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Kefir Lab Q&A

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MICROBIOME


  • What is the Gut Microbiome?

    Your body hosts trillions of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. They are collectively known as the microbiome. Trillions of these microbes exist mainly inside your gut and on your skin.

    While some bacteria are associated with disease, others are important for your immune system, digestion, heart, weight, brain health, mood, and many other aspects of health. Bacterial cells in and on the body outnumber human cells by a ratio of ten to one. That means you are more bacteria than human!

    A healthy gut contains vigorous bacteria and immune cells that ward off pathogens agents like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A healthy microbiome also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones to maintain general health and well-being.

    On the contrary, an imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in the intestines may contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, autoimmune conditions, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, sleep problems, depression, sugar cravings, and other disorders.


  • How can your Microbiome benefit the body?

    The human Microbiome keeps your immune system strong, aids in digestion, and promotes cognitive functions. Bacteria in our gut break down potentially toxic food compounds and synthesize a few vitamins and amino acids such as B vitamins and vitamin K. The Microbiome of a healthy person will also protect from pathogenic organisms that enter the body by drinking or eating contaminated water or food.

    Sugars and easily digestible nutrients are quickly absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine. Instead, more complex carbohydrates like starches and fibers move lower to the large intestine. Once they reach the large intestine, Probiotics will help break down these compounds with digestive enzymes. The fermentation of indigestible fibers will produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). Our body will absorb those as a nutrient source. Their absorption will benefit our muscle’s function, brain health and prevent the formation of chronic diseases, including certain cancers and bowel disorders. Recent studies have confirmed that SCFA may help treating ulcerative colitis, Chron’s disease, and antibiotic-associated diarrhea.


  • What is Gut-Brain connection?

    The Gut-brain connection revolutionized medicine’s understanding of the direct link between the gut microbiota to your digestion, mood, health and even the way you think.

    We have the second brain called the enteric nervous system (ENS) which consists of more than 100 million nerve cells and located in our gut.

    Scientists now have a new approach to treating depression and anxiety by changing the gut’s microbiota.

PROBIOTICS


  • What are Probiotics?

    There are around 30 trillion human cells in any human body. The bacteria in our body surpass human cells by a ratio of 10 to 1. That means there are approximately 300 trillion bacteria in and on our bodies! Think of the Microbiome as a diverse community of microorganisms that work together to keep your body healthy. Much of these microbes reside in the gut, and while the majority are harmless, some are helpful, and others can cause disease.

    Probiotics are living microorganisms that, when consumed, provide health benefits to the host. They are good bacteria that help keep your body healthy and working well. These good bacteria help you in many ways, including fighting off harmful bacteria when you have too much of them and helping you feel better. Their main job is to maintain a healthy balance in your body. When you are sick, pathogen bacteria enter your body and multiplicate. Good bacteria fight off the unhealthy bacteria and restore the balance within your body, making you feel better.

    Indeed, good bacteria keep you healthy by supporting your immune function and controlling inflammation. Certain probiotic strains help your body digest food, absorb its nutrients, create vitamins, aid weight loss, and reduce belly fat. Few of them will help keep your heart healthy, reducing the severity of a few allergies and certain digestive disorders. Others, called Psychobiotics may help to improve mental health conditions, increase memory and cognitive functions, and assist with depression. Some probiotics have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies, inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria, keeping your immune system strong and healthy.


  • How do Probiotics work?

    Probiotic bacteria can create a healthy balance within the body by helping to maintain a good intestinal flora while improving immune function, cognitive health, and digestion.

    They assist digestion and nutrient absorption by producing enzymes that help break down food. In addition, they also help create a few vitamins that our bodies don’t make.

    Probiotics control most of our defense system. They can ‘crowd out’ any pathogenic bacteria that may have been able to take hold because of their rapid growth. Good bacteria compete with pathogens both for food sources and space to live, making it difficult for undesirable bacteria to survive. Probiotics produce specific stomach acid that inhibits the growth of pathogens while improving the gut environment and our health.

