homemade kefir CFU

How many probiotics (CFUs) are in homemade kefir?

Do you make your own kefir or are you considering it? Ever wondered just how much probiotic punch is packed into each glass?  We did, so we did the research.

Store-bought kefir probiotic count

First, for context, here's what you'll get from some common store-bought brands.  All are measured for an 8oz serving in Colony Forming Units (CFUs), which is the total number of bacteria present.

Lifeway Kefir: 25-30 billion CFUs

Nancy's Organic Whole Milk Kefir: 64 billion CFUs

Bio-K Plus: 115 billion CFUs

So, there is quite a range here but 50-60 billion CFUs seems to be the middle of the fairway for store-bought, commercial kefir products. This also lines up with the high-end of the claimed range for probiotic supplements in pill form (absorption rates notwithstanding).

So, how does homemade kefir stack up?

Well, like just about everything in life, the store-bought variety is not quite the same. Because of the processing, packaging and desire to extend shelf-life, store-bought kefir is considerably less potent.

To demonstrate the point, we had our own homemade, traditional whole kefir tested by a professional, accredited food lab shows just the extent of the difference:

kefir CFUs

That's 932 billion CFUs in just one cup of "real" kefir!

In other words, homemade kefir has at least 8x the probiotic count of common store-bought brands.

So what does that mean? If you need the extra probiotic punch, you're way better off getting from a fresh traditional source. And even if you'd prefer to keep the dosage lower, it is way more cost-effective to go the non-processed, fresh route.

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