Study regarding milk Kefir and bone resorption/loss


I hope this is an appropriate and useful post. 11 months ago I had Bone density scans and was shown to be beginning Osteopenic (sp?) in spine and shoulders. I am one of the people who have decided against using Alendronic Acid for several reasons physical and personal. In an unending search to combat side effects of Pred., I came across this study

Maybe it's quackery, maybe not but I hope it may be of interest and seems to be a 'fairly' scientific in it's design. I have been making my own milk kefir for about a year now (before I read this article) and drink about a pint a day with my Calcium tabs (have developed a bit of a tum!). I also perform weight bearing exercises daily and enjoy walking the Cornish Cliffs (hence the nickname) at least twice a week. Though I have noted a decline in energy and motivation over time, I seem to be working okay and have not suffered any illness other than PMR over the last 12 months which I'm very thankful for.

If this is a subject/study that is already widely known, I apologise. :)

23 Replies

  • Hi Cornishcliff, have you read Gut? There seems to be lot about boosting up the gut nowadays.

  • Thanks Piglette, no I haven't but will check it out. I'm not one to dwell on my health but am definitely exteremely interested in improving it any way possible! :)

  • Hi CornishCliff, when I got diagnosed with PMR I started to take an interest in nutrition and have been reading several books on salt, sugar, fats, gut etc. Being a nerd I find them really interesting. I am quite horrified by some of the research results though which are now slowly coming out such as full fats, salt, cholesterol etc. Historically we were afraid of even looking at a photo of an egg for years until recently the research was found to be wrong. Apparently the people with the highest salt intake is Japan and the country with the longest expectation of life is Japan. A lot more research is needed and I think we might go back to eating balanced diets of instead eating all these reduced fats etc products.

  • I'm sure HeronNS will be interested. Wish I could get kefir here.

  • PMRPro, Where are you? I am at the point that I have to throw away the grains when they grow too big as I've run out of people to give it to. I hate waste. :)

  • Italy - but I'm really not a home-grown stuff person. Too lazy ;-) Is it difficult?

  • Not difficult at all, just a daily task of straining and refilling with milk and washing the Kilner Jar (or whatever you use) every 4 days or so. It's really hardy and can be stored in the fridge for weeks on end if you have a break. I whizz it up in fruity smoothies. And if it is going to benefit us on the road to good health, it's worth a crack! Youtube is full of good clips on making/growing it.

  • The Archers seem to be producing kefir quite happily! They are even producing face products.

  • Thank you for posting CornishCliff, that is interesting. You will be able to have another bone scan next summer. The results should be interesting.

  • Thanks Jane, I'm not due for another 4 years! But I eschew Doctor's advice and will definitely be looking at rescanning next year :)

  • I'm not surprised this shows positive results from consuming kefir. The more I read the more convinced I am that fermented foods are helpful for more than gut health and actually benefit other systems including the skeleton. I read recently that yoghurt is a helpful food for bone health, much better than liquid milk, and kefir could be better as it contains a broader range of microorganisms. it is supposed to be very easy to make so maybe I should try. Real kefir, the plain unsweetened, unflavoured kind, is slightly fizzy which is a bit of a surprise the first time you drink it!

  • Here's an article about the Irish study and yoghurt.

  • I totally agree HeronNS. I am not sure that Kefir from shop shelves is as good, as it most likely suffers treatments to meet commercial health guidelines and possibly a proportion of the 'good bacteria' goes missing in action. I've over brewed it once (4 days) to the point where my wife asked me if I had been drinking from the smell off my breath!

    I'm also making Sauerkraut which is apparently very good too, but I can't manage to consume such large quantities..

  • When it comes to fermented foods we are actually advised to introduce them very slowly and in small quantities. It takes time for the body to adapt. So even after a couple of years of doing this we only have a tablespoon or a bit more of fermented veg, and small glasses of kefir or kombucha. Yoghurt, of course, we've been eating for years so just have it whenever and as much as we want. You should be able to tell from the labelling on the kefir if it has active culture, same as yoghurt. The best kind I can buy commercially actually has a foil seal on top which bulges to show the fermentation has continued in the package - that's the kind which tastes a bit fizzy!

  • Hi CornishCliff, from a kefir and cliff walking fan.. I've also been making kefir for a while after going to a local health food shop 'how-to' session and given a little pot of starter grains. It really is easy once you get into the routine - I use Jersey full cream unhomogenised milk and the taste is delicious with that slight fizz (although a 4-day brew would be 'interesting'!) My only slight concern is the 'enhanced immune function' mentioned in the study since a fight with immune system depressant pred doesn't sound pretty. However, I haven't noticed anything untoward so I shall carry on regardless.

    Thanks for this article, very interesting.

  • Hi Slowdown, a great combo the walks and the kefir! At pretty much a pint a day for a year and I'm okay under the circumstances (bit of a 'beer' belly though). I haven't tried anything beyond full cream milk, but it would be interesting to up the ante and get some local good stuff to brew with. I don't think I can see anything but good things so far drinking kefir. The most remarkable is no cold/flu since Feb 2016, and with a 9 and 11 year old, I'm exposed constantly.

  • I am lucky in that I can buy kefir milk, freshly made, at a lovely local dairy farm. They sell it in their small farm shop and at farmers' markets in the area.

  • Yum! It's great to know others are enjoying this too. We've got to keep the effects of PMR/Pred., to the minimum if we can! :)

  • I make kefir on a daily basis so I constantly have grains to spare which I would gladly give to a fellow sufferer. Is there anyone living in the Southeast of I reland?

    Does anybody know if kefir is still regarded as dairy?

  • I should think it is regarded as dairy, as it's made with milk, but why do you ask?

  • Fermentation process is a transformation but I don't know how much of a transformation. For instance some dairy elimanation diets include yogurt for that reason

  • My understanding is that the lactose is a big part of the fermentation process of Kefir and as a result it is low enough to be considered okay for lactose intolerant diet. Of course the usual caveat about checking in with professionals applies.... :)

  • Agree, in much the same way that some cheeses are OK, as most of the lactose is drained away in the whey. However, if the intolerance or allergy was to milk proteins, that would be a different thing, I imagine.

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