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The Amazing Story of Kefir

Kefir and Kefiran

We were first introduced to Kefir 5 years ago. Why we never heard of that fermented dairy drink before still amazes us. We’ve always adored fermented, raw, traditional food. We do travel extensively yet never heard of Kefir. We were familiar with “buttermilk” in the UK and “Lait Ribot” in France, which have similar textures and tastes as Kefir. Today we can find Kefir drinks in American grocery stores. This “yogurt-like drink" is available in many flavors, many textures, unsweetened and sweetened..

We are not sure how it compares to the “traditional kefir” that is still made in the Caucasus mountain of Russia - We heard that no kefiran polysaccharide was found in a leading kefir drink- but it offers an healthy choice from the “sweet / candy” dessert products in the yogurt aisle.

High in the rugged mountains of the northern Caucasus, where Europe and Asia meet, men and women have been drinking Kefir for so many centuries; nobody really knows who discovered it and how it came to be. Although the name is derived from a Turkish word (keif, which roughly translates as well-being”), the drink originates in a region well to the north of Turkey, between the Black and Caspian seas.

According to one legend, the father of Kefir was a shepherd who wanted something to quench his thirst as he wandered the high, sunny meadows. Filling a leather bag with fresh milk, he hung it from his belt, and set out after his flock. Some days later, the shepherd realized his refreshing drink wasn’t milk any more. It had turned thick and acquired a sour, tangy flavor and a fizzy kick. And in the bottom of the bag, when the liquid was gone, he discovered a soft, gooey white mass of “kefir grains” that he could either eat or, better yet, add to another bag of milk and turn that into Kefir too.

For hundreds of years, the secret of kefir remained locked in those rugged mountains. But gradually, word leaked out about those hardy shepherds, who were said to live to 100 and beyond, and the secret wonder food that kept them healthy to such advanced ages.

Today, Kefir is a popular drink in Eastern Europe and the countries of the former USSR and is only now being discovered by health-conscious Americans who value the millions of probiotic (lactobacillus) bacteria it contains. Not everybody can drink it, though. The sour flavor, viscous texture and high calorie count can be hard to get used to and some of our friends just can’t take it. And the fact that it’s made from milk can be a real problem for thousands who are lactose-intolerant or just have decided not to include dairy in their diet. Whether the Kefir is made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk or rice milk, as it is fermenting it forms a complex carbohydrate called kefiran. It is kefiran – along with the probiotic bacteria – that researchers suspect is responsible for many of kefir’s beneficial activities.

If you can’t drink dairy Kefir or if you are looking for a low calorie, vegan alternative, you may consider adding KEFIRAN, a new supplement, to your diet. Two KEFIRAN capsules supply the same amount of kefiran polysaccharide as a quart of traditional Kefir plus 50 billion probiotic (good) bacteria for digestive health.
KEFIRAN capsules are dairy, lactose and gluten free, have virtually no calories, no taste, and are 100% vegan.

More info at