Kefir

Dr Keefe, Keefe Clinic, Natural Health Care, Tulsa Chiropractor, Diet, Pain,

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Kefir (pronounced /ke’fier/ ke-FEER) (or alternatively kefi-rs, keefir, kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milk kefir, búlgaros) is a fermented milk drink.

The composition of kefir depends greatly on the type of milk that was fermented, including the concentration of vitamin B12. During the fermentation, changes in composition of nutrients and other ingredients have also been shown to occur. Research has shown, however, that lactose maldigestors are able to tolerate kefir, providing the number of live bacteria present in this beverage consumed is high enough. It is believed that the bacteria in the kefir or yoghurt matrix are protected by the buffering effect of the yoghurt. It has also been shown that fermented milk products have a slower transit time than milk, which may further improve lactose digestion.

There are many benefits that may be gained from regularly drinking kefir

Dr. Keefe, Keefe Clinic. Tulsa Chiropractor, pain, natural health care.

We have compiled information, gathered from scientific papers and studies, on benefits that may be enjoyed from regularly drinking kefir.  Of course, we are all different, and it is worth noting that the effects of drinking kefir will vary from person to person.  Some people drink kefir for health benefits – and others just because they like it. Kefir is not medicine, it a natural food with healing potential.  If you have any concerns about drinking kefir, we recommend you check with your GP first.

Kefir is a 100% natural probiotic

Dr. Keefe, Keefe Clinic. Tulsa Chiropractor, pain, natural health care.

Everytime you drink a glass of kefir you are encouraging ‘good’ bacteria to flourish in your intestines.  The probiotics in Kefir are special, because they evolve naturally during the fermentation process and some of these types of probiotics are only found in traditional kefir.

Dr. Keefe, Keefe Clinic. Tulsa Chiropractor, pain, natural health care.

People with gastro-intestinal health conditions such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or Crohn’s who regularly drink kefir as part of their diet, can benefit from a reduction of typical symptoms and feel much better.  Noticable results include a normal bowel function – especially helpful to stop diarrhoea, reduce wind and painful bloating (often caused by bad bacteria in the gut).  Visit the section on probitoics for more information or see our testimonials page.

Increased vitamin and mineral intake

Dr. Keefe, Keefe Clinic. Tulsa Chiropractor, pain, natural health care.

Fermentation of milk with the living kefir grains enhances its nutritional value increasing amounts of B vitamins, and important fat soluable vitamins A, D, E and K and folic acid. Nourish Kefir is a good source of the valuable minerals calcium, phosphorus and magnesium – which are easily absorbed into the body. Noticeable results include an increase in energy, stronger nails, good skin and shiny, stronger hair.

Improved Digestion

Dr. Keefe, Keefe Clinic. Tulsa Chiropractor, pain, natural health care.Kefir is easy to digest because the proteins, fats and lactose in the milk are transformed into smaller molecules during fermentation, that the body can easily absorb and utilise.  Milk proteins in kefir are broken down into a more basic structure of amino acids.  Acidic milk speeds up the secretion of digestive juices and encourages the metabolism to work more efficiently, reducing the effects of indigestion and improving digestion of other foods when taken at the same time.  Fermentation gives a release of CO2 into the milk which is good for digestion.  You may notice a slight effervesence when you open a bottle – that’s the CO2 and is completely normal.

Digestibility of lactose in kefir

Dr. Keefe, Keefe Clinic. Tulsa Chiropractor, pain, natural health care.Lactose in the kefir milk is transformed during fermentation into smaller molecules: glucose and galactose.  Although there may still be some lactose present in the milk, it is reduced.

Cancer prevention and tumor reduction

Dr. Keefe, Keefe Clinic. Tulsa Chiropractor, pain, natural health care.

Results of laboratory tests on mice have shown that traditional kefir helped to prevent cancer of the colon, and reduce tumour growth where cancer is already present in the colon. Similar results were obtained regarding tests for tumour reduction in breast and liver cancers, as well as prevention of prostrate cancer.  Although there have not been any clinical trials in the UK or USA, we hope that this will eventually happen to prove the true extent of the healing power of traditional kefir, that it may benefit others.

Cholesterol reduction

Dr Keefe, Keefe Clinic, Natural Health Care, Tulsa Chiropractor, Diet, Pain,

The cholesterol in milk fats is relatively low.  Kefir contains 12mg of cholesterol per 100 ml (in a drink with 3.5% fat content).  The microorganisms in kefir break down the fats in the milk, making them easier to digest.  Recent research suggests that certain probiotic lacto bacteria present in kefir may actually help to lower cholesterol; by attaching themselves to cholesterol cells and eliminating them from the body.

