Kefir is used to assist in digestion, upset stomach, lactose intolerance and diarrhea among people following a regimen of antibiotics or who have high cholesterol, according to WebMD. Kefir is a beverage made by fermenting milk with kefir grains rich in enzymes and beneficial bacteria.
Kefir grains are comprised of lactic acid bacteria, yeasts and polysaccharides, states Probiotic.org. The live bacteria and yeast aid the digestive system and strengthens the intestines to resist the growth of harmful bacteria and pathogens.
Kefir contains many strains of friendly bacteria such as Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species and Streptococcus. Beneficial yeasts may also be found in kefir which include Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, Saccharomyces delbruecki and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, says Probiotics.com.
Fermented dairy products such as kefir may help lower cholesterol levels and increase human gut bacterial content. These bacteria ferment carbohydrates, increasing production of short-chain fatty acids. These acids then decrease circulatory cholesterol, according to the American Society of Clinical Nutrition.
Kefir is often compared to yogurt, but contains different types of beneficial bacteria. Kefir may also have longer lasting probiotic benefits than yogurt. The active yeast and bacteria provided in kefir have more nutritive value than yogurt, according to Body Ecology. Kefir is naturally occurring.