Well, I was totally convinced that milk kefir was a cool way of getting the super probiotics into my diet. I could easily find it, make it and add it on top of my quinoa porridge in the morning. Easy! I managed to figure out how to make it too, which I was very proud of – I had my own little science experiments running in my kitchen. (Just bought some milk kefir from a health shop and let it sit on the windowsill for a day, then added some milk to it and let it sit for a further couple of days.)
So, here I was drinking my milk kefir every morning and even adding some of it to a cocoa drink or smoothy on occasion. I really thought it would help my digestion. The first couple of days… it really did. Things were going well. I had nice, regular movements and they were well…. firm.
Then…. the signals started to appear. The first obvious one was that I started to get that phlegmy feeling in my throat again. I hadn’t experienced this for years! I read more about it and read that mucous can actually be a good thing for the gut as it gives it nice warm spaces to build colonies of good bacteria. So, I thought – oh well, I shall live with this for a little while until the bacteria settle in nicely.
Over a few days, my skin started to get bad too. I was getting pimples and break-outs again… what was going on?
I wasn’t prepared to give up my milk kefir just yet, so I decided to do some more research about what might be going on.
What I discovered was quite interesting….
I kinda knew that the medium of using milk might be the problem all along. I was doubting whether I should use milk as my medium for carrying the probiotics, to begin with. See, there is a reason why milk is not great for our diets.
It contains a protein which is hard for our bodies to digest, called casein. Casein is a protein, which once it enters our stomachs, becomes a big lump of sticky mass. Now, this is totally normal and athletes quite like using casein powder as it releases protein in a slow fashion. The thing with me – and possibly you too – is that my system just wasn’t ready for this casein protein. I was struggling to digest it!
So, it has been 2 days of no kefir milk – James is enjoying it now and I am now experimenting with coconut kefir. It might be a better medium for me!
I know that often we are more concerned about getting the good bacteria into our bodies with fermentation but I still think the medium that we choose should be the right one. There are so many different mediums to choose from, we might as well choose the ones that give our bodies more good stuff!
I am keen to experiment with all the different kefirs out there! There is even one they make in Russia using beetroot!
I know some of you swear by milk kefir. What was your experience? Does the body get stronger and then able to digest the milk kefir? Did you use other fermented foods to go with it?
This Post Has 83 Comments
I know this is hella old, but depending on the method you chose you were likely consuming milk kefir tainted with pathogenic bacteria. Did you just keep going with the pseudo-culture?
I personally would not use store-bought milk kefir to make more milk kefir. It is ALWAYS best to use grains.
Also milk kefir should be anaerobic. I personally use Pickl-It jars. If you use any method with a cloth or something on top, it’s NOT healthy!
I forgot to mention that my kefir is milk kefir
I have been making/drinking kefir for approximately 5 mths. Prior to this, I had chronic diarrhea for close to 3 yrs. Had every test imaginable, including a colonoscopy, and still no answer as to what was causing it. I spent countless hours googling and on YouTube, tried countless remedies, herbal and otherwise, all to no avail. Then I discovered kefir. It cured my diarrhea in about 2 weeks and I have not looked back. About 2 months before discovering kefir, I also had a few flare-ups of facial eczema, very red and painful around my eyes and mouth. I have had no further flare-ups since, so I’m assuming kefir has taken care of that too! Gut health is everything!
I tried milk kefir again after a year of being off it. I was transitioning my my grains to raw milk, by mixing raw/pasteurised milk in increasing quantities. So I was drinking milk kefir made from pasteurised or partly pasteurised milk for a couple of weeks, and I got VERY constipated. I am going to try again after a two week break and drink pure raw, 2nd ferment milk kefir to see if I can tolerate it. I love the taste of kefir, and I hope to be able to consume what I make.
I haven’t read every single comment, so someone may have already mentioned that you generally cannot add kefir to hot foods or liquids because it kills the probiotics. So stirring it into your hot chocolate, coffee or oatmeal will probably not give you the benefits of the good bacteria.
