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Probiotic Counts: Kefir vs. Greek Yogurt?

Commented on January 22, 2015
Created April 09, 2012 at 7:36 PM

I just tried Kefir fir the first time. The bottle says 15 billion per serving.

I normally use chobani greek yogurt. (I don't have a tub in front of me, but I don't remember if it ever mentioned counts).

So, what has more probiotic power? (Kefir vs. Greek Yogurt)???

Thanks, Mike

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on April 15, 2013
at 01:00 AM

excellent! thanks!

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on April 11, 2013
at 02:28 AM

Would you be willing to share Yiayia's recipe here? Unfortunately my own Yiayia has had Alzheimer's for a long time, and my mother rejected the Greek cooking gene! I know yogurt is pretty much made the same way, but it's nice to hear a "real" way from a fellow Greek.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on April 09, 2013
at 10:34 PM

+1 for having it assayed! Very cool!

1a36544c34d554b5e8cfd2ff1beea5ac

(30)

on May 03, 2012
at 09:49 PM

50 Billion is a good amount to shoot for when looking at probiotics. CP-1 has 50 billion per pill which if you are taking 15 billion and not getting the results you are looking for 50 billion may be the way to go. CP-1 http://www.customprobiotics.com/custom-probiotics-adult-formula-cp-1.htm

Fd1c5e35538fbe2ea5eccb8acd7ae546

(496)

on April 10, 2012
at 08:45 PM

It is a hassle,as you have to take care of it and not let it sit on the counter for days.I've thrown out a lot of milk because of that.As for harmful bacteria,don't worry,the smell is a pretty good indicator.Use raw milk to be sure.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on April 10, 2012
at 05:35 PM

sounds like a chia-pet! About the fridge thing: does that put it in a state of suspended animation, so to speak? If that's true, maybe I will give it a try. (I am scared, however, about culturing the wrong (or harmful) bacteria and getting sick.

1ab7ccb9520dddd0777db88e74ca0bed

(870)

on April 10, 2012
at 01:23 PM

It's not bad as it only takes a few minutes a day. Plus you can always stick it in the fridge if you don't want to worry about it.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:50 AM

As a Kefir at home maker, how much of a hassle is it if you don't want to make a committement to care for it every single day?

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on April 09, 2012
at 09:32 PM

And homemade beats store-bought kefir, as far as I can tell

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on April 09, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Also, the bacteria in kefir is more likely to colonize the gut bacteria, vs yogurt, while helpful, doesn't change the gut as much.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 09, 2012
at 07:49 PM

Yay Nance for the win! The bacterial/yeast species are much more abundant in kefir.

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13 Answers

best answer

10
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 09, 2012
at 07:44 PM

In general, kefir--either dairy or water--has many more species of beneficial flora than yogurt. The marketing of "16 million" doesn't touch on how many species. I've read that good yogurt will have 2-5 species (with large total counts) while kefir may have dozens.

Kefir and kombucha are more powerful--so much so that it's advisable to start with very small daily doses while such caution is frequently not necessary with yogurt.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 09, 2012
at 07:49 PM

Yay Nance for the win! The bacterial/yeast species are much more abundant in kefir.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on April 09, 2012
at 08:02 PM

Also, the bacteria in kefir is more likely to colonize the gut bacteria, vs yogurt, while helpful, doesn't change the gut as much.

21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on April 09, 2012
at 09:32 PM

And homemade beats store-bought kefir, as far as I can tell

5
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on April 09, 2012
at 10:08 PM

Real kefir (not store-bought, which doesn't contain yeasts) is a super-food, with up to 40 different strains of yeasts & bacteria. Consider that I'm Greek, but I root for Kefir.

I read somewhere that a cup of yogurt contains up to 1 trillion bacteria, and kefir up to 5 trillion, I don't know if these numbers are correct though.

