Kefir and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Could kefir cure IBS or Crohn's Disease?

Is IBS caused by an imbalance of the intestinal bacteria?

Could kefir cure IBS or Crohn's Disease? In fact, as reported by Huffington Post UK in May of 2012, "The results of a new Cedars-Sinai study suggest that an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut has been 'definitively linked' to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)." There are several other studies that link inflammatory bowel diseases with the gut microbiota (the term used to describe the intestinal bacteria as a whole).

Does that mean that kefir can cure Crohn's Disease or IBS?

No it does not mean that kefir will cure anything. There is compelling evidence that some of the probiotics that occur naturally in kefir can help resolve symptoms of IBS. Studies such as this one show that certain bacterial strains (in this case a type of Lactobacillus, which is found in fermented products such as kefir) did completely resolve the abdominal pain associated withIBS.

A study of a different strain of Lactobacilli used in children with antibiotic resistant enterococci infection showed that "LGG supplementation temporarily eliminates the VRE carrier state and increases gastrointestinal counts of Lactobacillus spp. in children versus placebo."

More study is needed, however, in the meantime it is my opinion that kefir falls under the umbrella of "Could Help, Can't Hurt". if you could make something for pennies a day that would give you a boost in nutritional status, improve immunity against disease, and COULD reduce or remove intestinal inflammation… why wouldn't you?



5 thoughts on “Kefir and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases”

    1. Too many probiotics won’t hurt- but you could get some temporary digestive issues- gas, upset stomach etc. Your body will let you know 🙂

      Kefir Nurse

  1. I have been taking Kefir every day now for 7months, I don’t have Chron’s but had mild IBS and suffered terrible bloating and tummy aches that were very frequent. I worked up from a small amount and only now drink two thirds of a half pint glass. For me the benifits have been fantastic and my problems are now non existent. I ferment my own from grains. There was a period around six weeks in where I had terrible tummy aches, diahorea and bad stomach acid, that only bicarbonate of soda could alleviate. This lasted around 2 weeks and I reduced the kefir through that time and from research it was the kefir causing those issues as it re-balanced the bacteria throughout my gut. For me, even though it was hugely uncomfortable over those two weeks I would do it all again as the benefits have far outweighed that short period of adjustment. I very rarely bloat now when it used to be most days and I don’t have tummy aches either. Also I have barely been ill at all since taking it which is a bonus, only a very slight cold even though I have been exposed to some worse viruses.

  2. CAn Kefir give you prolonged diahorea?
    I have Crohn’s disease and my diahorea was reasonably under control but I have other spin off inflammatory problems and still have stomach pain, I still experienced some diahorea dependant on what I eat, but since taking Kefir (every morning for two weeks) I am experiencing more and more constant diahorea, to the point of pure liquid which I had not done for some time, could the Kefir be responsible and if so should I persevere for some given time scale to see if there is any benefit from taking the Kefir.

    1. Hi Paul I am sorry to hear you have been sick! Crohn’s research has shown that people suffering often have disrupted intestinal bacteria. The benefits of re-establishing the colonies of probiotics are many, but nothing is 100%, so I can not say if you will benefit or not. However, you haven’t said how much kefir you are drinking. People who experience reactions to kefir can often get symptoms under control by cutting back the amount until the body adjusts. Even as little as a tablespoon daily and slowly increasing the amount. You may find this article helpful as well.

      At the end of the day, I am not a doctor, so you need to decide on your own or with the help of your medical professional, if your symptoms are concerning. 

      Kefir Nurse

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