Antioxidant and Immune System

Dr. Keefe, Keefe Clinic. Tulsa Chiropractor, pain, natural health care.

Kefir contains antioxidants that protect cells from illness and ageing affects.  Scientists believe that these antioxidants are the link to the longevity of the people from the Caucasus, who first drank kefir, and among whom were many centenarians.

Dr. Keefe, Keefe Clinic. Tulsa Chiropractor, pain, natural health care.

Drug-resistant bacteria: 23,000 deaths a year in US and getting worse

Drug-resistant bacteria: 23,000 deaths a year in US and getting worse

Published time: September 17, 2013 18:40

CRE - 600 out of 9,000 patients die a year (Image from cdc.gov)CRE – 600 out of 9,000 patients die a year (Image from cdc.gov)

A lack of new antibiotics, coupled with the over-prescription of existing ones, is making many formerly routine diseases untreatable, according to a new report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At least two million people in the US are infected each year – and 23,000 of those die – from bacteria that does not respond to treatment by usual or any antibiotics, claims the Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States 2013 report.

“We are approaching a cliff. If we don’t take steps to slow or stop drug resistance, we will fall back to a time when simple infections killed people,” said Michael Bell, Deputy Director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, and one of the report’s authors.

Among the diseases the report labeled an ‘Urgent threat’ are C.difficile, a form of severe diarrhea that kills 14,000 people per year, and gonorrhea, as nearly a third of the 800,000 estimated annual infections are with strains that do not respond to at least some antibiotics.

The most terrifying perhaps is Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), a relatively new and rare but deadly infection that cannot be tackled by “drugs of last resort” (medicines that are purposely reserved for treatment courses when all else has failed).

Out of an estimated 9,000 cases of CRE each year, 600 people die.

The report says that by far the most important reason for the proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria is the incorrect prescription of antibiotics by doctors and improper use by patients.

Half of all antibiotic prescriptions in the US are unnecessary – a precaution, or a result of misdiagnosis or ignorance about the ability of the drug to treat a certain disease. A course of a drug weeds out certain types of bacteria, but leaves a minority untouched. The surviving bacteria then multiply, creating a new strain of the disease that is no longer susceptible to that medicine. The problem is made worse when patients stop their antibiotics course too early – often as soon as they feel better – as the remaining microorganisms then have a better chance of escaping.

“Every time antibiotics are used in any setting, bacteria evolve by developing resistance and that process can happen with alarming speed.  These drugs are a precious, limited resource—the more we use antibiotics today, the less likely we are to have effective antibiotics tomorrow,” said Steve Solomon, Director of the CDC’s Office of Antimicrobial Resistance.

 

MRSA (Image from cdc.gov)MRSA (Image from cdc.gov)

Another breeding ground for superbugs is livestock farms – the destination of up to 80 percent of all antibiotics – where animals are routinely prescribed drugs, mostly as a preventative measure and to make sure they grow as large as possible. The strains produced in those circumstances are then passed on to humans, creating additional danger.

Estimating the exact number of people who have been infected and died from a drug-resistant bacteria is by nature an imprecise activity.

But the authors say they are not scaremongering.

“This is a bare minimum, a very conservative estimate,”
said CDC Director Thomas R. Friedman, noting that the authors have tried to separate cases when the drug-resistant infection was directly responsible for death, as opposed to a contributing factor.

“The actual number of infections and the actual number of deaths are certainly higher,” states the report.

One of the problems of drug-resistance is the relative scarcity of new antibiotics. Until the current ones stop working in sufficient numbers, pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to develop them for currently curable diseases. The report urges the government to invest more money in antibiotics as a matter of national importance, though several programs are already in place.

 

Turberculosis (Image from cdc.gov)Turberculosis (Image from cdc.gov)

But even if US doctors and companies take every measure available, there is only so much they can do in a globalized world.

In countries such as China and Russia, where antibiotics are freely available over-the-counter and are consumed by an order of magnitude more often than in the United States, drug-resistant strains are emerging at a much faster rate (and involve diseases like tuberculosis that are already more deadly). And these strains are sure to spread throughout the globe.

“We’re facing a catastrophe,” said Helen Boucher, a Tufts University expert and spokeswoman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.