5
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on April 09, 2012
at 08:06 PM

Greek yogurt has most of the whey strained off, and I believe that's where a lot of the bacteria reside (I'm not 100% on this, but fairly certain). Kefir FTW!

D7631525b8e0720e46cd225f1aefc1a6

on January 22, 2015
at 04:34 PM

You are 100% correct.  This is a very critical point.  Greek yogurt is great for supplementing protein not probiotics.  The primary reason for consuming yogurt for most is the health of their gut and over all health & immunity.

Greek Yogurt gets rid of the whey and therefore, probiotics.  Some store brands add few probiotics and that does not good. 

The whole Greek Yogurt trend has hijacked the original purpose of eating yogurt which is probiotics not protein.

Eat yogurt for probiotics not protein.  You can get protein 100 other ways, probiotics are much harder to get. 

5
Ef31d612a661d9fcb19c8965d3a2bd12

(533)

on April 09, 2012
at 07:39 PM

I don't think it truly matters - I think you're reading into the marketing hype. 14 megapixels! 18 megapixels! It's a good idea to diversify your probioitc sources, so the best move would be to enjoy some of each, and also try some kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc..

4
83de4a5d2efe6f0d8de334eaed036b8a

on April 09, 2013
at 05:17 PM

I'm Greek too, and make my Home-made Greek yogurt (Yiayia's recipe), kefir (milk and water), sauerkraut, and many cheeses. Recently (5-Mar-2013) I had Warren Analytical Labratories of Greeley, Colorado, USA assay some of my ferments for "Lactic Acid Bacteria MB 075 (Spiral)", here are the results:

1) Milk Kefir -- 2.6 Billion Colony Forming Units per milliliter (CFU/ml); 2) Water Kefir -- 1.2 Billion CFU/ml; 3) Greek Yogurt -- 60 Million CFU/gram (note for water, 1 milliliter = 1 gram); 4) Cabbage Sauerkraut -- 5.3 Million CFU/gram; and, 5) Health-Food-Store-bought Greek yogurt -- 1.1 Million CFU/gram.

I make my ferments for less than $8 per gallon, and believe highly-processed store-bought probiotic ferments and pills are outragelessly expensive. Learn to ferment real delicious food and live healthy like Mediterranean people often do.

1296f5fecd084f101d7c5fbe013f07eb

(1213)

on April 11, 2013
at 02:28 AM

Would you be willing to share Yiayia's recipe here? Unfortunately my own Yiayia has had Alzheimer's for a long time, and my mother rejected the Greek cooking gene! I know yogurt is pretty much made the same way, but it's nice to hear a "real" way from a fellow Greek.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on April 09, 2013
at 10:34 PM

+1 for having it assayed! Very cool!

2
319bc2b377436bfc93f0ff1db4bccc1d

on April 15, 2013
at 12:02 AM

Kefir grains grow into a cauliflower like glob. I bought mine on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p3984.m570.l1311.R11.TR11.TRC1&_nkw=kefir+culture&_sacat=0&_from=R40

These folks have a useful screen container to grow it in: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/milk-kefir-starter-kit.html

You can use milk or water, though I prefer raw goat milk. Let the milk reach room temperature (unless you're getting it straight from the goat), add the grains or clump. It should ferment at room temperature for about 30 hrs to be most beneficial. (See Restoring Your Digestive Health by Jordan S. Rubin, NMD and Joseph Brasco, MD).

After that time (actually I taste test mine), I remove the clump, freeze with a little goat milk in a plastic container for next time and refrigerate the kefir.

Just yesterday I took the store bought stuff (which just tastes like runny yogurt) and put some clumps in it for about 48 hrs. It improved the flavor and now tastes like actual kefir.

It does continue to grow in the refrigerator, but at a much slower rate.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on April 15, 2013
at 01:00 AM

excellent! thanks!

