Milk Kefir Nutritional Profile

Milk kefir is quite a nutritional food / drink. As compared to just milk, it has more B vitamins, K2 and others. Not to mention the vitamins are more readily absorbed due to the bacteria. It also has less sugar and calories. The milk kefir grains eat much of the lactose sugar, which is converted to simpler sugars and then converted to beneficial acids. In an average ferment, it may consume as much as half of the lactose. Shorter ferments may be less. Longer ferment may eat through even more lactose sugar. The overall effect is that kefir has less sugar / carbs and a little less calories than milk before the ferment. 

SERVING SIZE 1 CUP (240ml) of WHOLE MILK KEFIR (RAW or Pasteurized)

  • 116-132 calories (vs 148 pre-ferment)
  • 8 grams of fat (5 of which are saturated)
  • 4-8 grams of carbs (vs 12 grams of carbohydrates pre-ferment)
  • 8 to 11 grams of protein

Using 2% milk will result in about 104 calories and 5 grams of fat
Using 1% milk will result in about 87 calories and 2.5 grams of fat
Using non-fat milk will result in about 70 calories and .2 grams of fat

Milk kefir has plenty of vitamins, especially all the B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. It also contains K2 which is a unique by-product of the fermentation process. K2 is very important for bone healthy, bone density, and calcium absorption.

Example content of 1 cup of whole milk kefir

Content Recommended Daily Intake
Vitamin A 77 re 10.8%
Vitamin B1 .108 mg 12%
Vitamin B2 .49 mg 36%
Vitamin B6 .09 mg 5.5%
Vitamin B12 .3 mcg 12%
Vitamin C .72 mg 1%
Vitamin D .25 mcg 2.4%
Vitamin E .22 mcg 1.5%
Vitamin K2 Varies -
Iron .12 mg .8%
Potassium 372 mg 9.2%
Calcium 305 mg 30%
Magnesium 30.5 mg 7.5%
Phosphorus 228 mg 32.4%
Zinc 1.1 mg 12%


The chart above gives a good idea of nutritional content, but actual vitamin content can vary quite a bit due to the type of milk, strains of bacteria and how its fermented. The vitamins can be changed due to the bacteria. Some bacteria strains makes more vitamins, others use them up a bit. Overall, the nutrients are much better than regular milk as the bacteria will improve nutrient absorption.

Milk kefir also has high levels of biotin, folate, enzymes, bio-active peptides and beneficial acids (lactic and acetic).

Milk kefir has upwards of 28 strains of bacteria and many strains of yeast. The probiotic CFU count under ideal conditions may be as high as 2.4 trillion per cup. With the average ferment, its more likely several hundred billion per cup. But that is still a very large amount of probiotics.

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