My guess is she got better. Just needed to start small (1 Tbs) then gradually increased until she was able to drink 2/3 glass.
So did you get better in the long run or not, it worsened your condition for 4 and a halve weeks!
Hi, I have been taking milk kefir since apr’18. Nowadays, I always got midges bites and it’ll become rashes?… I’m not sure it’s milk kefir or heating crisis as I search milk kefir contain lactic acid.
Hi there, Reading of your experience with milk kifer, mirrors my experience totally. I’m having little skin breakouts that i suspected i may have using milk as a medium. For this reason i will be using kombucha from now on. If i may make a recipe suggestion,a 170 gram passionfruit pulp provides absolute bliss to 2 litres of kombucha.
I am also not sure about kefir either. After a couple of weeks drinking it I am constipated. When I have cow’s milk this happens. I thought the lactose wouldn’t affect me but I was mistaken. I think I will try making kefir with Coconut milk instead. Hope there is some improvement.
Hi everyone. I believe that kefir is beneficial, but I sympathies with the people who got constipation. My experience last year was that I began including kefir in my diet everyday. After a few weeks I developed a blocked small intestine and landed up in hospital. Perhaps this food is not for everyone.
I take Lifeway Strawberry Smoothie Keifer – after 7 months of this I have experienced constipation to the tune of writing this in the hospital because for 1 1/2 – 2 months my bowels won’t move – I was digging balls out & it has caused me acute pancreatitis & I am on IV
for 3 1/2 days & have been dehydrated. The bowel movements have been firm but the 1st day I had 11 BM’S, 2nd day I had 4, 3rd full day I am on a full low-fat diet & had 1 big BM & 1small. I am lactose intolerant, could this be my problem?
Joe – I thoroughly enjoyed reading your experience — and tenacity in seeing this through. I hope 4 years later you are still experiencing great health via your homemade probiotics! (I hope your furry friend is still thriving too!)
I experienced this very same thing. It resulted after being on a rigorous program of anaerobically fermented veggies and kefir (done in my kitchen with the Probiotic Jar). I was excited, because I had intentionally increased my fermented foods and was waiting for a Herxheimer reaction. The rash in two places was pretty intense, along with the itching, so I cut back on my total fermented food intake. The rashes and the intense itchiness all subsided within a couple of days.
Tried it for a week then on Friday got diarrhea so bad I couldn’t take it still had some diarrhea on monday don’t think I can handle it no more my son and his wife drank it daily
Try using Organic Raw Goat or Sheep Milk. It is very healthy. If you can’t get Raw Goat or Sheep Milk from a farm the 2nd best Milk would be Grass Fed Organic Grade A Pasturized NON Homogenized Milk. DO NOT USE ULTRA PASTURIZED! All the good stuff in the Milk has been cleaned out with heating of the milk. Google why they first started pasturizing milk and why. Grass Fed Organic Raw Milk is the best! Raw Goats Milk is given to infants after breast feeding because it is the most digestible milk on the planet! Don’t take my word for it research it for yourself. I myself am lactose intolerant so I buy my milk from a local Organic farmer and I have no trouble at all. As with starting anything new use a little at a time and build up to more especially while introducing something new to your body. Our bodies are so used to receiving garbage foods and drinks on a daily basis and now you want to change everything around. Blessings!
I used milk kefir and it made me constipated and my face starred to break out so I stopped drinking it I’m going to try coconut kefir that’s a better choice fore me .
I’ve benn making kefir for a few months now too and I’ve never been constipated until now. It’s actually becoming quite a problem, which is a shame as it is the only bad side effect I have.
Google “Herxheimer Reaction,” “detox symptoms,” or “healing crisis.”
This is common with good supplements. It’s probably a Herxheimer Reaction. Google “Herxheimer Reaction,” “Detox symptoms,” or “Healing Crisis.”
