Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

8 Health Benefits From Drinking Kombucha Tea

Popular
8 Health Benefits From Drinking Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years.

Not only does it have the same health benefits as tea, but it's also rich in beneficial probiotics.

Kombucha is a type of tea that has been fermented. This makes it a good source of probiotics, which have many health benefits. Photo credit: peace.love.quinoa.

Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases.

Here are the top eight health benefits of kombucha, based on scientific evidence.

1. Kombucha is a Rich Source of Probiotics

Kombucha is thought to originate in China or Japan.

It's made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar to black or green tea and then allowing it to ferment for a week or more (1).

During this process, the bacteria and yeast form a mushroom-like blob on the surface, which is why kombucha is also known as “mushroom tea."

This blob is actually a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast or a SCOBY and can be used to ferment new kombucha.

This is what kombucha looks like:

The fermentation process produces vinegar and several other acidic compounds, trace levels of alcohol and gases that make it carbonated (2).

A large amount of probiotic bacteria is also produced during fermentation (3).

Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss.

For this reason, adding probiotics foods like kombucha to your diet can improve your health in many ways.

Bottom Line: Kombucha is a type of tea that has been fermented. This makes it a good source of probiotics, which have many health benefits.

2. Kombucha Contains the Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.

This is because green tea contains many bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants in the body (4).

Kombucha made from green tea has many of the same chemical properties and therefore many of the same benefits.

Studies show that drinking green tea regularly can increase the amount of calories you burn, reduce belly fat, improve cholesterol levels, help with blood sugar control and more (5, 6, 7, 8).

Studies also show that green tea drinkers have a reduced risks of prostate, breast and colon cancers (9, 10, 11).

Bottom Line: Kombucha made from green tea has many of the same health benefits and may help with weight loss, blood sugar control and more.

3. Kombucha Contains Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals, reactive molecules that can damage your cells (12, 13).

Antioxidants from foods and beverages are much better for your health than antioxidant supplements (14).

Kombucha, especially when made with green tea, appears to have powerful antioxidant effects on the liver.

Rat studies consistently find that drinking kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity caused by toxic chemicals, in some cases by at least 70 percent (15, 16, 17, 18).

Unfortunately, there are no human studies on this topic, but it does seem like a promising area of research for people with liver disease.

Bottom Line: Kombucha is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to protect the liver from toxicity, at least in rats.

4. Kombucha Can Kill Bacteria

One of the main substances produced during the fermentation of Kombucha is acetic acid, which is also abundant in vinegar.

Like the polyphenols in tea, acetic acid is able to kill many potentially harmful microorganisms (19).

Kombucha made from black or green tea appears to have strong antibacterial properties, particularly against infection-causing bacteria and Candida yeasts (20).

One study of chickens found that kombucha had antimicrobial effects and similar growth-promoting effects as antibiotics (21).

The researchers even suggested that kombucha tea could be used as an alternative to the antibiotic growth-promoters typically fed to these chickens.

Bottom Line: Kombucha is rich in tea polyphenols and acetic acid, which have both been shown to kill harmful bacteria.

5. Kombucha May Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Heart disease is the world's leading cause of death (22).

Rat studies find that kombucha can greatly improve two markers of these diseases, LDL and HDL cholesterol, in as little as 30 days (23, 24).

Even more importantly, tea (especially green tea) protects LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease (25, 26, 27).

In fact, green tea drinkers have up to a 31 percent lower risk of developing heart disease, a benefit that should also be seen from drinking kombucha (28, 29, 30).

Bottom Line: Kombucha has been shown to improve LDL and HDL cholesterol levels in rats. It may also protect against heart disease.

6. Kombucha May Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 300 million people worldwide. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

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 (23).

Kombucha made from green tea is likely to be even more beneficial, as green tea itself has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels (31).

In fact, a review study of almost 300,000 individuals found that green tea drinkers had an 18 percent lower risk of becoming diabetic (32).

Bottom Line: Kombucha improved several markers of diabetes in rats, including blood sugar levels.

7. Kombucha May Help Protect Against Cancer

Cancer is one of the world's leading causes of death. It is characterized by cell mutation and uncontrolled growth.

In test-tube studies, kombucha helped prevent the growth and spread of cancerous cells, due to its high concentration of tea polyphenols and antioxidants (33, 34).

How the anti-cancer properties of tea polyphenols work is not well-understood.

However, it's thought that the polyphenols block gene mutation and the growth of cancer cells, while also promoting cancer cell death (35).

For this reason, it is not surprising to see that tea drinkers are much less likely to develop various types of cancer (36, 37, 38).

Bottom Line: Test-tube studies have found that kombucha has significant anti-cancer properties, much like green tea.

8. Kombucha Is Healthy When Made Properly

Kombucha is a probiotic-rich tea with many health benefits.

You can purchase it in the store or make it yourself at home. However, be very careful to prepare it properly.

Contaminated or over-fermented kombucha can cause (and has caused) serious health problems and even death. Homemade kombucha may also contain up to 3 percent alcohol (2, 39, 40, 41).

The safer option is to buy kombucha at a store or online. Commercial products are good and considered alcohol-free, as they must contain less than 0.5 percent alcohol (42).

If you're interested in trying kombucha, then Amazon.com has a decent selection available (see here).

However, check the ingredients and try to avoid brands that are high in added sugar.

This article was reposted from our media associate Authority Nutrition.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

13 Vegan Chia Seed Recipes Guaranteed to Superfood Your Diet

Dr. Mark Hyman: Is Weight Gain Dictated by Genes?

9 Diet and Lifestyle Changes That Can Keep Your Hormones in Balance and Help You Lose Weight

10 Plant-Based Foods Packed With Protein

Colette Pichon Battle, attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy. Colette Pichon Battle

By Karen L. Smith-Janssen

Colette Pichon Battle gave a December 2019 TEDWomen Talk on the stark realities of climate change displacement, and people took notice. The video racked up a million views in about two weeks. The attorney, founder, and executive director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP) advocates for climate justice in communities of color. Confronted with evidence showing how her own South Louisiana coastal home of Bayou Liberty will be lost to flooding in coming years, the 2019 Obama Fellow dedicates herself to helping others still reeling from the impacts of Katrina face the heavy toll that climate change has taken—and will take—on their lives and homelands. Her work focuses on strengthening multiracial coalitions, advocating for federal, state, and local disaster mitigation measures, and redirecting resources toward Black communities across the Gulf South.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A palm tree plantation in Malaysia. Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Getty Images Plus

Between 2000 and 2013, Earth lost an area of undisturbed ecosystems roughly the size of Mexico.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A home burns during the Bobcat Fire in Juniper Hills, California on September 18, 2020. Kyle Grillot / AFP/ Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

"These are not just wildfires, they are climate fires," Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington State, said as he stood amid the charred remains of the town of Malden west of Seattle earlier this month. "This is not an act of God," he added. "This has happened because we have changed the climate of the state of Washington in dramatic ways."

Read More Show Less
A new report from Oxfam found that the wealthiest one percent of the world produced a carbon footprint that was more than double that of the bottom 50 percent of the world. PickPik

A new report from Oxfam found that the wealthiest one percent of the world produced a carbon footprint that was more than double that of the bottom 50 percent of the world, The Guardian reported. The study examined 25 years of carbon dioxide emissions and wealth inequality from 1990 to 2015.

Read More Show Less
The label of one of the recalled thyroid medications. FDA

If you are taking medication for an underactive thyroid, check your prescription.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch