4

votes

Why doesn't the bacteria in water kefir make us sick?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM

I have a question that was posed to me about the strep species of bacteria found in water kefir, and don't really know how to answer it. There are many lists of the bacteria and yeasts found in kefir on the web. The s.agalactiae and s.pneumoniae can cause pneumonia and meningitis, the strep mutans bacteria contributes to tooth decay and on and on. Why don't we contract these sickness and diseases when we drink kefir? I'm sure glad we don't!

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on April 28, 2013
at 07:24 AM

I beg your pardon. You are right and I was wrong as hell.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 27, 2013
at 11:00 PM

There actually is, I just became very very familiar the concept when I came down with whooping cough. Pertussis is a bacterial infection, and the vaccine is made from chopped up bacteria. I now have antibodies to the pertussis bacteria that should prevent me from having it again for 4-7 years.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on April 27, 2013
at 09:55 PM

there is no such thing as antibodies to bacteria. it is not a biologically meaningful concept. there might be some other kind of specific immune response linked to specific kinds of bacteria, but I'm not familiar with it.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on April 27, 2013
at 03:22 PM

me too. I had a bit of a cold and it disappeared as quickly as it arrived. feel quite healthy overall:)

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on March 28, 2013
at 10:30 PM

Off the top of my head, I would guess it's because those bacteria cause diseases when they're in your lungs or your brain, not your digestive tract. Many microorganisms are healthy in the right place and unhealthy in the wrong one. Superstar example: e. coli.

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5 Answers

2
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on April 27, 2013
at 01:35 PM

To over simplify it, there are different types of bacteria: Gram positive and gram negative (Gram is not the measure of mass, but rather the name of guy who invented a protocol to test their type).

They compete with each other for food and survival in our guts, and also against yeasts and parasites. They do eat different things, and diet can change their survival.

They differ in their coatings, and in their excrement; the malevolent bacteria have fat soluable coats, which is why coconut oil, kills them, but doesn't harm the beneficial ones.

There's are also yeasts such as candida, and to be healthy all of these bacteria and yeasts, have to be in balance. When they're out of balance, or you have the wrong species, you get sick, and probably have a high amount of the bad kind, the kind that produces a lot of LPS (endotoxins such as lipo-poly-sacharides from gram negative bacteria) which causes lots of stress and oxidation, and we have to spend a lot of energy and resources to eliminate and detoxify their toxins.

Most of the bacteria in kefir and other fermented foods are of the gram positive type, which are not harmful to us, but rather have positive effects.

You don't want to nuke them with antibiotics, you want to balance them out by adding the good kind. Hence we can consume fermented foods and have a positive effect, reversing sickness rather than get sick from them. If you do nuke them with antibiotics too quickly, all the toxins from all the bacteria are released and you get very sick quickly - this is called a Herxheimer reaction, or die off, and you'll want to avoid this. This is why certain substances such as olive leaf extract, or oregano oil should be used in very small amounts such as 2-5 drops, as needed, rather than a whole bunch at once.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 27, 2013
at 08:52 AM

I suspect that the categories you named are "family" labels and within them are both good and toxic bacteria. If not, as Axial G said problems occur only if they escape the gut (or the correct part of our gut.) SIBO, for example, stands for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. The problem isn't with the bacteria, necessaarily, but where they're growing.

We evolved to get along with them in our guts; in fact, we can't absorb food without a healthy community of bacteria.

Overall, I seem to be less prone to illness than anyone I know and I assume whole foods plus probiotic foods like water kefir is why. This past winter all my friends got sick but I did not.

3dc940ac9be21e45cf83207814c8cd46

(544)

on April 27, 2013
at 03:22 PM

me too. I had a bit of a cold and it disappeared as quickly as it arrived. feel quite healthy overall:)

0
1a91ec126b2b4189539b028d2767e518

(320)

on April 28, 2013
at 05:29 AM

Here is a comprehensive list of bacteria and yeast that are in water kefir: http://www.keysands.com/water-kefir-strains/

And here is a good water kefir intro FAQ: http://www.yemoos.com/faqwaintro.html

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 27, 2013
at 09:29 PM

I wonder if ingesting small amounts of potential harmful bacteria over time, taken alongside a balance of probiotic bacteria to keep it in check like one would do with kefir might work something like a vaccination, giving your body a chance to develop antibodies without developing an infection.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on April 27, 2013
at 11:00 PM

There actually is, I just became very very familiar the concept when I came down with whooping cough. Pertussis is a bacterial infection, and the vaccine is made from chopped up bacteria. I now have antibodies to the pertussis bacteria that should prevent me from having it again for 4-7 years.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on April 28, 2013
at 07:24 AM

I beg your pardon. You are right and I was wrong as hell.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on April 27, 2013
at 09:55 PM

there is no such thing as antibodies to bacteria. it is not a biologically meaningful concept. there might be some other kind of specific immune response linked to specific kinds of bacteria, but I'm not familiar with it.

0
2e80d233f541674d7020488772bf367e

(20)

on March 29, 2013
at 06:35 PM

Thank you, AxialG. This makes very good sense, and I'll continue studying and learning more.

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