Detox symptoms can last longer than a few days. I would suggest not drinking so many detox supplements at once and instead picking one, then later adding more, one by one.
A couple of things….
True Kefir can only be made using Kefir “””grains.””” The stuff in the store might be called Kefir, and it actually might be made from Kefir, but you cannot just keep adding milk for very long, without the grains. You can do that to an extent with buttermilk or yogurt, but with Kefir, you are only able to do that a few times and even then it’s not the same quality product. The grains digest the stuff in the milk, so you can’t expect the same results when you’re not using grains.
Also, it sounds like you were having a Herxheimer reaction (also known as “healing crisis” or “detox reaction”). This is common with supplements that really work. Some of the symptoms are body aches, mild fever, fly-like symptoms, rashes, boils, excess mucous, sweating, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, and nausea.There are other symptoms, but these are the most common. It usually only lasts a few days, but it’s one of the signs your supplement is working. Before I recommend a supplement, I ALWAYS warn people to expect this reaction, because most of the time, if I don’t, I find they will stop taking it because they thought they were allergic to it or having a bad reaction or not seeing results.
I, or someone I know, has experienced a Herx Reaction by regularly consuming Aloe, Coconut Oil, Colostrum, or even from juicing vegetables. Please google it for more information.
Use goat milk or coconut milk.
Peace Love Happiness
I’ve been consuming milk kefir about 2 weeks. Very excited, I jumped in to make it for me & my husband. He’s doing great on it and boom even drinking it has surprised me. He is feeling better in all areas. Me, not as well. It saddens me too.I started itching and thought it was detox symptoms and it would leave me with more time. 2 wks and it’s worse that before. My eyes are puffy and red. My skin is bumpy and it’s not getting better. I also am making kombucha and fermented vegetable. I guess I’ll be on these and leave out kefir. Honestly, it’s my favorite. I’m making cheese from it. I love the whey and will continue using it. Hopefully I can tolerate this. I really like it too. I’ll continue using this in my ferments and hope all goes well at least worth this. I’m hating giving up my kefir, and the products I’m making from it.. Cheese, butter, yogurt.. They’re all so good. Oh well..I have it my best shot. My nose is itchy as 8 type this?. Anyway, life will go on, just not as happy …lol
I have had exactly the same problems as you when taking kefir, phlegm you & bad skin pimples & breakouts, have you tried our milk products and have they worked?
Milk kefir is a stronger probiotic compared to water kefir as it contains more than 30strains of yeast and bacteria while water kefir only contain 20 strains.
The possibility of getting allergic reaction from the milk you are using is caused by 2 ingredients in the milk which is lactose and casein. If you have sufficient kefir grain, the right temperature, non-metallic fermentation jar and sufficient time and amount of milk for each batch it should be okay as the lactose will be so depleted as it will hardly cause a problem. The other ingredient that caused problem is casein or more accurately A1 beta casein, this type of casein is prevailant in most of US, Europe and Australia cow, the Holsteins cow. A2 beta casein found in goats milk and other Asian origin cow do not have the problematic casein. Try to use goat/sheeps milk in stead if you are from western country.
Has anyone else developed a rash? I can’t think of what else could be causing it. I haven’t had any other changes to my diet or environment. It started under my breasts now it’s on my neck, lower back, and inner thighs!
I will never drink this stuff again. I purchased it and my system was great before and I thought this would be a help. Now I feel like I have IBS. Never again, tried this a few years back with the same result. For me, it was poison.
Hi there, not sure if you are aware, but kefir bought from the store isn’t true kefir. Allowing that to sit on the counter and adding milk does not give you more kefir which is why you probably felt it so great after a few days. You have to have the actual living kefir grains to make real kefir. So truly you have no tried real kefir. Might want to give it a try! The kefir lady sells the best grains!
