Reply To: Something important you should know about KEFIR.

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Javizy wrote: I doubt there’s been any such research. Who on Earth would fund studies into kefir as a candidiasis treatment in humans? There are a couple of scraps on PubMed to suggest anti-C. albicans properties [1][2].

Brown sugar promoted the greatest antimicrobial activities, producing inhibition halos corresponding to 35 … mm for Candida albicans … Different carbon source concentrations and the time of fermentation influenced the size of the inhibition halos of the pathogenic microorganisms.

Kefir and its insoluble polysaccharide, kefiran, were both tested for antimicrobial and cicatrizing activities against several bacterial species and Candida albicans … Both kefir and kefiran showed some activity against all organisms tested

If kefir is capable of supporting indigenous bacteria and lowering colon pH, then “die-off” is a potential possibility, even if it’s just endotoxin from other pathogens. There are a bunch of confounders though, like the lactose, casein and yeast that you mentioned, and the endotoxin and lactate from the kefir microbes themselves.

Kefir has also been shown to lower cholesterol, and unlike other infectious microbes, high cholesterol is something that increases candida’s pathogenicity. The fat soluble vitamins, minerals and components like lactoferrin that naturally occur in the milk, as well as the additional nutrients like vitamin K2 produced by the LAB, have their own health benefits. People on crazy candida diets don’t tend to consume any other source of dairy or nutritiously-dense food in general, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to encourage further exclusion unless absolutely necessary (dairy allergy, endotoxin sensitivity etc).

Native friendly bacteria don’t cause die-off either. The relationship candida has with our bacteria in the colon is “competition for space” Bacteria in the colon don’t kill candida. You can not live with a killer in the same room. A caw can not live with a lion in the same room. Candida and bacteria are neighbors. They share the same house but different rooms. If the house has 6 rooms, bacteria may live in 5 of them, and candida in 1. Now comes the problem, many things disturb our colonic flora such as drinking chlorinate water for years and mainly taking antibiotics. When this happen, bacteria leaves one of those rooms empty. Then, candida that is an opportunistic expert take the room. Now, bacteria can not come back to there at least you pull out candida with antifungals.
This is more or less the analogy that we need to apply. It is a balance between the yeast and bacteria competing for space and domination. If you are there, I can not be there, but I can not pull you out one time you gained the room.

Bacteria present in Kefir don’t have antifungal activity. It is impossible there be around 15 or 20 yeast species living with them in the same matrix (niche)

My view about Kefir is that it is a healthy nutritional drink that contains several bacterial cultures that help to recreate a friendly bacterial environment in the intestines that may help to your native flora to dominate.

The negative part for candida sufferers is the Lactose, Casin, and the Yeast present.

If you don’t react to casein, lactose, and yeast, you can drink it considering that you have to ferment your own kefir at home for enough time to allow the culture to consume most of the Lactose. It is impossible to know when this happen, if so. I wrote to Lifeway Kefir makers asking if they can proof their product is Lactose free.
The answer was that they can not list Kefir as a lactose free but as 99% lactose free because there always be some lactose remaining.

At home, giving the culture more time, the risk is probably less. Anyway, it is impossible to keep candida without a grain of food. Some small amount of lactose may don’t ruin the treatment.

Probably the benefits overcome the negative part. What people should realize is Kefir isn’t an antifungal by any meaning, at least one of the YEAST species present has magical anticandida properties. I doubt that.