Science-Based Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea you should know
Kombucha has been consumed for several years in the form of fermented tea.
Apart from having the same health benefits as tea — but it’s also rich in beneficial probiotics that are great for your body’s health.
Kombucha contains antioxidants that are helpful to kill harmful bacteria and may help your body fight several diseases.
Let’s take a look at the 8 Amazing health benefits of kombucha, based on scientific evidence.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF KOMBUCHA TEA
#1. Potential Source of Probiotics
Kombucha originates from China or Japan. It’s made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast, and sugar to black or green tea, then allowing it to ferment for one week or more (Source).
During this process, there’s a formation of a mushroom-like film on the surface of the liquid by bacteria and yeast. This is why kombucha is also referred to as “mushroom tea.”
This mushroom-like film is a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or a SCOBY, and can be used to ferment new kombucha.
The fermentation process produces acetic acid which is also found in vinegar and several other acidic compounds, traces levels of alcohol and gases that make it carbonated.
A great number of bacteria also grow in the mixture. Although there is still no evidence for the probiotic benefits of kombucha, it contains numerous species of lactic-acid bacteria that may have a probiotic function. ( Source).
Probiotics provide the gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of your health, including digestion, inflammation, and even weight loss.
You should add beverages like kombucha to your diet because it might improve your health in many ways.
#2. Provide the Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is considered one of the healthiest beverages on earth. This is because green tea contains plenty of bioactive compounds, such as polyphenols, which function as powerful antioxidants in the body. ( Source).
Kombucha made from green tea contains many of the same plant compounds and presumably has some of the same benefits.
Some studies show that when you drink green tea regularly you can increase the number of calories you burn, reduce belly fat, improve cholesterol levels, help with your blood sugar control, and more (Source).
These studies also show that green tea drinkers have a reduced risk of prostate, breast, and colon cancers (Source).
#3. Antioxidants Properties
Antioxidants are substances that help fight free radicals, reactive molecules that can damage your cells (Source).
However, many scientists believe that antioxidants from foods and beverages are better for your health than antioxidant supplements ( Source).
Kombucha, especially when made with green tea, does have antioxidant effects on your liver.
Rat studies consistently find that drinking kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity caused by toxic chemicals, in some cases by at least seventy percent. (Source).
Although no human studies exist on this topic, it does seem like a promising area of research for people with liver disease.
#4. Anti-bacterial properties
One of the main substances produced during the fermentation of kombucha is acetic acid, which is also found in abundance in vinegar.
Like the polyphenols present in tea, acetic acid is able to kill many potentially harmful microorganisms (Source).
Kombucha made from black or green tea appears to have strong antibacterial properties, especially against infection-causing bacteria and Candida yeasts (source).
These antimicrobial effects of kombucha suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts, but they do not affect the beneficial, probiotic bacteria and yeasts involved in kombucha fermentation.
The health relevance of these antimicrobial properties is still unclear.
#5. Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Heart disease accounts for the world’s leading cause of death.
Several studies on Rat show that kombucha can greatly improve two markers of heart disease, “bad” LDL and “good” HDL cholesterol, in as few as 30 days (source)
Even more importantly, tea (especially green tea) protects Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease.
In fact, it is researched that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of developing heart disease, a benefit that may also apply to kombucha ( Source).
#6. Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes affects over 300 million people around the world. The disease is characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.
A research study using diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbs, which reduced blood sugar levels. It also improved liver and kidney function ( Source).
Kombucha made from green tea is likely to be even more beneficial because green tea itself has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels ( Source).
In fact, a review study of almost 300,000 participants found that green tea drinkers had a marker of an eighteen percent lower risk of becoming diabetic ( Source).
However, more human studies are needed to investigate the benefits of kombucha for blood sugar control.
#7. Help Protect Against Cancer
Cancer disease is one of the world’s leading causes of death. Cancer is characterized by cell mutation and uncontrolled cell growth.
These test-tube studies showed that kombucha helped prevent the growth and spread of cancerous cells due to its high concentration of tea polyphenols and antioxidants ( Source).
It is not well understood how the anti-cancer properties of tea polyphenols work.
Nevertheless, it is thought that the polyphenols block gene mutation and growth of cancer cells while also promoting cancer cell death.
Based on this, it is not surprising that tea drinkers are much less likely to develop various types of cancer. (Source).
But, whether kombucha has any anti-cancer effects in people has not been confirmed. Further research studies are needed.
#8. Kombucha Is Healthy
Kombucha is a probiotic-rich tea with great potential health benefits.
You can buy it in stores or make it yourself at home. However, be sure to prepare it properly.
If contaminated or over-fermented kombucha can cause serious health problems and even death. Homemade kombucha may also contain up to three percent of alcohol. (Source).
Ensure you check the ingredients and try to avoid brands that are high in added sugar.
A large number of people believe that kombucha helps treat all sorts of chronic health problems.
However, human studies on the effects of kombucha are few and the evidence for its health effects is also limited.
In contrast, there is sufficient evidence for the benefits of tea and probiotics, both of which are found in kombucha.
If you choose to try homemade kombucha, make sure it’s properly prepared. Contaminated kombucha may cause more harm than good to your health.
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