I started on the milk kefir yesterday. Today I had it with two medium bananas and withon two hours, I had a full blown flu, runny nose….stomach is bloated too:'(
Sorry to hear that Darcy. It sounds like you could really benefit from intermittent fasting. Have you tried it? My lastest article shares my experience. http://endoempowered.com/intermittent-fasting/
I use homemade milk kefir, by the way. I never had digestion problems. It wasn’t about that, just being healthier and feeling better. Like grasping at straws.
My experience is that it did nothing for me. As with all the other things people rave about like black seed oil and liposomal vitamin C. I’m tired of trying to feel better.
I started making kefir in October, I drank too much straight off and after two days a cold sore appeared, I thought okay die off, two days later a sore throat then for 4 1/2 weeks I had the worst cough, sneezing very phlegmy. I did not want to stop the kefir so continued with just a tablespoon per day. The die off was really bad but I persisted because I figure it will do me good in the long run. I am about 8/9 weeks in now and drinking 2/3 glasses per day.
I have high blood pressure and calcium channel blockers were used to bring it down–but then it went too far and depleted me of magnesium so I quit the meds. After working for a month to rebuild my magnesium levels I tried kefir and the blood pressure started rising. So I watch so I do not get too much calcium and take lots of magnesium and also use topical magnesium. I might try water kefir though
Water kefir is completely different and you won’t experience these symptoms with it 🙂
I also experience symptoms like runny nose and cold after consuming yogurt or milk kefir. Is there any chance that I won’t experience the same symptoms with water kefir? Please suggest. I am suffering from IBS and I would like to consume probiotics on a daily basis.
I use kefir and I love it. I do NOT use cows milk. I use whole organic goats milk and it works wonders. I’ve always suffered from constipation, and had to use laxatives i.e., magnesium citrate for relief. I drink one glass of kefir daily and it has been a life saver and game changer for me.
Concerning cows milk. No matter if it’s organic, whole, half, zero, pasteurized or unpasteurized, I can not drink it without some side effect. Organic gives me diarrhea, while non-organic makes me constipated.
I’ve been drinking kefir twice a week for three months using live kefir grains made from whole milk. My constipation is horrible! Could I still be in candida die-off and “detox” after all this time? I’m at the point where I’m ready to quit.
Neither I or anyone else can prove what caused my son or my diarhea a couple of hours after consuming about 60ml shop bought kefir that I myself had been ‘on’ for 3 months. Up until that yesterdays upset I had been fine. One fact that I firmly believe in is that buying food is an unknown as regards what bacteria is enclosed in it.
I usually bought my kefir from an Asda store without a problem and noticed that it was active even in the fridge. This different store bought kefir was active and I found it interesting in one of the posts that a second ferment changes some of the indigestible ingredients in kefir to tolerable ingredients……..
I had an uncle, then 87 who told us when we were kids- always
eat conservatorily and with moderation and always get up from the table feeling a bit hungry! He looked 20 years younger than he was & he never ate kefir!
There are so many fads these days and so much bull s— that it seems patently obvious that one must evaluate all the ‘evidence’ if indeed it is evidence and listen to our bodies & if we get the sh–ts stop doing what caused that condition.
Butter was bad now it’s good so I wonder if that is why my old uncle ate it in moderation and it did him no harm whatsoever?
I would have thought that drinking that small bottle of milk and that small bottle of orange juice given to us free after the war did us good. None of us had any adverse symptoms and most of us are still fit at 76……. I might die next week.
I had major die-off from kefir the first few times but now I feel great on it. It is helping me heal my gut and I don’t want to be without it! I use organic milk from a dairy in town and always do the 2nd ferment to make it have less lactose. I’m making kombucha too mostly for my hubby.
It was just die-off symptoms. You should have stuck with it. Kefir and yogurt cultures predigest the milk so some of the dangers you list do not really exist.
I hopoe you avoid shop bought kefir – that is not far off useless. Thank you for writing about it though. It was very interesting reading.
