You’ve probably been told about at least one claimed health benefits of kombucha. However, if you don’t understand anything about the drink, you might be unsure if it’s the drink tea, soda, wine, wine, or something else completely?
In simple terms, it can be described as a fermented drink by adding yeast and bacteria to a mix of teas, either green or black, and sugar, according to Alissia Zenhausern, a licensed natural medical doctor at Scottsdale, Arizona.
The ingredients used in the making of kombucha might sound shady. However, this drink is becoming more popular as a possible source of probiotics, living organisms that aid in balancing the intestinal flora, according to a study published in December published in The Journal of Chemistry. “It’s easy to drink and digest and can help you fill your digestive tract with good bacteria and help restore digestion health,” claims Zenhausern. Zenhausern.
Sounds good, right? It’s essential to be aware of your expectations while sipping. Many people think of the kombucha drink as healthy food, but the reality is that the research on this fizzy drink isn’t extensive, as the Mayo Clinic points out.
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Yet, research has suggested that it could improve the health of your gut and others. Here’s a brief overview of the benefits it could bring that researchers are still examining.
1. May Help Boost Metabolism
If you’re trying to shed some pounds, you’ll probably be thinking about things that will boost your metabolism.
Kombucha isn’t a miracle weight loss drink. But thanks to the epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) found in the green tea of some types of kombucha, and it may be a secret to a slightly faster metabolism.
EGCG can be described as catechin, a chemical found in tea leaves. According to a research paper published in May of 2017 by the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, catechins can increase metabolic rates for adults. However, the studies that have been conducted on this issue are brief and limited, and the review’s authors suggest that further research is required to understand the real impacts of the effects of EGCG to boost metabolism.
2. May Aid Constipation
As a source of probiotics, kombucha’s apparent positive health effect comes from its capacity to help balance good bacteria in the gut. It can also ease digestive issues. However, further research is required, as per the Cleveland Clinic.
A study published in April of 2014 by Food Microbiology examined the microbial components in kombucha and discovered the presence of a “prominent lactobacillus community” within the drink. Lactobacillus is a popular probiotic, so kombucha can likely improve digestion and reduce the risk of infection and inflammation. According to the Cleveland Clinic, if so, drinking kombucha can help ease Irritable Bowel Syndrome, inflammatory intestinal diseases, bloating, and constipation.
3. May Reduce Inflammation
Chronic inflammation can be found in almost every health issue, such as diabetes, heart disease, allergies, arthritis, and respiratory illnesses like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), as stated in the June 2019 issue of StatPearls.
Kombucha isn’t the first choice to treat any chronic condition. However, it can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, diet, and medication regimen. The reason is that the teas that make kombucha contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that may help to reduce inflammation within the body, as per an article in the Journal of Chemistry review.
There’s a growing understanding within the scientific community that eating foods that promote gut health may reduce inflammation within the intestinal tract, and this particular kombucha could be beneficial in a review released in February within Microbial Ecology Health and Disease.
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Inflammation is the primary cause of many gastrointestinal diseases, including intestinal inflammation, and research suggests that low-grade inflammation may contribute to irritable bowel syndrome. An imbalance might cause inflammation in the healthy and unhealthy bacteria within the gut, referred to as gut dysbiosis. The theory is that once bad bacteria outnumber the good ones, it triggers an immune system response, which causes inflammation, according to the Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease review.
4. May Play a Role in Helping Prevent Cancer
There is growing evidence that kombucha can aid in fighting certain forms of cancer. However, further research is required. The claim is based on the antioxidant properties of kombucha, which help to rid the body of free radicals and other harmful chemicals that aid in the proliferation of cancerous cells, according to the study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.
A study published in the January/February issue of Biomedicine & Preventive Nutrition found that kombucha blocks angiogenesis, according to the National Cancer Institute, explains the development of newly formed blood vessels. The study highlighted that prostate cancer is angiogenesis-dependent, meaning that new blood cells can feed and contribute to the growth of these tumors. Scientists concluded that kombucha might reduce prostate cancer-causing cells’ life expectancy by reducing angiogenesis. Of course, further research is required.
According to the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry review, the components in kombucha that may fight cancer growth include polyphenols, gluconic acids, lactic acid, glucuronic acid, and vitamin C.
5. May Help Strengthen the Immune System
The gut-healthy properties of kombucha can also give you an increase in the immune system.
