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Apologies for my ignorance but wouldn't it be possible for a good quality probiotic to do the same job? I'm more interested in the reduction of inflammation which, if I read the article correctly, appears to originate in the gut. I'm probably looking for an easy way out rather than cultivating and consuming kefir and I just find pickled vegetables and sauerkraut unappealing - I hate anything sour tasting (and even sounding)! Also, that long list of 'Candida' mentioned in the Mary Jones article sounds a bit worrying to me because of Candida overgrowth - is it the same strain of Candida?

My recent blood results show that ESR (inflammatory marker) is high, and this, combined with the thyroid results, isn't what I expected this far into IF. It seems that simply changing WOE isn't enough but you have to try and undo the damage caused to the gut flora by re-populating the digestive system with anti-inflammatory bacteria. Can anyone recommend a good probiotic that might achieve that?
marlathome wrote: Apologies for my ignorance but wouldn't it be possible for a good quality probiotic to do the same job? I'm more interested in the reduction of inflammation which, if I read the article correctly, appears to originate in the gut. I'm probably looking for an easy way out rather than cultivating and consuming kefir and I just find pickled vegetables and sauerkraut unappealing - I hate anything sour tasting (and even sounding)! Also, that long list of 'Candida' mentioned in the Mary Jones article sounds a bit worrying to me because of Candida overgrowth - is it the same strain of Candida?

My recent blood results show that ESR (inflammatory marker) is high, and this, combined with the thyroid results, isn't what I expected this far into IF. It seems that simply changing WOE isn't enough but you have to try and undo the damage caused to the gut flora by re-populating the digestive system with anti-inflammatory bacteria. Can anyone recommend a good probiotic that might achieve that?

The main culprit for candida overgrowth is a species called Candida albicans, the ones in kefir are friendlies. Candida albicans lives in the gut and normally behaves itself until we kill off most of the bacteria in the neighbourhood with antibiotics, with the competition gone Candida albicans is very good at taking over. Because kefir has a wide variety of the kinds of bacteria and yeasts that we should have in our intestine it can help rebuild our ecosystem with all its complex interrelationships, as well as stopping a single species like Candida albicans taking over.

If you want to use a probiotics, my advice would be to get a variety of different ones, that way you will a wider variety of species. Holland and Barrett do a Probiotic 10 with 10 different varieties of bacteria.

But if you want to try kefir you don't have to make it yourself. Ask in you local supermarkets or see if there is a Polish shop or similar. I don't think kefir is any more sour than natural yoghurt and a spoonful of raspberry jam can turn it into the flavour equivalent of shop bought raspberry yoghurt.
They sell Kefir in Asda - it's produced in Poland so I've ordered some. Is it the real deal do you think? The ingredients are listed as 'Pasteurised Milk'.
I buy Bakoma kefir in Asda when my Polish shop is out of stock. Is that the one? Seems to be the real deal. I wondered about the pasteurised reference myself, but it is the milk they make the kefir out of that is pasteurised rather than the final product.

When I looked up the brand online I found it listed on a 'natural food finder' website.
http://www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk/fermented-products
They describe it as 'average' :)
marlathome wrote: Apologies for my ignorance but wouldn't it be possible for a good quality probiotic to do the same job?


Probably, though they seem to contain only a handful of species if that's the right word (strains ?).
yes, what I got from the article is that taking a pill was inferior to eating foods that have symbiotic relationships of not just the probiotics but of things we have not even discovered yet.

You could add berries and sweeten with liquid stevia if you want to avoid the sugar in jams.
D_C wrote: I buy Bakoma kefir in Asda when my Polish shop is out of stock. Is that the one? Seems to be the real deal. I wondered about the pasteurised reference myself, but it is the milk they make the kefir out of that is pasteurised rather than the final product.

When I looked up the brand online I found it listed on a 'natural food finder' website.
http://www.naturalfoodfinder.co.uk/fermented-products
They describe it as 'average' :)



Yes, it's the Bakoma brand - I'll give it a try but I see from the naturalfoodfinder website the apparently superior Nourish Kefir drink is available at Infinity Foods in Brighton so I'll get some next time I'm passing. Thanks for the info.

The more I read about this, the more I become convinced that all of the chronic health problems I have experienced over the years - Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Cholecystitis, Pancreatitis, Osteoarthritis - have originated in the gut, and this has led to obesity and other metabolic disorders. Of course, eating a rubbish diet is responsible for the unhealthy state of my insides in the first place. Hope it's not too late to put things right.
I am now making and enjoying my kefir (bought from the kefir shop, thanks for the suggestion Caroline). Ignoring the rolled eyes from other members of the family I use a batch from the fridge each morning on my oats+granola+flax+raisins (except on a fast day of course), and empty a fresh batch into the fridge and set another one going at the same time with organic semi-skimmed milk. I make about 200ml at a time in a covered but not sealed plastic container on the dresser.

It's like yoghurt only more sour and sometimes a bit more 'grainy', in my (limited) experience.

Is it making me less inflamed? Well, I feel quite calm at the moment...
Me too! I am enjoying my homemade kefir - I like it as it comes and my favourite way of eating it is to blend it with a little bit of ice and teeny bit of salt (a little like an Indian lassi). can you tell I'm not a "sweet" person ? :smile:
I love kefir. I made the milk one for a couple of years, but lost my grains (hubby accidentally threw them out). Must find a friend with some, and get some more. I've recently got some water kefir grains from a friend, and that's fun to play with. You get a fizzy drink of whatever flavour you put in for the second ferment (orange, ginger, lemon, vanilla etc). Slightly sweet cool drink. And the best bit is it grows, so you have a continual supply to give to friends, and share the kefir love.
My favourite gut friendly food though is sauerkraut. Absolutely love it!
dhana wrote: my favourite way of eating it is to blend it with a little bit of ice and teeny bit of salt
Thanks for the tip dhana! Like the proper Scottish way of having porridge (well, not the ice obviously...)? I was brought up having porridge with salt and still prefer it that way. I taught myself not to have it with all of this stuff about salt being bad for us (that's still true isn't it or I am out of date?) Still I might take my life in my hands and try a pinch with my oats+kefir...

KataMac wrote: My favourite gut friendly food though is sauerkraut
Interesting! Is that any type of sauerkraut or some special organic one?
Hi guys,

For those of you who might be interesting to make their own fermented veggies, kimchi and the like, you'll find a lot of information and recipes here: http://www.wildfermentation.com/. Info for kefir afficionados is here: http://www.pennilessparenting.com/2012/ ... ogurt.html.
Enjoy!
Getting back to the original topic...have you seen this article on the BBC News about a gut bacterium that aids weight loss having been identified? It is Akkermansia muciniphila...wonder if it is to be found in the kefir culture? Apparently a certain type of fibre promotes its growth but the article did not say what the fibre was...will have to track down the studies.
@dominic: glad you like the kefir. I am planning on starting a new culture but am thinking of waiting until after my 3-week holiday to Sweden as that is how I lost the last culture...the frozen emergency one did not survive nor did the one in the fridge. I guess it is a bit much to ask the neighbours to look after the kefir culture as well as the cats, fish, chickens, horse and vegetable garden!!!

I love kefir with home-made granola...milk tastes wishy-washy on it in comparison!
We recently discovered that the administration of prebiotics
(oligofructose) to genetically obese mice increased the abundance of A. muciniphila by ∼100-fold


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21933985

http://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutriti ... 30732.html is a likely candidate, given the origin in Belgium (chicory roots).
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