If you frequent health food stores, chances are you’ve seen a type of fermented tea called Kombucha on the shelves. Fans claim that drinking it will strengthen the immune system, prevent cancer growth, and improve liver function. But, is it really good for you?
Health Benefits of Kombucha
Brewers and sellers of the fermented tea believe Kombucha has a ton of health benefits. Here are a few of those claims, along with medical studies that give evidence that it may be good for you:
1. It Fights Off Illness
Kombucha lovers claim that drinking the fermented brew can help you fight off sickness. Through the fermentation process, Kombucha gains antimicrobial properties that have been found to fight illnesses like strep throat, salmonella, and even E. coli.
2. It’s High in Antioxidants
Like many types of tea, Kombucha is high in antioxidants. The antioxidants in it fight free radicals in your body more effectively than the antioxidants found in regular black tea.
3. It’s Packed With B Vitamins
Kombucha tea may increase energy because it is high in B vitamins. B vitamins like B6 and B12 are necessary for healthy metabolic function. One study suggests that B12 can be used as a supplement to help prevent Dementia.
4. It May Help Fight Cancer
Kombucha is high in Glucaric acid, and there is some evidence that suggests consuming Glucaric acid can help fight Cancer. One study conducted in Russia in the early 1900’s determined that Kombucha drinkers had lower rates of Cancer.
So if you’re looking to add a new drink to your diet that may prevent the disease, Kombucha may be worth a try.
There have been some reports of serious side effects from drinking Kombucha, including fever, liver damage, and even psychiatric episodes. In 1995, one women died after drinking Kombucha tea, but no direct link between the tea and the woman’s death was established.
Doctors and scientists caution against home-brewed Kombucha tea, and recommend purchasing it from your local health food store. Home-brewing is less expensive than the manufactured kind, but there is more room for error when brewing yourself.
One study reported that home-brewing is safe for people with good metabolic function and healthy immune systems.
There is evidence showing that the fermented tea offers serious health benefits like increasing energy, fighting illness, and improving resistance to Cancer. While there have been some reported cases of adverse effects associated with drinking home-brewed Kombucha, more research needs to be done to determine if it really can improve your health, and whether it’s safe for everyone to drink.
So for now, consult your doctor or nutritionist to determine whether Kombucha is right for you.
Photo by Rebecca Wilson