Kombucha is a type of fermented tea, mainly black tea, slightly alcoholic with a load of health benefits. It is its variations as green tea or oolong tea. Kombucha is reported to have originated from northeast China, then disseminated to Japan, and spread to Russia and eastern Europe.
Kombucha’s popularity fluctuated since World War II. It has been reported to have the fastest growth in the functional beverage market since that era.
Fermentation of Kombucha finds its roots in the symbiotic culture of acetic acid bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, and yeasts.
What are the health benefits of consuming Kombucha?
- Kombucha is a good source of probiotics which improve your gut health and regulate your digestive system.
- It is quite rich in polyphenols, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Possessing strong antibacterial properties, Kombucha works mainly against infection causing bacteria and yeast.
- It also works in preventing growth and spread of cancerous cells.
Scientific Evidences (Human Studies):
There is a dearth of clinical studies that can prove the benefits of Kombucha for human health. Out of the multiple studies carried out on this tea, only one research about Kombucha was done on humans. All other evidences are either in-vitro, test tube studies, or animal studies.
The only human study showed that consumption of 60ml Kombucha on daily basis for 90 days could significantly reduce the fasting blood glucose level and post-prandial blood glucose level. However, it isn’t enough to back up any claim.
Scientific Evidences (Animal Studies / Test Tube Studies):
- Better suppressor of increased blood glucose level. If this is proven true for humans, it can pave the way for a method of controlled blood sugar for diabetics.
- Significant delayed in LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides absorption and an increase in HDL-cholesterol.
- It works towards protecting the liver from free radical formation which can cause liver damage and early onset of ageing.
- There is a considerable reduction in oxidative stress due to the phytochemical compounds present in Kombucha.
As of 2019, there are no published studies regarding the changes in gastrointestinal microbiota composition after consumption of Kombucha.
Potential Health Risks:
Kombucha might not suit all individuals. There were a few case reports about adverse effects of taking Kombucha. Some of them are as listed below:
- Dizziness and Nausea
- Lactic acidosis
- Toxic hepatitis
- Acute renal failure
4oz of Kombucha consumption per day by healthy individuals is just fine. However, for individuals with pre-existing health conditions, there may be potential risks on consuming Kombucha.
Individuals, whether healthy or with medical conditions, are recommended to consume Kombucha with care. Better still, discuss it with your dietician or a professional before your get started on Kombucha.
Summing it up:
Kombucha has its own set of medical health advantages. However, the trick here is to keep your consumption very minimal. Anything consumed in excess is more likely to cause damage than improve one’s health. Kombucha, when over consumed, may increase your sugar and calorie intake. One cup a day is perfect for a healthy gut flora.