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Lifeway Kefir ProBoost Class Action Lawsuit

By Mike Holter


Lifeway KefirA class action lawsuit claims that Lifeway Foods, Inc. falsely markets its line of Kefir products containing “ProBoost”  as being “clinically proven” to improve digestive health, even though the products contains little to none of the probiotic microorganisms it promises.

According to the Kefir class action lawsuit, Lifeway Foods, Inc. deceptively advertises the health benefits consumers will receive by consuming ProBoost enhanced Kefir, a probiotic yogurt-like drink.

Lifeway boasts on its website that all its products contain seven to 10 billion culture forming units of 10 strains of bacteria, plus ProBoost, “our exclusive pair of clinically proven probiotics to balance your body’s ecosystem, [and] support digestive health and immunity.”

The Lifeway Kefir class action lawsuit disputes these health claims, saying, “Lifeway claims that its products containing ProBoost, including but not limited to Lifeway’s ‘Original Kefir,’ ‘BioKefir,’ ‘Low Fat Kefir’ and ‘Nonfat Kefir,’ (collectively, ‘ProBoost Products’) will ‘enhance the immune system’ and ‘balance digestive health.’ Specifically, Lifeway claims its ProBoost products will provide clinically proven therapeutic benefits for various health conditions, including antibiotic diarrhea, autoimmune disorders, bad breath, celiac disease, Crohn’s and colitis, high cholesterol, immune deficiency, infantile colic, irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, seasonal allergies, traveler’s diarrhea and yeast infections.”

The truth, according to the class action lawsuit, it that “Lifeway’s ProBoost products are not clinically proven to be effective for the benefits Lifeway represents in its media and advertising of the ProBoost products. Moreover, the two strains Lifeway touts in its ProBoost products, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, which must be at certain dosage levels to provide any claimed health enhancing benefits, are not even in the ProBoost Products.”

The class action lawsuit further alleges that “testing shows that Lifeway’s ProBoost products contain little to no Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis HN019.”

The Kefir ProBoost class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of all purchasers of mislabeled ProBoost Products in the United States. It is seeking restitution and punitive damages for violation of the Magnuson-Moss Act, unjust enrichment, breach of warranty, misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment and fraud.

A copy of the Lifeway Kefir ProBoost Class Action Lawsuit can be read here.

The case is Scott Keatley, et al. v. Lifeway Foods, Inc., Case No. 12-cv-3521, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.



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Updated May 11th, 2012


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  • Anonymous May 23, 2012

    I bought this thinking that is was doing what it said. I brought the vanilla.

    • Shaun January 9, 2014

      I buy a rediculous amount of the stuff (by rediculous, I mean if I continue buying as I have, it will cost me thousands of dollars a year). I prefer it to biosalud which claims 10 billion CFU’s. I hope this idiot doesn’t increase the price of Kefir. Taken from the beginning. Kefir contains probiotics which are recommended by competent doctors when they prescribe antibiotics. At the end, Kefir contains Lactobacillus Rhamnossus which occurs in the expensive travellers probiotic I bought at wal-mart. It likes to keep other digestive ‘things’ from sticking… which if they cultured for the other lactobacillus, could account for the lack of detection. So, in general, Lactobacillus Rhamnossus alone should help with the last two, though how much is indeterminate and may vary depending on digestive floura makeup. The 99% lactose free part is for lactose intolerance. (Though lactobacillus, in general, may be of some assistance in digesting lactose… hence the name lactobacillus.

      Also, the bottle it’s-self reads: Published Research has shown that healthy probiotic cultures found in Lifeway Kefir MAY:
      Support the immune system. (And considering the fact that it’s claimed that 80% of your immune system is in your gut and there are things in your own digestive tract [80% chance] which can actually supress your immune system, I have no problem with this claim).
      Balance digestive health: (I have no problem with this one either, we live in a culture in which many people take antibiotics.)
      If this moron is responsible for Lifeway Kefir being pulled from the stores I shop at…

      To the guy above me… it does do what it said, as far as I can tell. It’s one of the most effective probiotics I’ve used. The only things stronger being Sauerkraut Juice (fresh, unheated) and a probiotic pill I take sometimes, which is better taken WITH Kefir. Keep buying it… high volume = low cost.

  • anuru.d January 27, 2013

    I purchased this product. It tastes like product, not like a real keffir. It also tasted slightly of sulfur. I found the advertising claims on the bottle and on the lifeway website, twitter etc to be false and the product has gelatine in it, which should never be in a milk product.

    • Shaun January 9, 2014

      Mine doesn’t have Gelatine, I get the Strawberry, what flavor did you get?

  • Anthony April 4, 2013

    Don’t buy from company’s who’s name ends in inc.

  • doris bohman October 17, 2013

    How disappointing to find out that we have been fooled
    once again. Is there a brand out there that does live up
    to it’s claim of ingredients? How does one know.

  • Connie January 3, 2015

    My dogs and I eat this every day for its benefits or supposed benefits! This is terrible news!

  • Bob January 23, 2016

    This is an awesome product ! It is the greatest product that I have ever tried. All products should have a disclaimer to protect them from stupid lawsuits. The big pharmaceutical companies won’t allow anything out on the market that works unless they get some money in their pockets. Almost all medications started out has home remedies. You can buy genetically engineered and other probiotics in the vitamin isle. Just like the supplements……….put the stupid disclaimer on the package ! Just like the contest news letters, if you have the winning number ! (If !)……….Besides, they only stated the benifits claimed to be with certain types of probiotics. Real sauerkraut doesn’t have a disclaimer to it’s benifits. Why aren’t they being sued ?. ….next they will make us exterminate all of our gut bacteria until mother nature proves it’s case.

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