Kefir - Interaction with drugs that suppress immune system... We need to know more!!

Kefir - Interaction with drugs that suppress immune system... We need to know more!!

Though it sounds convincing and it is very good for our guts, but we need more information before we start consuming it. I have read the below and would like to share with you Cathy777 and the rests.

Drug Interactions

Do not use Kefir if you are taking any medications that is known to suppress the immune system. This is due to the fact that Kefir contains live yeast and bacteria. Our bodies' immune systems control bacteria and yeast in our bodies to prevent infection. If you are taking any medication that decreases immune system function (including those with organ transplants), Kefir will increase your chances of getting sick.

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23 Replies

  • Yes I have read that and will check with my doc before making kefir. It may be more for people with transplants but it is worth checking. Thank you!


    Read this link on the interaction too. I am sweating but feel lucky to find out before we start to make it.... :D

  • I wonder if there is as much risk with water kefir opposed to milk kefir. I have read that kefir can help prevent breast cancer so that is interesting to me. Its all a gamble I think.

  • Water kefir and milk kefir have different benefits and risks? That is very interesting to me too. If you find the link, just copy it here for me to read through too if you do not mind. Joined effort will make a big difference. I do agree that a lot of things that we eat are just a gamble because we only know part of it.

  • Here is another site that highlight the same risk for us.

    The only benefit probiotically of water kefir compared with milk kefir is the absence of Streptococcus thermophilus

    Jordin Rubin, author of Restoring Your Digestive Health warns about this particular probiotic strain as studies have shown that people who suffer from autoimmune diseases run the risk of aggravating the symptoms of their disease if they consume more than two cups of yogurt or kefir per day that contains Streptococcus thermophilus.


    There are a lot of benefits really in milk kefir but it also said to refer to the doctor if it should form part of the diet. I am tempted to go ahead after reading through the benefits it derived. I will check with my rheumy before I go ahead.

    "Those with inflammatory bowel diseases, cancer, diabetes and other chronic conditions should first consult with their doctor to determine if kefir fits in their recommended diet."

  • Thanks for your research Amy lee and thanks for posting this. I have tried the kefir dairy drink years before my RA. I was going to make the water kefir today, but I think I'll talk with my doctor before I do this.

  • Suzannedale,

    I am tempted to do it too. However, to avoid any complication, it is good to check with our rheumy first before we proceed with that. Do let us know what the opinion of your rheumy please. I am keen to know and I do not want to put myself into trouble. :-)

  • Hi Amy lee,

    Thanks for looking into this. I was going to give it a go, but not at all sure now! Will you report back to us here if you decide to go ahead?

  • Hi Beaches2,

    I will be seeing my rheumy in Nov, I will check with her first if it is safe for me to proceed the culture of kefir. I feel that it is very important to get the approval before I simply take anything, I do not want to have any flare-up because it will be very scary and painful.

    Whoever may be, if anyone of you happen to visit your rheumy first, then try to ask him or her and report back here. We can have more information to compare. Sharing of information if great these days and I certainly believe different rheumy will have different opinion too.

    I am glad you read this to avoid any possible issue if any.

  • I won't be seeing anyone till February and imagine I would just get a blank look if I mentioned Kefir! Anyway, I don't want to chance messing anything up either so will give it a miss.

    Thanks again for alerting us.

  • Dear Beaches2,

    If you don't, we will keep you inform to help each other. suzannedale has got back to say that her GP suggested to check with the rheumatologist first. It is not a good idea to "mess around" with live bacteria. We full agree with that.

    When I see my rheumy in Nov, I will update again.

  • Saw my GP today and he was leary about me trying Kefir water. He doesn't think I should "mess around" with live bacteria without the approval of my rheumatologist. I see him in October.

  • Suzannedale, thank you for the input. It is good that we check with our rheumatologist first before we "mess around". :D

  • I was on INH therapy( another med that suppresses the immune system) and it said not to eat any fermented foods. So please all, be careful, and check with your doctor first.

  • Dear Mamadukes,

    Thank you so much to add this very important information for us before it is too late. I will certainly check with my rheumy first and will keep all inform again.

    I am glad we have a lot of experience people here to help share the great information around.