2
Fd1c5e35538fbe2ea5eccb8acd7ae546

(496)

on April 10, 2012
at 05:21 AM

Depending on how long the product has been sitting on the shelf also reflects the probiotic strength,so if you have fresher yogurt and not so fresh kefir,I'd go with the yogurt.But in general kefir has more strains.I make both at home and from experience know that some organic yogurts are dead,because the don't work as a starter.So,I guess it depends on the brand

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on April 10, 2012
at 10:50 AM

As a Kefir at home maker, how much of a hassle is it if you don't want to make a committement to care for it every single day?

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3280)

on April 10, 2012
at 05:35 PM

sounds like a chia-pet! About the fridge thing: does that put it in a state of suspended animation, so to speak? If that's true, maybe I will give it a try. (I am scared, however, about culturing the wrong (or harmful) bacteria and getting sick.

1ab7ccb9520dddd0777db88e74ca0bed

(870)

on April 10, 2012
at 01:23 PM

It's not bad as it only takes a few minutes a day. Plus you can always stick it in the fridge if you don't want to worry about it.

Fd1c5e35538fbe2ea5eccb8acd7ae546

(496)

on April 10, 2012
at 08:45 PM

It is a hassle,as you have to take care of it and not let it sit on the counter for days.I've thrown out a lot of milk because of that.As for harmful bacteria,don't worry,the smell is a pretty good indicator.Use raw milk to be sure.

1
F31547c23e0e6bec07b7736e94ef230a

on April 09, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I take a supplement once a day with 50BILLION.. I don't remember the exact types but I could look it up.

1a36544c34d554b5e8cfd2ff1beea5ac

(30)

on May 03, 2012
at 09:49 PM

50 Billion is a good amount to shoot for when looking at probiotics. CP-1 has 50 billion per pill which if you are taking 15 billion and not getting the results you are looking for 50 billion may be the way to go. CP-1 http://www.customprobiotics.com/custom-probiotics-adult-formula-cp-1.htm

0
Be8e882e66a1c0924b4b3f3e1ae1f851

on July 09, 2014
at 10:51 AM

Kefir grown from kefir grains has between 30 and 50 different strains and approximately 5 billion cfu per gram. Kefir from the store is a probiotic drink made from a mix of 4-10 strains of bacteria and yeast and is approximately 2-3 billion cfu per gram, it usually isn't true kefir grown from grains. Greek Yogurt is a single strain and is approximately 1-2 billion cfu per gram. BUT...please don't think this is a competition where you can only have one or the other, you can eat and enjoy them all, and benefit your gut in the process. :-)

0
10ee6ef33c0aaf4cb31bcbd5bf02d552

on September 04, 2013
at 06:26 PM

I make Kefir at home. I use two one quart mason jars. I keep the kefir grains in a muslin spice bag. I keep both in the reefer when not fermenting. When the strained one is empty, I take both jars out. Pull the muslin bag out of the full one and put it in the empty one. I add milk to the empty. shake both and put the full one back in the reefer. I leave the newly filled one on the counter for about a day depending on temps. When it separates like I like, I move it to the reefer. Time spent, about two minutes every third day. Simple stuff works best.

0
7c68b79c20ca6529df81abdc8460296e

on April 15, 2013
at 04:37 AM

Yes, kefir will have more types of bacteria and yeast over yogurt type ferments. Plus making fresh kefir seems to be more active and very easy to make.

You can get fresh kefir starter here: store.organic-cultures.com or dried kefir starter at www.cultures for health.com

The dried starter will take a few rounds to become active over the fresh grains

Happy culturing,

Nirinjan

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on October 29, 2012
at 04:08 AM

I recently heard a lecture by Sandor Katz who has written two books on fermentation. ALL of the yogurt cultures commonly available In the US are primarily from two major strains. Kefir has many more.

0
3ee604eab853682b73140d55bd296fbf

on October 28, 2012
at 06:20 PM

its all marketing anyway. . however the kefir yogurt tastes better to me than greek yogurt.

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