Hi I have been on Kefir for four years. I was terribly constipated in tbe beginning. I quickly realised that I was consuming too much so strarted again after an interval. By intestine has now built up sufficient healthh bacteria and i can happily drink a glass per day with no negative reaction other than never having a craving for sweet things or alcohol. A good thing!
I think it would be an advantage if you a) normally keep milk on hand and b) drink kefir almost every day, because it is so simple to make and then you always have it on hand without having to buy it.
It may have been because you didn’t last through the candida die off period where toxins are being shed. I experienced similar symptoms but also itched everywhere for 2 days. I almost gave up as well but then learned about the die off period. Since then, my blood chemistry improved significantly, I don’t crave sugar anymore feel incredible and my doctor took me off of blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure medicines.
Sounds like you were probably having a healing crises and studies have shown that there is no casin in milk kefir compared to regular milk. The same study also shows that milk can raise cancer rates while kefir lowers them. And as another commenter said you do need the milk grains to insure you are making authentic kefir. They will not culture just in previously cultured milk especially store bought.
Die off is different for everyone. If your body is loaded with bad bacteria and toxins, you will have it worse. What you were explaining in your original post is nothing more than die off and your body shedding the bad bacteria and toxins. Its normal and its actually a good sign. Die off can appear as rashes, itchy skin, pimples, diarrhea, constipation (a sign you have lots of toxins to get rid of), sinus congestion, runny nose, cough, flu-like symptoms- these are all signs of die off. These things tend to scare people away without them realizing it’s just the probiotics doing their job.
You do NEED live kefir grains to make authentic milk kefir at home. I am still experimenting with homemade milk kefir…2 years now off and on. I definitely do not have the same noticeable digestive issues that I have with plain milk …likely lactose intolerant and even on raw geurnsey A1 protein (supposedly more easily digested..same protein as goat milk) I still VERY much have these issues. I am still undecided but leaning towards giving up milk kefir for a time..along with ALL dairy to see if I notice a difference. I am definitely gluten sensitive and most people with that sensitivity also react to the milk proteins as they are similar enough that the immune response does not differentiate. I am skeptical, from what I’ve researched that fermentation breaks down the milk proteins as it certainly does not break down the gluten proteins. The microbes feed on lactose..the sugar.
I thought dairy kefir was the greatest thing since sliced bread, wait, that’s not healthy…you get the point. It was going great at first, until the acne just wouldn’t quit. So I started using vanilla almond milk to make mine, and it’s been great. I kinda got burnt out on coconut, so almond milk is a lovely choice. Every morning I make a smoothie with almond kefir (I use milk kefir grains to make it), banana and almond butter. It’s how I’m able to down my raw liver “pills”. I put some smoothie in my mouth, and plop a piece of liver in and swallow it so I don’t have to taste that glorious yet horrid superfood. The energy is fantastic!
While I don’t drink milk kefir due to allergies, I make my own nut kefir. Nut kefir is made from any choice of raw nuts. You add probiotics to it and allow it to sit out 24 hours on the counter like milk kefir. It tastes rich, creamy, and delicious. I love the stuff. My body craves it. It’s a great way to get the probiotics in.
It is common to have a recovery reaction when we drink kefir the first time. Some people will get it with second or third round. It is a detox process where our body adjusted and rebalanced. A client of mine reported to have several loose stools but didn’t feel like having a diarrhoea and it settled down. There were no cramps or bloatiness. That’s how you know it’s working. So continue and don’t give up and you will notice a shift in your energy level. Some described as feeling light, more energy, alert, happy or calm, better sleep….just to name a few. Over time some reported weight loss!
I would probably just avoid milk or dairy all together. You can make Coconut Kefir, which has no milk and does the same thing 🙂
I’m allergic to milk do you think I could repair my gut to handle kefir?
Question: i see lots of people making their own kefir milk. I buy lifeway organic milk. It gets the stamp from the national kefir assoc. why would i make my own? Are there any benefits or disadvantages besides the cost?