    These beneficial bacteria may help with our hormone production influencing our brain health. They can help regulate mood in managing stress, anxiety, and depression. Probiotics can aid cognitive functions by promoting memory and reducing brain fog.

KEFIR


  • What is Kefir?

    Kefir originated over 2,000 years ago in the Caucasus mountains and is well-known for its health and longevity properties. It is a fermented drink made from either animal or plant-based milk. It is comparable to a drinkable yogurt with a slightly sour flavor created from the fermentation process. It has 10x more gut-friendly probiotics than yogurt.

    Recently, kefir became a popular functional beverage in the natural health community for its benefit to boost digestion, immune system, and brain health through the power of probiotics. It’s the perfect drink for your optimal gut health. Doctors, nutritionists, health enthusiasts, and many more are discovering the health benefits of such a fascinating superfood!


  • What are the differences between Kefir and Yogurt?

    The main difference between kefir and yogurt is that kefir contains 10x more probiotics than yogurt. While yogurt contains some probiotics, kefir is more potent and functional for your gut health. Standard industrial yogurt bacteria are created to grow well in milk but don’t survive inside the human gut.

    Therefore, if you are trying to improve your digestion, gut health, immune system, or brain functionality, kefir is your best choice. It is a functional drink gaining momentum in the medical world for its powerful benefits!


  • What does Kefir taste like?

    Kefir has a creamy consistency similar to a drinkable yogurt with a slightly sour taste given from the fermentation process.


  • Is Kefir gluten free?

    Yes. Kefir is gluten-free. Even though the starter culture is called kefir grain, it doesn’t derive from grain, and the gluten content is zero.


  • Is Kefir better than taking Probiotic pills?

    Kefir is considered a functional food because it offers a variety of enzymes, amino acids, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and billions of live and active probiotics. It is a nutrient-dense superfood! Probiotic pills supplements contain just one or a small variety of bacteria without any nutritional value. You will need a wider variety of additional nutrients to absorb and assimilate probiotics correctly.


  • Can I drink Kefir if I am lactose intolerant?

    People with lactose intolerance can tolerate kefir. Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem caused by too little production of an enzyme called lactase in the small intestine, which the body needs to digest lactose (milk sugar). Without lactase enzyme, lactose is hard to digest and break down by our gut.

    During the fermentation, most of milk’s lactose turns into lactase enzyme. The result is a 99% lactose-free kefir with the lactose replaced by lactase enzymes that help you digest the lactose in the long run.

KEFIR LAB PROBIOTICS


  • What type of milk do you use?

    We use the highest quality milk we find locally. Organic pasture-raised milk from our Californian friends in Straus Family Creamery and Clover Sonoma.


  • Which Probiotic Strains are in our products?

    We carefully select one by one the probiotic strains creating a custom blend of the most important probiotics for our gut. We have 24 live & active probiotics in our Kefir and 45 in our Shots. This potent probiotic formula created by our doctors aims to restore gut diversity and improve digestion, immune system, and brain health.

    100 Trillion Probiotic Kefir:

    BIFIDOBACTERIUM: Lactis (4), Infantis. LACTOBACILLUS: Delbrueckii (2), Acidophilus (3), Casei (2), Plantarum, Paracasei, Rhamnosus (3), Brevis. LACTOCOCCUS: Lactis (4). STREPTOCOCCUS: Thermophilus. LEUCONOSTOC: Mesenteroides.

    100 Trillion Probiotic Shots:

    BIFIDOBACTERIUM: Bifidum (3), Lactis (5), Animalis, Breve (2), Longum (3), Infantis (2). LACTOBACILLUS: Reuteri, Delbrueckii, Salivarius, Gasseri, Acidophilus (4), Casei, Plantarum (4), Paracasei (2), Rhamnosus (7), Fermentum, Bulgaricus, Helveticus (2), Brevis. LACTOCOCCUS: Lactis. STREPTOCOCCUS: Thermophilus.


  • Where do your probiotics come from?

    Our probiotics are sourced from France, Austria, Switzerland & Germany.


  • How is your Kefir fermented?

    Our Kefir is fermented in a completely sterilized contamination-free laboratory using the art of quality and healthy food and the science of microbiome.

