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Starting Kefir

We are adding Kefir to our daughters diet, along with the Remicade, Asacol and possibly antibiotics.
I just have a few questions I wanted to ask about Kefir. I know David has added it to his diet as well.

I have done some research and will be ordering my Kefir on line from the Kefir lady. My questions are:

1. do you use the milk or water kefir? what do you mix with yours?

2. how much kefir do you drink each day and do you eat the kefir that keeps multiplying?

3. Is it a good idea to take a strong antibiotic during this time?

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Naples, Florida
I personally drink goat milk kefir from Redwood Hill Farm. I buy it at our local Whole Foods. The stuff is wonderful and I do feel it helps my digestive tract though I don't have any proof of that. It certainly isn't doing anything to hurt as I am in remission (Lymphocytic Colitis) and feel good.

I get 1 quart bottle and drink one every 5-7 days or so.

I'm not sure I understand your 3rd question. Why would you add an antibiotic?

Someone suggested that you want to attack the bad bacteria pretty hard, including an antibiotic with your other medications.
1. Not sure what you mean by "milk of water kefir"--water kefir grains are different and produce different strains of beneficial bacteria, and to a lesser extent yeasts. Personally, water kefir did not help me, but it tastes awesome if you do a secondary ferment with juice and a bit of sugar to prime the bottles. I drank it everyday, because I wasn't sure how long to keep the grains inactive but alive--like in an airtight water/sugar solution in the fridge which you let breathe every few days. I haven't tried my water kefir grains for over a month; they have been stored as described. Overall, drinking it daily may have upset my stomach a bit, so I quit and got milk kefir grains--much better for ME.

With water kefir: I mixed sugar water, a few tablespoons of ginger medalions (cut like coins to make straining from grains easier), some minerals (like a hard boiled egg shell), maybe a couple tablespoons of dried fruit (not necessary), and a quater inch slice of lemon. I'm going from memory, but youtube it. I think I did a day for each fermentation, one with grains and ingredients above and another day in sealed bottles with a fourth cup 100% juice and a half teaspoon of organic cane sugar.

With milk kefir: I simply buy 2% organic milk and put a cup per tablespoon of grains and let sit for two days. Then strain and repeat. Ideally you'll grow your grains to make enough to perpetually supply yourself a two day supply for your needs. I mix: banana, chia, shelled hempseed, raw cacao powder, and stevia in blender with kefir milk. *Note: homemade kefir is not the same consistency or taste as store bought. It should, in my experience with whole milk which separated to curds and whey too much, be done with 2% milk, but that is my personal preference (as is the funky recipe above, just mix it with something). You could possibly just mix a 10 oz glass of kefir with 10 drops of vanilla stevia, to simplify it.

2. I have 1-2 smoothies a day, and it is awesome. I am addicted. Prior to this homemade stuff, I gave up on the store bought which isn't as probiotic rich and gave me a slight bloating feeling. Mind you, I still take copious amounts of probiotics otherwise, like a dose a morning/afternoon/night. Homemade kefir never causes me bloating or any problems whatsoever. I haven't experimented eating the actual milk kefir grains, as a source of potent probiotics. I have read of people who blend a bit up with their smoothies, but I didn't have enough to experiment with this...until now. Thanks for reminding me. I'll let you know if I do it and experience anything good/bad.

3. Um, not sure what you mean either. If your doctor is experienced with using specific antibiotics for specifics aims, and has proven track record, then it is up to you and your doctor. Yes, I have heard that this can help some people in certain circumstances which I am, unfortunately not fully informed of. If you must take antibiotics, then, yes, if it were me, I would definitely take some form of probiotics a couple hours after the antibiotics. Personally, kefir alone is not strong enough--maybe if I had 3 smoothies a day...but I haven't experimented and this is largely an individualistic thing for you to decide.
Okay, next question
pasteurized or raw goat milk?
Just read some articles that make me worried that you can actually be putting bad bacteria in your gut if the raw milk has been contaminated: Need to get this so right!!

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I make my own water kefir. I love it and I do feel like it does help. It tastes really good, especially if you mix it with a fruit juice. It's extremely easy to make and is basically free after a few weeks.

I personally stay away from milk at all costs but goat milk makes me a bit less hesitant.

I mix maple syrup in with a few tablespoons of the kefir and cover the jar and put in a dark dry place for 48 hours. Then I mix it with apple juice (from juicer) and walaaa. You can get a system going where you have one each and everyday however I do feel like once every 2 days is plenty.

3. Definitely no, the probiotics will act as an antibiotic but won't kill the beneficial bacteria. You shouldn't supplement an antibiotic with probiotics just because.

Great information David,Msun and Gianni. thank-you. I am feeling even more confident about starting the kefir.

We have removed lactose from our daughters diet. I am wondering once the good bacteria are also needing to eat, can we re- introduce lactose? She is not lactose intolerant, we just believed it was making her Crohns worse.

what do you think?
Okay, next question
pasteurized or raw goat milk?
Just read some articles that make me worried that you can actually be putting bad bacteria in your gut if the raw milk has been contaminated: Need to get this so right!!

The beneficial probiotics in kefir are a form of bacteria, Antibiotics kill bacteria, and kill the good bacteria along with the bad. so it's better if you do not take antibiotics when drinking kefir.

Most states do not permit the sale of raw milk unless you buy directly from a farmer. We buy raw milk directly, but pasteurize it ourselves first. to pasteurize, all you do is heat the milk to 180 and let cool before adding your kefir grains. Alternatively, you can use raw milk without pasteurize it, but you are assuming a risk, however depending on where you buy your raw milk from, the risk is usually rather minuscule. We prefer not to assume that risk.

We each drink at least a full glass (8 ounces) of kefir every day first thing in the morning.
I just started making kefir. In doing research, I found out that the kefir process consumes the lactose in the whole milk removing it from the final product.
I just started making kefir. In doing research, I found out that the kefir process consumes the lactose in the whole milk removing it from the final product.
I've started back up making kefir again. I stopped after my resection since I had a temporary ileostomy. Now that I'm reconnected I need to repopulate my colon with beneficial bacteria. I had been making kefir for several months before my surgery. It did help with normailizing my BM's but I had a bad stricture and there's nothing probiotics can do for that, hence the resection. Like with any probiotic, I'd suggest starting off slow with the kefir-drinking only a couple tablespoons at first and gradually ramping up. I make a smoothie out of mine with 1 cup kefir, 1/4 c plain Greek yogurt, frozen strawberries and frozen blueberries. Yum!