It is known that gut health is important for your immune and digestive system, heart health and even skin health.
While probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals, is there any other alternative source of probiotics and prebiotics available?
Yes. Milk kefir.
Milk kefir, like yoghurt, they are both fermented milk beverage. While yoghurt contains 2 to 3 different strains of transient friendly bacteria, milk kefir contains over 30 to 50 strains of bacteria and yeast that can stay, colonize and regenerate our gut ecosystem. Milk kefir is no doubt a better choice than yoghurt should we wish to improve our gut health.
Probiotic supplements are manufactured to contain only 1 to 3 strains of probiotics. For multi-strain mixtures, manufacturers are not able to ensure the survival and stability of each strain from the powder/pill form till when it reaches our gut. As probiotic supplements contain single probiotic, they are unable to include broader range of health effects. Thus, probiotic supplements are effective to target a specific condition e.g., vaginal health.
Milk kefir grains are a mother culture made up of polysaccharides, the primary of which is kefiran. Both bacteria and yeast exist in symbiosis with each other within this polysaccharide matrix and the milk it cultures and feeds from. The bacteria and yeasts have evolved over a very long time to survive in the wild. They are hence able to survive through the harsh conditions and reaches our gut alive.
Milk kefir, unlike probiotic supplements, is not just probiotics. Milk kefir is a functional milk.
The non-microbial component of milk kefir contains prebiotics that feeds the probiotics, highly digestible and absorbable nutrients from the milk and made by the bacteria that is essential for our body.
There are many bioactive compounds present in milk kefir as well:
- Kefir enzymes that breaks down casein into useful peptides that is immune boosting
- Digestive enzymes like protease, lipase and lactase aids in complete breakdown of protein, fats and lactose.
- Antioxidant enzymes like glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase which stabilize free radicals and prevent cellular damage
- Proteins that activate anti-inflammatory cytokines
- Compounds that increase insulin sensitivity, thereby allowing our body to use glucose more effectively (reduce blood sugar and prevent diabetes)
- ACE inhibiting compounds that aid in the lowering of blood pressure, thereby preventing high blood pressure
Because milk kefir contains a plethora of prebiotics and bioactive compounds that can have positive effects on the gut, it is always a better choice than probiotic supplement to boost gut health and prevent illness from children to normal adults and adolescence. Although many probiotic supplements are now packaged with prebiotics, they are still lacking bioactive compounds that interact with the members of our gut microbiome to promote a better overall health.
Many essential nutrients and compounds are solely made by the beneficial bacteria. A huge bulk of these nutrients are actually produced in the food that they are fermented in rather than in our gut itself. In the case of milk kefir, the microbes of kefir grains make essential nutrients from the milk that they are fermented in.
Our human body contains more bacterial cells than human cells. Our gut is created to thrive with a rich diverse of microbial microbiome in order to elicit a broad spectrum of health benefits and prevents the onset of many illness.
Let us share with you a true review on eczema healing with TGF milk kefir:
"My boy's severe whole body eczema has been ongoing for a year plus already. Tried so many methods even probiotics. The improvements usually a bit only. But since started on TGF milk kefir, I really see his skin improving tremendously. Supple to the touch and less itch. Even if it's slightly more expensive than probiotic powder, I think it's worth it. I offer him a pouch everyday." Ms Quinn