Probiotics & their Health Benefits: Kombucha!

I love to discover the transformative potential of microbes!

Kombucha is a traditional fermented drink made with tea, sugar and the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) that transforms the sugar successively into vinegar and carbondioxide, the beverage containing proteins, vitamins from the B complex, vitamin C, enzymes, minerals and more.

Besides being a nice refreshing sparkling drink, even health benefits have been confirmed in studies:

  • Gut health: a big amount of healthy microbes are contained in kombucha, which support the diversity of bacteria in your intestines and dominate or prevent unhealthy imbalances of microbial population [1][7][8][10]
  • Detoxification: the antitoxic and antioxidant properties protect and can even cure your liver and support the lymphatic system, which has been shown in several animal studies [2][3][4][5][6]
  • Blood sugar management: Kombucha has been shown to decrease blood sugar levels in diabetes [6]
  • Suppression of tumor growth: beneficial effects have been observed e.g. in prostate, cervix, colon and breast adenocarcinomas [7][9]

Hygiene in kombucha preparation

When making your own kombucha, remember to give the new preparation at least 1/10 amount of starter in order to lower the PH – this way you avoid possible contamination with unwanted microbes like mildew. Also remember to cover the fermenting vessel with a paper towel or a cloth, to secure oxygen availability while protecting your kombucha from flies. Always wash your hands before handling the SCOBY, and keep the vessels and bottles clean. Don’t use ceramic vessels, as included lead might be dissolved by the acid.

The longer kombucha ferments, the more acid it gets, so try it after 5-7 days. If you later find the taste too sour, you can still dilute the kombucha with water – or use it instead of other vinegar!
Trust your senses when preparing and drinking kombucha – if you don’t find the look, smell and taste pleasant, don’t use it! I am not taking any responsibilities for your own brewing results and for your health using them. Kombucha is also sold in many health stores – for the health benefits however, you want to be sure that it contains living microbes!

Referencces & studies:
[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24290641
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21388793
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11723720
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19420997
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14631833
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22591682
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18979556
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10888589
[9] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221052391200044X
[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24192111


First published on META-Evolution Blog