Kombucha

Recently, the wife introduced me to a kombucha drink, complete with probiotics. “What on God’s green earth is kombucha?”, you may ask. Read on and you will understand.

According to Wikipedia, kombucha is: Kombucha (Russian: chaynyy grib (чайный гриб), Chinese: chájūn (茶菌), Korean: hongchabeoseotcha (홍차버섯차), Japanese: kōcha-kinoko (紅茶キノコ)), is a lightly effervescent fermented drink of sweetened black and/or green tea that is used as a functional food. It is produced by fermenting the tea using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or SCOBY.

There is a cause for concern, however, that kombucha tea leads to central nervous system impairment, metabolic acidosis, liver damage and overall toxicity in general. These health concerns clash directly with the miracle cure-all claims ranging from kombucha tea defeating a wide range of ailments including cancer, AIDS, baldness, insomnia, intestinal disorders, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis. Kombucha advocates espouse claims that the elixir can boost the immune system and reverses the aging process (to a degree). Scientific studies do not support these claims.

Case reports “raise doubts about the safety of kombucha,”[18] since there have been incidents of central nervous system impairment, suspected liver damage, metabolic acidosis,[18] and toxicity in general.[18][19] Acute conditions caused by drinking of kombucha, such aslactic acidosis, are more likely to occur in persons with pre-existing medical conditions.[19] Other reports suggest exercising caution if regularly drinking kombucha while taking medical drugs or hormone replacement therapy.[20] Kombucha may also cause allergic reactions.[21] Some adverse health effects may be due to the acidity of the tea, cautioning preparers to avoid over-fermentation.[22]

Though the health-conscious crowd are flocking to kombucha tea (and its other derivatives), it’s always important to listen to your body. Your body knows what is right. Always listen to your body.

In closing, kombucha tea is not all that bad in my opinion. Also, in my opinion, it is basically another health/wellness trend that may or may not stick here in the United States. I ask those of you who live in other countries if you have heard of kombucha tea. Do you like it? I like it. It’s not bad. One brand of kombucha tea I like is the Kevita “Master Brew Kombucha” Lavender Melon flavor.

Tell me what you guys think on this, if you have an opinion at all.

