Marketed as liquid gold, claimed to benefit your microbiome (the trillions of bacteria in your gut) and even cure ailments. But is this too good to be true? Unfortunately, these claims are often heightened by imaginative marketing teams and are based on observations rather than good quality scientific research. But… there is some mechanistic support for how it may benefit health. Let’s dive deeper.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink made using tea (green and black usually), bacteria, yeast and sugar. We know that it, therefore, contains some antioxidants (protective properties) from the tea. The bacteria and yeast mix may change between manufacturers and batches so we can’t know how beneficial they may be unless looking at each under the microscope. The sugar is needed to keep the yeast and bacteria alive as well as help produce organic acids, B-vitamins, amino acids and other bio-active compounds. Plus that’s what gives the drink its tasty fizz, and which is actually where carbonated soft drinks originated from! (we use carbon dioxide these days though)
Be wary of claims that kombucha will transform your health: there’s a lack of evidence supporting the health benefits (in humans). But it has been enjoyed for centuries (our ancestors had the right idea!) and there’s no real harm in drinking it (there may be rare instances of intolerance) so carry on if you like the taste.
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