  • My Rheumatologist has Rheumatoid Arthritis and her Rheumatologist suggests she drink a cup a day of milk Keifer. I find it rather tasty. I also have had a stomach scope and was diagnosed with gastroparethis by an gastroentorologist which means slow gut my food is not digesting fast enough and am on Reglan 4x a day, 30 mins before meals. It is probably due to opioid and since I have Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and RA I will probably be on opioids for the rest of my life. Both drs had no problem with milk Keifer. I have been on Enbrel, Humira once a week along with Imuran, Actemra once a week and now I am on Zeljanz which is a daily pill. I find my links are hurting more especially in my hands which I never had. I have only been on it for 2 weeks so I am still hopeful.

  • Dear Kirby,

    I am very sorry to know your condition to have to take opioid for the rest of your life. It is just too hard for us all to have to take all these drugs for life, right?

    About the keifer, I will be due to see my rheumy in Nov, I will ask her opinion. However, I am glad that your rheumatologist and hers do think that it is safe to be used. Since you are having it, do let me know if it helps your condition please.

    As for your hands that hurt, may I know more about it please? My left hand numb and tingling. Few weeks ago, it cramps regularly and intensely until my shoulder and the muscle near my heart. I was so worried. I am not sure what happen but it stopped after about 2 weeks. Then the sharp pain at the back of my left shoulder for about 2 weeks. It stopped last week but came back a few days ago and it stopped again now. Really have to get my rheumatologist advice on this when I see her next.

  • Amy_Lee, it sounds like you may be in small flares that then to work themselves out with continued medication. I would discuss with your Dr. You may need to run some blood work to see if your meds are working as they should. My Rheumatologist regularly checks my RF Factor, Sedimentation Rate and C Reactive Protein looking for inflammation increasing and the med not working as well cause my RF Factor is up along with both SED Rate and C Reactive Protein. Best of luck and prayers for reduced pain. I suffer from not just RA but also 20 years of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome which is horrible and comes from nerves being damaged. I have my body fighting Neurological component, Immune system or RA, Sjorgens, Degenerative disk disease. Recently I have begun using Young Living Oils to help with the swelling of my PAROTID GLANDS which are your Salavary glands. Face gets red and puffy and very tender, dry mouth and eyes. I also have developed gastroparethis which is due to opioid use and creates a slow moving gut. I also suffer yeast in my mouth all the time that I take Nystatin liquid which I swish and swallow after meals and at night. Really interested if anyone has used all natural oils to help with issues??

  • Kirby,

    I will be seeing my rheumy tomorrow. I will certainly ask her about my hand. May I know what normally the rheumy will advise on flare up issue? Will she give me more mtx? Or Can my body works on it slowly with the same mtx intake?

    It is painful and this is the first time after I have been declared in remission really.

  • You may need a steroid cocktail, as I call them, if you are flaring. That depends on your Dr and your meds. When I am flaring my Rheumatologist gives me serious, Vit B-12 to help break the flare but I am on Zeljanz not Methotrexate. I have been on Zeljanz for 6 weeks and my C Reactive Protein and SED Rate are down, Yippee!! I am feeling better too. I pray he has an answer for you! Hugs!

  • Hi Kirby,

    It is too short to continue the "reply" trait so I continue from this line.

    I am very glad for you to achieve what you have now. Do keep up with the good work. My rheumy said to maintain the remission stage, I need to do what I do and eat what I eat. Therefore, you also do the same to continue to improve your situation from there.

    I saw my rheumy this morning, he said that my X-Ray showed that I have a small additional bone in the left side of my spine that touched the nerve hence I was in pain. I am not flaring up because my blood work are great and my ESR (3) and CRP (1.10) are both very low.

    The rheumy gave me some cream to apply. He said only when the bone grew bigger, he would order an operation, right now just apply the cream when needed. He told me not to carry any heavy thing on my shoulder and not to massage it too.

    In additional, because of my ESR and CRP are both very low, he reduced the mtx for me too. I am very happy with my RA performance though I am now in pain with the additional bone in my spine.

  • Hi all,

    Ad promise, I would come back to update after I saw my rheumy. I have just saw my rheumy this morning. I asked him about the kefir drink. He said generally probiotic will be needed only when one has problem with the bowel movement then he or she can consider to take probiotic to help increases the healthy bacteria in the gut. If one has no issue with the bowel movement then he or she needs not go for that because he or she is healthy enough.

    My decision will be I will not try that as I have no problem with my bowel. I take chia seeds since 1 1/2 years ago and I find that really helps a lot.

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