explanation:
If you can and do drink a lot of milk / have dairy Kefir probably won't help much.

If you're lactose intolerant Kefir may be helpful.
08-10-2015, 05:55 AM   #13
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How are you doing with the kefir, Danico85? Hope it's helping
08-10-2015, 06:03 AM   #14
Danico85
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Hi there.

The bottles of kefir i bought are still sitting in my fridge. I started taking it at first but the taste is really really bad/strange. Its like sour milk with a slight fizz but the texture is really bad. Its out of date in the next week so i will start back on it tonight rather than throw the bottles away so i dont have much of an update other than its horrible
08-10-2015, 08:08 AM   #15
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Good luck! I'm planning to add in more probiotic foods to my diet and was thinking about trying kefir but I guess I'll have to see how I manage the taste and texture!!!

I've seen recipes for kefir smoothies - perhaps that would help? Cold soups (like this one) seem like another way to disguise it and still benefit from the strains of bacteria without killing them off with heat. Obviously a lot more work though than just drinking it though!
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