Is Kefir good for lactose intolerant?

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Carlos Laforet Coll
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Kefir is a drink with excellent benefits for the intestine, but can it also be consumed by lactose intolerant people?

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Il kefir is a drink made from granules immersed in a liquid, which may consist of lAtt, water or fruit juice. The milk kefir it has a similar appearance to yogurt (even if they are very different) and provides our body with many useful nutrients, especially for the proper functioning of the intestine. However, is milk kefir a drink that can be digested even by lactose intolerant people? (Read also: Kefir: good, but not for everyone! Possible harm and side effects)





The properties and benefits of Kefir

The term "kefir" comes from Turkish and means "to feel good" and refers to one fermented drink which can be produced from milk by adding lactic ferments and yeasts (i kefir grains), which reduce the total amount of lactose present in the drink during fermentation.

Kefir is an ad food probiotic action, that is, it contains live microorganisms (called probiotics, in fact) that colonize the intestine, promoting its balance and favoring the development of good bacteria to the detriment of pathogenic ones. Other benefits are:

  • the balance for the bacterial flora;
  • the supplement of proteins, minerals and vitamins;
  • improving bone and tooth health;
  • the relaxing effect on the nervous system.

Does Kefir contain lactose?

Then, if you suffer from lactose intolerance, is this drink for you? The fermentation that occurs by the lactic, acetic and yeast bacteria contained in the kefir grains make it an easily digestible product. The bacteria present in milk kefir have a microbial action and produce the enzyme lactase, the lack of which in the human body is at the origin of lactose intolerance, since this enzyme is able to digest lactose and break it down into glucose and galactose.

Consequently, milk kefir can be consumed by lactose intolerant, since after fermentation of the drink about 30% of the lactose present in the starting milk has already been digested. Milk kefir is also the most complete and richest, thanks to the microorganisms that work during the fermentation process. Also, the drink will have the same calories as the starting milk. However, if you follow a vegan diet or do not want to take risks, it is better to opt for water kefir, which is equally useful and beneficial for the intestine.



It is good to remember that kefir can also have some side effects, because like other fermented beverages it may not be managed by a person's digestive system. Some of these effects are:

  • stomach pains;
  • cramps;
  • constipation;
  • diarrhea;
  • irregular heartbeat.

Recommended gradually incorporate kefir into your diet, starting with small quantities (like a few teaspoons after meals) up to the maximum dose corresponding to a jar of yogurt.


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Photos: AILI Association

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