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Probiotics

Updated: Jul 5

Any body of a human is known to host at least 1014 microorganisms, we do have more microbes than body cells. On this one occasion, it is a great deal, to be a host for some microbe. Even though, it is not so easily believable, at these times. Human gastrointestinal tract, so important but so often overlooked, has 10 million genes with microbial species that are beneficial for the health of their host. There’s that host again. These microbial species have possible positive effect on immune system, such as transition of daily meals into the nutrients that matter and defense against invasion of pathogenic microorganisms.  

Gut Microbiota Gut microbiota is a pretty busy microorganism, which includes fungi, bacteria and viruses colonizing human gastrointestinal tract. Individual’s metabolic ability of calorie extraction from indigestible foods and their storage in our fat tissue, may lead to obesity. Microbiota is not the same for all people, it depends largely, on individual’s diet. We all carry hundreds of microbial species, which will most probably stay with us throughout our adulthood. Some conditions, such as allergy, diarrhea, gastrointestinal issues and metabolic syndromes, all may be treated and bettered, with probiotic intervention.  Food Habits The choice of food and lifestyle play a giant role in an individual’s health status and quality of life. Our unwise choices, on the other hand, may result in a several metabolic disorders and even greater health issues. This is where healthy bacteria are coming to the rescue. In the matter of fact, there is one important byproduct of gut microbial fermentation – short chain fatty acids, which are formed by our gut microbial digestion. Increased production of short chain fatty acids, boosts our gut peptides PYY and GLP-1, with a decrease in ghrelin. All the fancy words, but a long story short, it leads to our satiety and reduce our food intake. Butyrate and propionate also a result of microbial fermentation, they regulate body weight and increase energy expenditure. All the great stuff, if you ask me. Kefir Still exotic in US but well known in other countries, it is my favorite. Kefir is fermented milk, which is produced by lactic acid and carbon dioxide producing organisms. It has shown to improve lipid profile, by increasing HDL cholesterol (good fat) and decreasing LDL (bad fat). Research has shown that kefir could improve our bone mass, it is milk after all, only tastes better. It has been proven that kefir consumption significantly reduces lactose intolerance. A large percent of population is lactose intolerant, which leads to a decrease of milk consumption, kefir might be a solution. Milk is the best source of calcium, which is essential mineral and particularly needed for growth and the peak of bone formation in children. On top of it, calcium is crucial for postmenopausal women, who have estrogen deficiency and accelerated loss of bone, as a result. Research has also shown that kefir may be acceptable after exercise, to physically active cancer survivors, without upsetting their stomach.  It can be done All in all, if you are going to spend your hard-earned money on food, why not make it an investment in you and your healthy, strong, resisting anything body. It sure can get costly, but it does taste well. Besides, we can make our own kefir at home. It is easy and safe, and could be made from different types of milk. The kefir grains can be stored at room temperature or in a refrigerator and the stability of grains is high. These grains are reusable. Plus, after each fermentation, the mass of kefir grains increases by environmental conditions. It gets even more economical, once we get all the supplies.  Here's how it's done:



  1. Move the active kefir grains into up to 4 cups of fresh milk. Wooden bowl seems to be a must.

  2. Cover with a coffee filter or butter muslin secured by a rubber band or jar ring. A strainer will be needed, down the road.

  3. Place in a warm spot, 68°- 85°F, to culture. Remember to prep multi use kefir bottles for a final product.

  4. Culture until milk is slightly thickened and aroma is pleasant. This generally takes 24 hours, but can take less time in warmer temperatures, so keep an eye on your grains.

  5. After the milk changes texture and culturing is complete, separate the kefir grains from the finished kefir.

  6. Place the kefir grains in a new batch of milk. Probably, the best option is to use wooden utensils for live cultures.

  7. Store the finished kefir in the refrigerator. References: Chaiyasut, C.; Kesika, P.; Sivamaruthi, B.; Suganthy, N. (2019). A Review on Role of Microbiome in Obesity and Antiobesity Properties of Probiotic Supplements. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=7&sid=574c5812-b5a0-46b4-bfde-bb481d0664c2%40sdc-v-sessmgr03 Chaiyasut, C.; Sivamaruthi, BS.; Suganthy, N. (2019). A Review on Role of Microbiome in Obesity and Antiobesity Properties of Probiotic Supplements. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=5&sid=c3b53a57-10c1-4574-8272-72a42457347b%40sdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=31211135&db=mdc Fina, B.; Brun, L.; Rigalli, A. (2016). Increase of calcium and reduction of lactose concentration in milk by treatment with kefir grains and eggshell. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=10&sid=c3b53a57-10c1-4574-8272-72a42457347b%40sdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=113394400&db=s3h Mehwish, M.; Riaz, M.; Shi, J.; Yang, H. (2017). Interaction between diet composition and gut microbiota and its impact on gastrointestinal tract health. Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318995296_Interaction_between_diet_composition_and_gut_microbiota_and_its_impact_on_gastrointestinal_tract_health Mohr, A,; Basile, A.; Crawford, M.; Sweazea, K.; Carpenter, K. (2020). Probiotic Supplementation Has a Limited Effect on Circulating Immune and Inflammatory Markers in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=3&sid=c3b53a57-10c1-4574-8272-72a42457347b%40sdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=142296798&db=s3h Nagpal, R.; Kumar, A.; Kumar M; Behare, PV.; Jain, S.; Yadav, H. (2012). Probiotics, their health benefits and applications for developing healthier foods: a review. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=12&sid=c3b53a57-10c1-4574-8272-72a42457347b%40sdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=22568660&db=mdc O'Brien K; Boeneke C; Prinyawiwatkul W; Lisano J; Shackelford D; Reeves K; Christensen M; Hayward R; Ordonez KC; Stewart LK. (2017). Short communication: Sensory analysis of a kefir product designed for active cancer survivors. Retrieved from: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=8&sid=c3b53a57-10c1-4574-8272-72a42457347b%40sdc-v-sessmgr03&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=28434726&db=mdc


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