Is Kefir Probiotic?

kefir grains

Kefir grains are a complex powerhouse of bacteria and yeasts that are benefical to health1.

Such is the diversity found within the kefir matrix that is is difficult to prove just what a regular intake of this beverage and/or grains might do as it is almost impossbile to standardise the bacterial/yeast "brew" so that scientists can repeat studies.

Suffice to say that kefir is proven to be beneficial to health. It is overflowing with lactic acid bacteria - some of which are probiotic and some of which are not - but they ALL will do you nothing but good.

Remember that manufacturers must prove that their product fits the legal definition of probiotic before they can claim it is so and this is far too expensive for most manufacturers to be able to do.

But any food that is brimming with a diversity of lactic acid bacteria is good for health.

These can be bought online Kefir Grains - Living Probiotic Enriched


7 health benefits of a Kefir probiotic drink1

  1. Antimicrobial activity
  2. Anti-inflammatory and healing activity
  3. Beneficial impact on the gastrointestinal tract
  4. Anticarcinogenic
  5. Stimulation of the immune system
  6. Can lower cholesterol
  7. Reduces lactose intolerance


Kefir bacteria

Lactic acid bacteria found within both kefir grains and the resulting drink include:

  • L delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus helveticus
  • L kefiranofaciens subsp. kefiranofaciens
  • L kefiranofaciens subsp. kefirgranum
  • L acidophilus
  • L kefiri
  • L parakefiri
  • L fermentum
  • L brevis
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis
  • Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris
  • Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris
  • Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides

Kefir Probiotic



Kefir yeasts

Yeasts found within both the kefir grains and drink include:

  • Kluyveromyces marxianus/Candida kefyr
  • Kluyveromyces lactis var. lactis
  • Debaryomyces hansenii e Dekkera anomala
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Torulaspora delbrueckii
  • Pichia fermentans
  • Kazachstania unispora
  • Saccharomyces turicensis
  • Issatchenkia orientalis
  • Debaryomyces occidentalis


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1. Analy Machado de Oliveira Leite, Marco Antonio Lemos Migue, Raquel Silva Peixoto, Alexandre Soares Rosado, Joab Trajano Silva, and Vania Margaret Flosi Paschoalin. Microbiological, technological and therapeutic properties of kefir: a natural probiotic beverage. Braz J Microbiol. 2013; 44(2): 341-349. Published online Oct 30, 2013. doi: 10.1590/S1517-83822013000200001



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