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Ask Dr. Mike: Is Kefir Liquid Gold? PLUS Pros & Cons of Telemedicine

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans.

Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

I eat more whole foods than processed foods and I try to remain very healthy. I've been drinking a few ounces of kefir every day on an empty stomach. I've been reading great things about it-- including healing, preventative, and wellness benefits. I purchase it from a local store and he uses organic whole milk to make it. How much is recommended daily? Is it actually "liquid gold" as some say?

Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food. The main reason people use it is for the probiotics made from cultured whole milk. Yogurt isn't bad, but it's overly processed in this country and doesn't have a lot of healthy, viable, living, good bacteria. Kefir is basically a fermented probiotic product for replenishing healthy gut bacteria.

Kefir has a high number of good bacteria and a high number of strains. With any probiotic, you want to be sure it has at least six or seven common bacteria strains (phytobacteria, lactobacilli, and others). It's a strong drink so most healthcare practitioners will tell you to start with two to three ounces a day and work up to a cup a day. It's good for you, but it's not liquid gold. Skin, immune, brain, mood, heart -- they all benefit from healthy probiotics.

But, it has to be done in the context of a healthier lifestyle. One probiotic product is not liquid gold.

What are your thoughts on telemedicine?

Doctors love telemedicine because they don't have to do a physical exam and can be connected to the patient from any computer. It's great for many common conditions like cold and flu that general doctors address. There is risk, however, because nothing is better than talking to a person face to face and doing a good physical exam.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call in, toll-free, to the LIVE radio show (1.844.305.7800) so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.