In this article, we’re going to look at kombucha health benefits and what kombucha can do for your body.
Let’s start by looking at what Kombucha is then we’ll get into the health benefits of Kombucha and what it can do for your body.
Kombucha is made from a scoby – a living bacteria and yeast. To make Kombucha from the scoby you just need to add sugar, water and tea and store it in a dark place.
Kombucha a drink that originated in North East China around 220BC and is thought to have healing properties. It came over to Europe in the early 20th century, but lack of tea and sugar around the war years created a dip in its popularity, which has been on the rise again since the 60’s.
What Does Kombucha Taste Like?
Kombucha has a sweet… kind of tangy taste – though the taste can vary depending on the tea you use to make it.
What are the health benefits of Kombucha?
If you search online you’ll see a lot of claims about the health benefits of kombucha. When we see a long list of health benefits for one product, we are sceptical.
Some of the claims about Kombucha health benefits include:
- It’s a probiotic
- It’s a good source of antioxidants
- It’s got vitamin c
- It’s got lots of B vitamins
- It’s used to treat cancer
- It’s used to treat aids
- It’s great for gut health and digestion.
- It’s great for weightloss…
Our reaction is… “Wow! Can it really do all that?” What we mean is, it sounds like a miracle, so we have to dig a bit deeper to discover if there is any truth in the claims about Kombucha.
We’ll come back to the alleged health benefits in a moment…
Kombucha Health Concerns
First, let’s talk about some of the concerns about Kombuchas health benefits.
Some people worry about the sugar content in Kombucha, because it’s brewed with 340gms per 4 litres of water, but this isn’t something to worry about because the bacteria in the Kombucha scoby consumes most of the sugar, so it has a minimal effect on your blood sugar levels.
The second worry is about too much caffeine. The fact is, if you want to make Kombucha at home, you can decide on the tea you use and decide the strength of the caffeine infused.
Some people also worry about the alcohol content. Typically, the alcohol content is 0.5% or less and according to Wellnessmama, one of the sites we researched before trying Kombucha, that’s about as much as an over ripe banana.
Health Claims About Kombucha…
So, let’s get into the health claims about Kombucha…
Healthline published an article outlining 8 health benefits of kombucha, based on scientific evidence.
They say it “MAY” have a pro-biotic effect on the gut. It “MAY” provide the benefits from Green tea, if you use green tea to make it.
The article says that Kombucha has anti-oxidant effects in your liver, especially if you use green tea. So, it COULD benefit people with Liver diseases.
The article also says Kombucha can kill bacteria such as undesirable bacteria and yeast.
It’s unclear how true this claim is, because other sources, such as Amy Myers MD, say avoid Kombucha if you have a yeast condition like candida.
Healthline also say Kombucha may reduce heart disease risk. Studies on rats showed that kombucha can greatly improve two markers of heart disease, “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol, in as few as 30 days, but as far as I know this is just rats and I haven’t seen studies on humans to show similar results. Again, green tea is sighted as having heart disease reduction benefits.
A study in diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbs, which reduced blood sugar levels. It also improved liver and kidney function (23Trusted Source).
Kombucha made from green tea is likely to be even more beneficial, as green tea itself has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels.
In fact, a review study of almost 300,000 individuals found that green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic (32Trusted Source).
In test-tube studies, kombucha helped prevent the growth and spread of cancerous cells due to its high concentration of tea.
Kombucha is a probiotic-rich tea with many potential health benefits.
You can purchase it in stores or make it yourself at home. However, be sure to prepare it properly.
The BBC adds that Kombucha includes vitamin c, B1, B6 and B12.
Discussing the Health benefits of Kombucha
We usually like Healthline as a good resource when we are researching wellness themes, but we found the claims on this occasion to be a bit ropey.
Yes, there is some science, but the tests have mostly been performed on rats and in test tubes. It also seems like most of the benefits derived from Kombucha can be found in green tea.
Check out our video on Kombucha benefits here.
Not everyone likes green tea. Alternative teas include red tea which is caffeine free. Red tea also claims to be packed with antioxidants, it may also help with heart conditions and reduce the risk of cancer or benefit people with type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, all the claims about red tea in kombucha, are like the claims about green tea and are based on studies on mice, not people.
In our view, the claims about Kombucha’s health benefits are very unclear.
Reading another article on Kombucha from Healthline it states, “Kombucha can be dangerous to some people – especially those with a weakened immune system or suffering from cancer, kidney or HIV. There have been allergic reactions to kombucha too. It’s also not recommended for pregnant women. Kombucha may also cause bloating and digestive distress.”
Summarising Kombucha Health Benefits
If you like the taste of kombucha it could be a nice addition to your day. From the point of view of health benefits, the jury is out. Sure, it’s linked to an array of benefits, but if you overconsume it, or suffer immune conditions it certainly won’t benefit you.
It is possible that you could get the same health benefits by adding other foods into your diet.
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