Follow Mint Lounge

Latest Issue

Home > Health> Wellness > Reasons why you should give kombucha a shot

Reasons why you should give kombucha a shot

  • With a new study finding that drinking Kombucha helps lower blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, here are reasons why you should give it a shot

Fermented, fizzy and with a sour-ish taste, the benefits of kombucha make it a healthy drink for all seasons
Fermented, fizzy and with a sour-ish taste, the benefits of kombucha make it a healthy drink for all seasons (Unsplash/

Kombucha, like sushi, draws strong reactions from people - you either like it or you don't. But as evidence of its goodness gets stronger by the day, kombucha may soon become everyone's go-to health drink. A drink that dates back to 2000 years (if not more), kombucha is made by fermenting tea with sugar and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). 

A recent clinical trial by researchers at Georgetown University's School of Health, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and MedStar Health found that individuals with type 2 diabetes who drank kombucha for four weeks had lower fasting blood sugar levels than those who drank a similar-tasting placebo drink. The trial was conducted on 12 participants who were divided into groups. The groups were given eight ounces of kombucha or placebo beverage daily for four weeks and then, after a two-month period, to wash out the effects of the beverages, the kombucha and placebo were swapped between groups with another four weeks of drinking the beverages. Neither group was told which drink they were receiving at the time. 

The results showed that the fermented drink helped lower average fasting blood glucose levels after four weeks from 164 to 116 milligrams per deciliter while the difference after four weeks with the placebo was not statistically significant. The results can be attributed to the active ingredients in the drink, namely, lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria and a yeast varietal called Dekkera.

Also read: Add adaptogens to your diet with a pinch of caution

This new finding is but only the latest addition to an already impressive list of benefits of kombucha, which is also informally referred to as ’booch. Here’s a quick lowdown of the benefits of this drink that is said to have its origins in China in the 2nd century BC. 

Promotes a healthy gut: Lactic acid and acetic acid in kombucha enhance digestion and build heat, improving metabolism. Further, lactic acid is believed to function as a probiotic that helps in the growth of healthy microflora in our digestive system. Healthy microflora or good bacteria aid in food digestion, kill unhealthy bacteria and secrete vitamins and essential amino acids among other functions. Probiotics also help alleviate digestive ailments like diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Strengthens immunity: The high-stress lives we live today, the bad diets we follow  and our reliance on antibiotics impact our digestive system negatively promoting the growth of bad bacteria, which in turn weakens our immune system. Kombucha is vitamin-rich and has antimicrobial properties owing to organic acids in it such as acetic, glucuronic and D-Saccharic acid. These acids are known to prevent the growth of infection-causing bacteria and yeast. 

Reduces inflammation: Kombucha is made by fermenting green or black tea with sugar and SCOBY for a week to 14 days. Besides the production of healthy bacteria, this process also helps produce polyphenols: plant compounds which act as antioxidants and scavenge for free radicals in the body that can cause cell damage. Polyphenols are anti-inflammatory, which means adding them to your diet can help lower risk of ailments linked to inflammation namely, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetes and cancer. 

Things to remember: 

  1. Don’t view kombucha as a cure-all. Instead, factor it as an additional supplement in your healthy diet. 
  2. Remember not to overdo it. Drinking too much of the booch can cause simpler reactions in your body like headache or nausea or more severe ones like ketoacidosis, a complication where there’s too much acid in your body. The suggested quota, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US is 4 ounces i.e 1/2 cup of kombucha per day.   
  3. If you plan to make kombucha at home, ensure the SCOBY you are using is not contaminated: that can be dangerous. 
  4. There are many homegrown Indian kombucha brands in the market today. While choosing one, just check that the level of added sugars is not too high to negate the rest of the benefits of this healthy drink. 
  5. Avoid it if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or have a compromised immune system. 

Also read: Everything you need to know about supplements




Next Story