Interesting. I have heard that the kefir grains in milk might cause this reaction in some of us. I use a different kefir and make Coconut Water Kefir now but maybe give it a few weeks and see what happens. Die off shouldn’t last that long 🙂
I’ve just started on milk kefir a week ago (using live grains) to put back good bacteria two course of antibiotcs destroyed. I’ve experimented with dairy, coconut and almond milk so far and all of them have left me with unformed stools. This makes me doubt that it is a dairy problem and wonder whether it is actually just a rebalancing/die off reaction. By the way coconut milk was delicious, almond blah
I’m not sure if you did the milk fermentation correctly.
The proper way to do this is to use RAW milk and by using Kefir Grains. Put the kefir grains in raw milk in glass jar, give it a little stir and leave it in DARK place away from sunlight (not windowsill!) at 20-28 degree C.
If you still can’t tolerate Cow milk, try using Goat milk.
It sounds like you get allergic reaction when you drink the Kefir. It is very possible that your digestion is compromised, and may have Candida overgrowth. To fix this, try doing Dr. Natasha Mcbride’s GAPS diet. That will fix your gut very quickly.
Yes indeed. Milk Kefir grains differ from Water Kefir grains. Get the latter and you may meet with success in colonizing. I have had the best luck with juices and water kefir grains. It is sooo much harder keeping the water/juice Kefir grains happy unlike Milk Kefir which is far less fussy.
Hi Gals and all! I agree sounds like a classic herxheimer. I took the plunge, got grains on the net and made my own Kefir with whole milk. First week I took it I felt gradually sicker for two two-three days with phlegm tiredness etc. and then had a midweek reversal of symptoms. Stayed the course and Bingo was a feeling great within a week! I honestly believe it was a Herx for me. I am sleeping slightly better, have more energy and more glorious results. I am now one year in drinking it nearly every day and can say it has been amazing! My Kefir grains have multiplied and when I have too many I eat them. I also give 2 TBS. of kefir to my dog mixed with her dry dog food every other day. She nearly refuses to eat dry dog food without kefir. Her coat is glorious and better. I had ringworm on my hand when I started Kefir. While I consumed Kefir internally I also applied the the Kefir to my ringworm externally. In that same first week it started to disappear and within two weeks it was gone. It had persisted for months with little help from prescription cream. Humans and animals thrive on fermented foods and slowly die and become ill on processed foods. Another interesting thing: when I pour milk into my large Kefir straining bowl then give it a quick rinse it leaves that typical milk film begging for soap to finish the job. After making kefir having the Kefir liquid film remaining in the bowl their really is no film. One rinse with cold water YES cold water and the bowl is squeaky clean! This stuff is truly transformed by these grains into a healthy digestible nutritious powerhouse that the majority of us can consume. Yes it is a little tie consuming bet the store brands of this and 3 times the cost do not offer the same benefit. Cheers, and health to all.
That is an interesting point Gloria and no, I didn’t second ferment. I am a little hesitant to try again but might be a good idea 🙂
Thanks for sharing your insights!
Oh Hi… I just had to butt in here… If you leave your Kefir to ferment long enough, the bacteria actually break the casein down until it’s not casein anymore, just your component aminos… maybe you didn’t leave it long enough. Did you do a second ferment?
Milk acidifies, but kefir alkalizes… kefir is no longer milk. Kefir contains vitamin K2 which works in tandem with Vit d to direct the calcium to your bones and teeth, instead of lodging in places it doesn’t belong. I had a problem with free circulating calcium, (one calf muscle started to ossify), until I started milk kefir. Now I have no problems, and the ossification reversed. It actually drags the magnesium from your tissues into your bones to do it’s thing. You have to make sure your diet is magnesium rich, which I’m sure you already do.
It sounds to me like you didn’t have real kefir grains, and just used bought kefir as a starter like yogurt. You can’t do that for kefir, as those commercial products are not real kefir, with kefiran and all, just a mix of cultures. Those will not break down the milk enough to create a different product, which is what real kefir is.