    We practice small-batch slow fermentation approach and culture our Kefir at low temperature and for longer time than the conventional Kefir companies on the market.

    We let probiotics grow at their own pace without rushing them by applying higher heat. This result in a high-quality fermentation and thinner drinkable product.


  • How do you reach such a high probiotic amount?

    Kefir Lab has at least 10x the probiotic amount than most Kefir companies currently on the market.

    The secret is our scientific approach in carefully selecting the probiotic strains and the best environment to grow them.

    In addition, we use a combination of typical kefir strains combined with more functional professional strains that yield significantly higher probiotic counts.

    Needless to say that we use a custom probiotic blend that no other company on the market has.


  • Isn’t Trillion of Probiotics too much to take

    Yes! Trillion of probiotics are a lot to take! Yet, considering all the health benefits probiotics has to offer, why not?

    Jokes aside, probiotics are highly functional but are not considered as medicine. As with all natural organisms, consuming a little will not yield any substantial health benefits.

    If we want to achieve noticeable results we need to amplify the bacteria count as well. In the reality, some probiotics will get lost before reaching the gut.

    Hence, If we want to achieve the functional benefits – the more there are the higher the chances!


  • How much sugar there is in your Kefir

    It’s completely against our values to add any sugar to our products. Hence, speaking of added sugar there is none!

    Yet, there is some naturally occurring sugar from milk which by the end of the fermentation mostly turns into enzymes.


  • How long does the Kefir last after opening?

    Probiotics are living organisms. We recommend consuming the product within 3-5 days of opening.


  • Does your Kefir contain any Preservatives, Thickeners or not-natural ingredients?

    Eating real is the core value and founding principle of our company because WE ARE WHAT WE EAT, so absolutely not!

    Our Kefir contain only the most natural ingredients the way the nature intended them. It’s minimally processed and REAL!


  • Why the shelf-life is only 120 days compared to an average of 6 months of other brands?

    Real products don’t stay fresh for months! We created our kefir to deliver its maximum benefits.

    The probiotics in our Kefir are live and active and they continue to replicate at a slower rate even after the product is bottled.

    We do not add any stabilizers as it will greatly compromise the quality of the product.


DIGESTION


  • How do Probiotics help digestion?

    Probiotics may help with a few digestive issues such as colic, constipation, Chron’s disease, IBD, IBS, lactose intolerance, and ulcerative colitis. Researchers have found that healthy people have a more expansive variety of probiotic strains in their gut than people with chronic diseases. Restoring the Microbiota and increasing the Probiotic diversity may help relieve digestive issues and favor the absorption of nutrients in the small and large intestines.

    In general, Probiotics lower the PH level in the gut helping the stools move faster through the colon and help people with constipation issues. It may also help people with chronic diarrhea associated with antibiotics to restore gut diversity of the good bacteria that antibiotics might have killed. Additionally, Probiotics present in the small intestine aid the body’s absorption of proteins, vitamins, and other nutrients.

    To start getting the real benefits of Probiotics, we recommend increasing their daily intake. It will help reduce the side effects of any of the above chronic issues and improve your quality of life and overall well-being.

IMMUNE SYSTEM


BRAIN HEALTH


  • How do Probiotics help your brain health?

    Probiotics can do more than only improve your digestion. They may help enhance the mood and cognitive functions of your brain. Recent medicine discovered that the brain and gut connect through the vagus nerve and constantly communicate through the gut-brain axis through biochemical signaling.

    The gut, also named the second brain, produces many of the same neurotransmitters that the brain does as serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid. It produces up to 90% of the whole serotonin made in our body!

    What affects the gut often affects the brain and vice versa. When under stress, your brain sends warning signals causing digestive problems and an upset stomach. Flares of gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or chronic constipation may trigger anxiety or depression. We suggest avoiding meals when you are experiencing stress that may trigger digestive problems.

    An overgrowth of pathogen bacteria in the gut, not balanced by a good source of probiotics, may be detrimental to our health. It will induce inflammation in our digestive tract, move to the brain through the gut-brain axis and damage our mental health. Alzheimer’s, dementia, Huntington’s, & Parkinson’s are neurodegenerative diseases of our brain highly influenced by our gut health.

