The Champagne of Milk
An article in Dairyfoods Newsletter by Dairyland. Vancouver, BC in 1994 called kefir the twenty-first century yogurt. Kefir has a far more interesting taste than yogurt, and different milks will create a variety of mouth watering kefir flavors. Kefir also contains a small amount of alcohol, about one-fifth to one half of one percent (0.2 to 0.5 percent) – a negligible amount that does not preclude its use by children. Yet, like beer and sparkling wines, kefir creates carbon dioxide (CO2), an effervescence, during fermentation. This does not make kefir foam and fizz, but turns it into a very interesting drink. So, one could say that yogurt is to milk what wine is to grapes, but kefir is to milk what champagne is to grapes, which is why kefir, and not yogurt, is the campagne of milk.
Despite the enormous increase in yogurt popularity and consumption, few people make yogurt at home because yogurt culture lose their potency very quickly and culture must be bought repeatedly. Whereas kefir culture is more potent and self-generate easier than yogurt culture. Kefir regenerate itself constantly, making kefir an ideal home-brew. Kefir has the additional unique quality of being very tolerant to differing conditions, allowing for its use under a wide range of temperatures, climates and growth mediums.
Other qualities that give Kefir an advantage over yogurt
- Milk used for making kefir does not have to be pre-heated like milk for making yogurt. This makes it ideal for use with “certified raw milk”
- Smaller curds make kefir far more digestible than yogurt because enzymes in the digestive tract cling better and more easily to the much larger surface area thus offered, the net result of smaller curds.
- Kefir is the only fermented milk starter culture that takes the form of ready-for-action grains. These grains grow naturally from lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, casein and a fibrous carbohydrate gum called kefiran. This gum “glues” the resident microflora together into a natural but temporarily immobilized cell system. All it need to “explode” into life is a drop of milk!
- Kefir contains “right-turning” lactic acid, usually called L+ lactic acid. How turning left vs. turning right makes a huge difference not only on the highways, but in your own bodily pathways, we will soon know in some detail.
- Perhaps best of all the cost of making kefir is far below the cost of making yogurt. The kefir culture (unlike any yogurt culture) never dies. Thus, kefir cultures do not have to be bought time and again. Kefir grains are “immortal.” Yogurt cultures are merely like “human,” they have a birth, a childhood and youth stage, an adult stage, and sinking-towards-end of life stage.
Where do Kefir came from?
The presence of fermented dairy products dates back to earliest civilization. The Veda, the ancient Sanskrit scriptures of India, makes mention of a fermented milk product called dadhi. Clay tablets from Sumer, our most ancient civilization, record the making of fermented milk. The Bible mentioned soured milk.
No one really knows where kefir came from. Some authorities believe kefir originated in Turkey, others think it came from Russia. It doesn’t really matter because kefir truly is a Turkish delight and a Russian rapture. Suffice to say that originated in the northern Caucasus Mountains, where legend has it that kefir grains were given to the orthodox by the prophet Mohammed.
Healing actions of Kefir
Lactic acid and the living lactic bacteria is the key. Lactic acid performs digestive tasks similar to those of hydrochloric acid or other bodily digestive juices, therefore by easing the digestive burden of our body. Soured milk is a great tonic for people suffering from weak nerves because of the great amount of lecithin in soured milk.
Kefir has been shown to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. It seems that proliferating cancer cells can be at least partially restored to normal function. i.e. healed through reactivating them to normal function by involving the work of lactic acid in the body. Some of the most respected scientists have suggested a pathway by which lactic acid fermentation might fight mutant cancer cells.
What is Right Turning Lactic Acid vs. Left Turning?
Kefir has more L+ lactic acid than D- turning lactic acid. In chemistry, they are called isomers. They have the same molecular formula but the structure are different. They have quite different physical and chemical properties to the different arrangements of the atoms in the molecules.
After or during vigorous exercise the lactic acid in the blood rise by five to tem times the normal values. We experience this excess lactic acid as muscle soreness or pain. While this is an unpleasant symptom of lactic acid metabolism, it is balanced by the oxygen intake into the cells of our brain, liver and kidneys. Right-turning lactic acid (L+) is a normal constituent of the human body. It is important, according to scientific experts, that the cells of the heart muscle obtain their energy primarily from right-turning lactic acid.
A bulgaricus probiotic or yogurt, for instance, contains a total of 65 to 70 percent left-turning lactic acid. Only the remainder is right-turning. For the human body, only the right-turning(L+) lactic acid is natural and physiologically correct. Left-turning(D-) lactic acid is a foreign substance for the human organism. It does not contain the necessary enzymes for proper utilization by the body. The urinary system flushes the majority of left-turning lactic acid out of the system and the liver converts the remainder into carbonic acid and water.
How Ingredients in Kefir fight Cancer regulates metabolism
To understand this we must first know that in cancer pathology, the destruction of normal cell respiration is one of the root causes of the disease. There are a number of chemical repressor that successfully fight cancer cells, such as the chemicals employed in chemotherapy. Unfortunately, these chemical agents always produce severe and unwanted side effects. But there is good evidence to support the theory that there is one chemical repressor that fights cancer cells totally without undesirable side effects. That is “Lactic Acid”.
Lactic acid side effects are welcome effects. During fermentation a slight food decomposition is revered through the production of new substances. One such substance is acetylcholine, which tones the nerves and improves sleep patterns. B-vitamins are formed as well as various enzymes that assist proper metabolism. The fermentation process also produces choline, which improves, regulates and balances the composition of the blood as well as helps prevent hypertension and the accumulation of unwanted fats. Choline also inhibits sugar formation, making lactic acid-fermented foods safe for diabetics.
Kefir Cures All
Kefir can prevent illness and heal many diseases not associated with malignancies. Kefir establishes and/or reestablishes a healthy intestinal flora, thereby helping many gastrointestinal disorders. Kefir also exhibits bactericidal properties, thus acting as a natural antibiotic that does not build up the negative side effects of today’s artificial antibiotics. The whey from cultured milk shows a wide spectrum of antibiotic properties. Studies show that this type of whey neutralizes most pathogenic bacteria within twenty-four hours.
Various medical studies confirm kefir’s usefulness in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, allergies, migraine, gout, rheumatic and arthritic conditions, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome(IBS). The World Health Organization(WHO) has reported on the medical use of kefir in the treatment of tuberculosis and typhoid fever. Strangely enough, kefir also works as a laxative. It is an effective but gentle treatment for overcoming constipation. Not surprisingly, fermented milks are helpful for elderly sufferers of chronic constipation.
MORE ABOUT THE MAKING OF KEFIR IN FUTURE ARTICLES ….
Reference and credits to Kefir Rediscovered by Klaus Kaufmann.
This information is provided/written by David Chan CNP, ROHP© Copyright 2013 Genesis Health Inc. All rights reserved. This is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or nutritionist. Please consult your doctor and nutritionist for advice about a specific medical condition.