I hope you are still going ok with the water or coconut kefir, but I think you would actually benefit from milk kefir, if you got the grains, and had a second ferment. I had a nasty herxheimer reaction for a week on and off, and have been brilliantly healthy ever since. Regular dairy always left me with miles of mucus on the lungs, sinus infections and eczema, etc etc. Not so my milk kefir!
My baby of two had terrible personality swings. We discovered she is unable to eat gluten. She was not digesting much food and passing 5,6,7 unformed stools a day.
She would react to gluten food within a few hours.
We put her on keffir wich she loved for about three months. Over the three months of no gluten and keffir when she felt like it, she now is digesting food and only has one two or three formed stool. She even had a large amount of wheat over christmas that she was able to tolerate . After a week her symptoms reappeared but got better shortly after giving her keffir in milk again. It has also treated a family member who has suffered bad breath.
Thanks Agnes. I now use Coconut Kefir 🙂
Hi, why don’t you use water kefir instead of milk kefir.
Yes, the milk still gets in there at the endo of it all 🙂 I love my coconut kefir and wouldn’t swop it for anything else now. It is easy to drink and super easy to maintain 🙂
I’ve been drinking Kefir for about two months now. Kefir grains cultivated in full fat cows milk. I have always had a problem digesting cows milk but find it not too bad since drinking kefir. It’s also helped me digest meat better and I don’t get such terrible lower bowel pains anymore. However, for the past week I find my throat feeling rough and I get terrible heart burn after drinking it. Has anyone experienced this?
I think I should also try the coconut kefir as this might sort the problem out.
I would definitely try a different Kefir. Maybe Coconut Kefir. All you need is to buy Coconut Kefir Grains and then add Coconut Water. It is much easier, less work and you won’t have a bad reaction from it 🙂 At least I didn’t 🙂
Thank you so much for your comments. I have been drinking kefir for a few months now, I stop and start because I am getting constipated, and I don’t want to accept that it is the kefir causing my problem. Sadly it is the kefir. I use goats milk and I have been able to buy it raw at times, it makes no difference to my poor bowels. I may just have a table spon a day and see what happens with that. May see if I can find another fluid that is not milk.
Kefir grown in anything but animal milk eventually kills the grains. IF you have enough grains to let them die slowly in non-dairy milk, then you have no problem.
If you buy kefir that is ready to drink from the store, you are not buying kefir grains that actually make kefir. If you look at the kefir sites online, you cannot use the finished kefir as a starter. You have to buy or get grains from a friend (craigslist or freecycle) and put THAT in milk. I use organic milk, so no hormones added. anne
My understanding is that cows milk contains growth hormones, which is not something I want for my endo – growth. I can appreciate it would be beneficial if we are trying to grow a large cow but not sure those hormones should be for humans based on that.
It might also be the quantity that we drink. I know many cultures in africa that do have real milk as part of their diet but it is a rarerity and a special event, rather than a daily thing.
Such a good point! Thanks for sharing Georgina 🙂
Cows are kept pregnant all the time in order to produce as much milk as possible, which means you get all the birth hormones – probably not a good thing for endo. Nature has provided dairy to help baby animals grow. Dairy = growth. Promoting tissue growth is a good thing for infants (breast milk is best) – promoting tissue growth is not a good thing for endometriosis (or cancer).
A very good point, regarding the growth-promoting properties of milk!
With regards to the hormones, aren’t pregnancy hormones actually beneficial for endo? I mean, I’m not sure if the pregnancy hormones in cows are the same as in humans, but I don’t think we should write off something for containing hormones until we are sure that those particular hormones are not beneficial for us. It could be that they actually benefit us, so long as they are naturally occurring and not artificial.
Just a thought… would love to hear your thoughts, Georgina and/or Melissa 🙂
P.S. Had no reaction after drinking raw milk yesterday, so I definitely don’t think I have a problem digesting it (unlike pasteurised milk). But still, there could be other reasons to avoid dairy, as mentioned in the other comments. I will continue with my experiment and let you know my findings!