    Modern medicine suggests that a regular intake of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria may enhance brain health. It would regulate hormones that control mood and mental functions, lowering brain inflammation as a possible cause of mental health problems.

CONSUMPTION & NUTRITION


  • How much Kefir can I drink every day?

    The recommended serving is 1 cup. But in the reality you can’t go wrong drinking too much of a good thing!


  • Should I take Probiotics in the morning or at night?

    Probiotic bacteria are live organisms that colonize our gut. While we categorize them under one umbrella, there are many different species among them. The main ones are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The former is more effective during the AM, while the latter is in the PM.

    Eventually it all comes down to which strains are more valuable for your needs. In general, Lactobacillus is good for the immune system, digestion, and skin health. Bifidobacterium is good for enhancing mood, cognitive functions, and sleep.

    Usually, people tend to lack more Bifidobacterium than Lactobacillus. The reason is that probiotics and fermented foods on the market already contain Lactobacillus, whereas Bifidobacterium is rarer to find. When products contains both Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, the timing of the day can customize the effectiveness according to your needs! Most importantly, like anything in life – there is no one for all approach. Probiotics need to be part of your daily routine to achieve their renowned benefits. Hence, it is more important to be consistent than to suffer over details.


  • Should I take Probiotics on an empty stomach or with food?

    According to some manufacturers, the best time to take probiotics is 30 minutes before a meal or on an empty stomach. Others suggest taking them with food. Confusing, right? Let us deconstruct! Some may believe that more probiotic bacteria will survive as part of the meals, yet such studies lack supporting evidence. Consuming probiotics colonize the gut microbiome regardless of whether they have been taken with food or without. In addition, taking probiotics before a meal boosts digestion, promotes a healthy metabolism, and reduces the “after-lunch” energy drop. Can I take probiotics before bed? Absolutely! Taking probiotics does not interfere with sleep in any way. Instead, it helps to regulate the mood and prepare for quality rest.


  • Can I bake or cook with Kefir

    You can cook with Kefir. It will help to digest the proteins and complex carbohydrates better and absorb most nutrients from food.

    Keep in mind that big portion of probiotics would be lost after cooking, but when you have Trillions of it you sure to get some anyway!


  • Is It better drink Kefir in the morning or evening?

    Kefir consists of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. According to research in the morning we get the most of the Lactobacillus and in the evening we get the most of the Bifidobacterium.

    Hence, both morning and evening has it’s benefits and if you really want to get the most of it – drink both morning and evening!


SUSTAINABILITY


  • Why did you switch from Glass Bottles to PET1?

    We constantly look for ways to be a better business for the world we are living in.

    Hence, we made a tough decision to switch from glass bottles to BPA – Free and Highly Recyclable PET1 plastic bottles. We want to be fully transparent with our customers and share all our major decisions.

    While it was ideal at the smaller scale, back when we started at farmers markets and local stores in the Bay Area, it wasn’t as effective and sustainable when we scaled.

    Producing, transporting and recycling glass is CO2 intensive. In addition, the enormous amounts of hot water waste to sanitize bottles before use wasn’t at all sustainable for the citizens of beautiful California, where the water is scarce.

    Because we are perfectionists, when it comes to health we have absolutely no compromises. That is why we switched to special IMS Dairy Certified Bottles which account to only 10% of all PET1 bottles on the market. These are made special for dairy use and are certified not to leach any chemicals. We made sure you won’t feel any difference vs. glass (except for the lighter grocery bag and lower price!).

    We believe in saving the water and carbon emissions and encouraging our Probiotic Fans to recycle the bottles.


  • What about the impact of dairy on the CO2?

    We care about the environment and source our product only from like minded businesses.

    Our Milk comes from our friends at Straus Creamery – the pioneers of sustainable dairy farming. They employ Water Conservation, Carbon-Free energy and Biodiverse farming. Albert Straus is an inventor who continually improves the lives of Californian dairy farmers and protects the local soil. As a business we believe that we are voting with our dollars and choose to support quality local dairy products among all.



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