It’s crucial to understand it is important to note that your digestive system, as well as the immune system, are tightly interconnected. The digestive tract lining creates antibodies to safeguard the body, as per John Hopkins Medicine. A large part of the immune system can be located inside the gut. Than 70 percent, according to the study.
According to Zenhausern clarifies, healthy gut health is crucial to a healthy immune system. Kombucha’s fermenting bacteria can boost your immune system due to the number of beneficial bacteria they offer, according to Zenhausern.
6. May Aid Depression Treatment
The signs of depression differ between individuals but may be characterized as a general feeling of despair and sadness.
Depression can also trigger problems like low concentration, insomnia, and lack of energy, according to Mayo Clinic. However, kombucha can provide relief and boost your mood by ramping on the creation of positive hormones like serotonin, according to The Mayo Clinic.
There aren’t any studies specifically linking kombucha with depression. However, a review from February 2017 published in Annals of General Psychiatry suggests that certain psychiatric conditions could be related to shifts in the microbiome (the conditions of the bacteria that live within the gut). There’s a piece of growing evidence suggesting that probiotics could aid in relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Zenhausern also notes that serotonin, 95 percent of the chemical, is created in the gut, not in your brain. Therefore, ensuring optimal gut health is also essential for your mental health and mood regulation. “This is why it is essential to focus on the health of your gut when it comes to boosting mood and fighting depression,” Zenhausern says.
7. May Boost Cardiovascular Health
Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC states that heart disease is a major risk factor for heart attack or stroke. However, a healthy lifestyle can help improve your cardiovascular health.
This includes a diet rich in fruits, whole grains, and lean protein. It is also important to include medication, exercise, and, yes, you can even drink kombucha.
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According to the Journal of Chemistry research, the potential benefits include kombucha’s capacity to influence cholesterol levels positively. According to the CDC, the presence of cholesterol is a major risk factor that can lead to heart disease.
Researchers should conduct more studies on humans to verify the efficacy of kombucha’s effects on cholesterol.
However, according to a paper published in April of 2015 published in Pharmaceutical Biology, rats administered kombucha had lower levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol (“bad”)) as well as higher amounts of HDL (“good”) cholesterol). Further research is required. However, the next research could confirm that kombucha can improve cholesterol levels in humans. The only way to know is time.
8. May Promote Liver Health
In the same way, kombucha can enhance liver health through its ability to cleanse the body. Therefore, over time drinking the drink could lower the effort your liver is working, according to the Journal of Chemistry.
In the Pharmaceutical Biology study, rats who were given kombucha also had lower levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances within their livers. This organic compound is a marker of tissue and cell damage. Yet, more clinical research is required to determine if the advantages are real.
9. May Play a Role in Lowering Blood Sugar
Consuming kombucha may also help those who are insulin-resistant or have diabetes. The tea could block a-amylase, a protein located in the pancreas responsible for the higher postprandial (after dinner) sugar levels, according to the findings of a study.
Based on this Pharmaceutical Biology study, kombucha has a curative effect in rats suffering from diabetes within 30 days. It also helped improve the kidney and liver function of these rats.
Further research is required. However, the results suggest that kombucha may be utilized as a complement to treatment for people who have diabetes and the traditional methods of treatment, which include weight loss and diet, exercise, oral medication, and insulin.
10. Help Maintain Healthy Weight
Kombucha is a great alternative drink to enjoy if you are a fan of juices or soda but want a beverage with fewer calories and less sugar and reduce or keep your weight off.
Sugar is loaded with empty calories. If consumed in excess, it can pose the possibility of consuming many more calories than you use, which can increase weight.
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It’s important to remember that kombucha isn’t sweetened with sugar (most all sugars are fermented. However, some are left within the finished product). However, a typical kombucha drink may contain less than 6-8 grams (g) per serving, according to Rebecca Stib, RDN, who lives in Boston and is the co-founder of Nutritious Gifts.
“You’ll have to increase the number of brands with two servings per bottle, but it’s less than the typical serving size of a can of juice or soda, which could be upwards of 25 grams for a Serving,” warns Stib.
For comparison, a bottle of organic raw kombucha may have 30 calories and eight grams of sugar per 8 eight ounces, according to the website of GTS, a brand of kombucha. However, 8 ounces of soda can contain sixty calories and 16 grams of sugar, as per the Coca-Cola website.