How Much Probiotic Bacteria Has Kefir Really Got?

Kefir has been associated with healthy living, literally for millenniums. This naturally fizzy lactose drink has become very popular around the world and the UK in recent times.

One of the main reasons for its recent popularity is the fact that it is very high in probiotic bacteria. This friendly bacterial has numerous health benefits, especially for the intestinal tract. Restoring probiotic bacteria is especially important after taking antibiotics, which typically destroy the good bacteria in your intestinal tract.

There are also solid reasons to believe that probiotic bacteria help ease symptoms of IBS. Many suggest that it may also help control blood sugar, balance cholesterol, and may even help regulate blood pressure.

Whether all of these claims are true or not, there is no doubt that probiotic bacteria are very good for your health. Drinking kefir is a great, natural way to get probiotics into your gut. This tart and tangy beverage is a favourite among many, but how much bacteria does it really have in it?

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Probiotic bacterial is generally measured in CFU’s. Microbiology uses the abbreviation CFU for Colony Forming Unit. So, how many CFUs does kefir contain?

This is a difficult question to answer, mainly due to the surprising lack of substantial scientific studies on the subject. However, a handful of reliable and conclusive studies have been done on the subject.

For example, a study in Florida found 10 billion CFU per ml. That works out to be about 2.4 trillion per cup. A second and better-documented study from the Federal University of Lavras found very similar results. A more conservative study in Scotland showed results of about 500 billion per cup. That is still a very high amount, especially when compared to the average 246 million CFU in a cup of yoghurt.

We may conclude this article by mentioning that whether we can calculate the exact amount of probiotic bacteria in a cup of kefir or not, there is, without a doubt, a high percentage. Kefir has been proven to be a great source of probiotics and has been shown to have a much higher concentration than other classic sources such as yoghurt.

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Showing 4 comments
  • Esther Baldessari

    Is it possible to make Kefir using kefir and milk. I don’t have seeds.

  • Cathy Valentime

    How often and how much Kefir should you drink to deep the benefits ?
    One 8 Oz glass per day ?

    • Imogen Dransfield


      We recommend approx 180 ml per day

  • Cathy Valentime

    Reap not deep the benefits
    Correction from my other post

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