It could be worth trying and really recording the reaction you get in the body from drinking it. I am still questioning the whole idea of drinking cows milk – it is ultimately designed for a calf, really….. but then so is honey and bee pollen. You could be our guinea pig – since you have access to the good stuff 🙂 Let me know how you go 🙂
Okay, am having a glass now! Will make a note of any reactions and let you know.
Although I understand the logic behind the “milk is meant for the calf” theory, I’m not sure I go for it. As you pointed out, there are many foods which don’t appear to be intended for humans, but which have been consumed by us for generations with many benefits. From what I understand (having asked a farmer about this topic) cows naturally produce far more milk than their calves could ever consume alone, which makes me think that perhaps we were intended to make use of the excess. Many cultures throughout the world have long regarded milk from various animals as a sacred and health-giving food. I think it’s likely that pasteurisation (and homogenisation) are to blame for all the adverse reactions that so many people are suffering from milk products these days.
Just a few thoughts 🙂 I will keep you posted on the raw milk experiment!
I used to drink Milk Kefir regularly and I seemed to tolerate it well. I think sometimes people react badly due to a die-off reaction (all the good bacteria and good yeasts start killing the bad guys, but they release their toxins into the body when they die). That’s why most protocols recommend introducing any kind of probiotic slowly, starting with a small amount and then gradually building up. When I started with Kefir, I began with a tbsp per day, and gradually worked my way up to 1-2 cups per day. Unfortunately my Kefir culture died and I’m now struggling to find a new one!
With regards to casein, I think that whether you use raw or pasteurised milk definitely makes a difference. Pasteurised milk is heated in such a fast and unnatural way that it damages the casein proteins and makes them much harder to digest. The casein in raw milk is undamaged and should cause far less (if any) problems.
I’ve started the endo diet now, but am still debating whether or not to include raw milk. I am able to get high-quality, hormone-free raw milk from grass-fed cows. I believe it to be a very healing food, and considering raw milk is usually quite easily digestible (unlike pasteurised), I’m wondering if its inclusion on the endo diet could actually be beneficial in some cases (despite dairy products being generally prohibited). Anyhow, I’m considering experimenting a bit with this. Would love to hear your thoughts, Melissa!
Hope you’re well!
Thanks Georgina. I must read that book. It has been recommended to me a few times 🙂
Milk also increases calcium loss from the bones. Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a correction. Calcium is an acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is used to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.
That’s why countries with the highest consumption of dairy products also have the highest incidence of osteoporosis and bone fracture. So you made the right choice in drinking coconut kefir over milk kefir.
If you want to know more about how casein affects your health I recommend a book called “The China Study” by Colin Campbell. Ever since I’ve made the changes detailed in this book my endometriosis pain has disappeared and I am certain that I am on the right path to healing.
amount is also key. people make the mistake when drinking milk keffir of drinking too much. i only have say 1.5ins worth in a small glass daily. i believe that is enough to get the probiotic value without having too much dairy. i don’t think as adults we should we drinking lots of milk and i find when i do that it makes me very lethargis. there are other fruit juices/bases you can use – even water! so whichever way works is good. i do think its important to use a decent culture which will not be defined as milk keffir or otherwise – it will be useable in any liquid form. i am not convinced that health shops sell quality keffir as there are storage issues. it needs to be kept alive to be powerful, in my view.
Yeah, I did wonder that one too. I am keen to give it another go with Raw Milk once it is easier to find – they sell it at the Borough Market in London. I have heard you can even make it with Almond Milk. The coconut kefir seems to be agreeing perfectly so far… 2 days into it 🙂
Hi Melissa, did you use pasteurized cow’s milk for your kefir? I wonder though if we could use raw milk to make it and if it will have the same effect. Or maybe we can use goat’s milk and I prefer it raw though.