REFERENCES

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d “Kombucha Tea”. American Cancer Society. 21 October 2010. Retrieved January 2015. Available scientific evidence does not support claims that Kombucha tea promotes good health, prevents any ailments, or works to treat cancer or any other disease. Serious side effects and occasional deaths have been linked with drinking Kombucha tea.
  2. Jump up^ Wong, Crystal. U.S. ‘kombucha’: Smelly and No Kelp, The Japan Times. July 12, 2007.
  3. Jump up^ Algeo, John; Algeo, Adele (1997). “Among the New Words”.American Speech 72 (2): 183–97. doi:10.2307/455789.JSTOR 455789.
  4. Jump up^ American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed. 2000, updated 2009, Houghton Mifflin Company. kombucha, TheFreeDictionary.com.
  5. Jump up^ Hesseltine, C. W. (1965). “A Millennium of Fungi, Food, and Fermentation”. Mycologia 57 (2): 149–97. doi:10.2307/3756821.JSTOR 3756821. PMID 14261924.
  6. Jump up^ Kombucha, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Sreeramulu, G; Zhu, Y; Knol, W (2000). “Kombucha fermentation and its antimicrobial activity”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 48 (6): 2589–94. doi:10.1021/jf991333m.PMID 10888589.
  8. Jump up^ Nguyen, VT; Flanagan, B; Gidley, MJ; Dykes, GA (2008). “Characterization of cellulose production by a gluconacetobacter xylinus strain from kombucha”. Current Microbiology 57 (5): 449–53.doi:10.1007/s00284-008-9228-3. PMID 18704575.
  9. Jump up^ “Suzanne Lee: Grow your own clothes”. TED2011. March 2011.
  10. Jump up^ Teoh, AL; Heard, G; Cox, J (2004). “Yeast ecology of kombucha fermentation”. International Journal of Food Microbiology 95 (2): 119–26. doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2003.12.020.PMID 15282124.
  11. Jump up^ Dufresne, C; Farnworth, E (2000). “Tea, kombucha, and health: A review”. Food Research International 33 (6): 409.doi:10.1016/S0963-9969(00)00067-3.
  12. Jump up^ Velicanski, A; Cvetkovic, D; Markov, S; Tumbas, V et al. (2007). “Antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of lemon balm Kombucha”.Acta Periodica Technologica (38): 165–72.doi:10.2298/APT0738165V.
  13. Jump up^ Bauer-Petrovska, B; Petrushevska-Tozi, L (2000). “Mineral and water soluble vitamin content in the kombucha drink”. International Journal of Food Science & Technology 35 (2): 201–5.doi:10.1046/j.1365-2621.2000.00342.x.
  14. Jump up^ “Kombucha FAQs”. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Retrieved August 2013.
  15. Jump up^ Phan, TG; Estell, J; Duggin, G; Beer, I et al. (December 1998). “Lead poisoning from drinking kombucha tea brewed in a ceramic pot”. The Medical journal of Australia 169 (11–12): 644–6.PMID 9887919.
  16. Jump up^ Jayabalan, R; Malbaša, RV; Lončar, ES; Vitas, JS; Sathishkumar, M (July 2014). “A review on kombucha tea — microbiology, composition, fermentation, beneficial effects, toxicity, and tea fungus”. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 13 (4): 538–50. doi:10.1111/1541-4337.12073. There has been no evidence published to date on the biological activities of kombucha in human trials.
  17. Jump up^ Vīna I, Semjonovs P, Linde R, Deniņa I (2014). “Current evidence on physiological activity and expected health effects of kombucha fermented beverage”. J Med Food (Review) 17 (2): 179–88.doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.0031. PMID 24192111. Vancouver style error (help)
  18. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Ernst, E. (April 2003). “Kombucha: A Systematic Review of the Clinical Evidence”. Forschende Komplementärmedizin und Klassische Naturheilkunde 10 (2): 85–87.doi:10.1159/000071667. PMID 12808367.
  19. ^ Jump up to:a b Sunghee Kole, A.; Jones, H. D.; Christensen, R.; Gladstein, J. (May 2009). “A Case of Kombucha Tea Toxicity”. Journal of Intensive Care Medicine 24 (3): 205–07.doi:10.1177/0885066609332963. PMID 19460826.
  20. Jump up^ Srinivasan, Radhika; Smolinske, Susan; Greenbaum, David (Oct 1997). “Probable Gastrointestinal Toxicity of Kombucha Tea”.Journal of General Internal Medicine 12 (10): 643–44.doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.1997.07127.x. PMC 1497178.PMID 9346462.
  21. Jump up^ Perron, AD; Patterson, JA; Yanofsky, NN (1995). “Kombucha ‘Mushroom’ Hepatotoxicity”. Annals of Emergency Medicine 26 (5): 660–61. doi:10.1016/s0196-0644(95)70028-5. PMID 7486385.
  22. Jump up^ Nummer, Brian A. (2013). “Kombucha Brewing Under the Food and Drug Administration Model Food Code: Risk Analysis and Processing Guidance”. Journal of Environmental Health 76 (4).

Further reading

  • “Lead induced oxidative stress: beneficial effects of Kombucha tea” 16 (3). September 2003. pp. 276–82. PMID 14631833.
  • “Kombucha: a systematic review of the clinical evidence”. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 10 (2): 85–7. April 2003.doi:10.1159/000071667. PMID 12808367.
  • Frank, Günther W. (1995). Kombucha: Healthy Beverage and Natural Remedy from the Far East, Its Correct Preparation and Use. Steyr: Pub. House W. Ennsthaler. ISBN 978-3-85068-337-1.
  • “Studies on toxicity, anti-stress and hepato-protective properties of Kombucha tea” 14 (3). September 2001. pp. 207–13.PMID 11723720.
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