The Health Benefits of Kombucha
In the early 20th century, extensive scientific research was conducted on the health benefits of Kombucha, more specifically, in Russia and Germany. The aim of the research was to find a way to eliminate cancer, or at least decrease its ability to grow in the human body. Russian scientists found that multiple regions of their country were somehow immune to cancer, and they predicted it was the effects of Kombucha.
Through a series of experimentation this was confirmed. It also started to give insight into why Kombucha is beneficial for health. German scientists began to explore in this area, however, with the interruption of the Cold War, research was delegated to other disciplines. Studying the effects of Kombucha merely started to bloom in the 90’s.
Research indicates Kombucha can:
- Improve resistance against cancer
- Prevent cardiovascular diseases
- Provide relief against arthritis
- Prevent microbial infections
- Combat stress
- Relieve headaches
- Reduce insomnia
- Relieve bronchitis and asthma
- Promote digestive functions
- Stimulate the immune system
- Reduce amatory problems
Reports have given some insight on the properties of some components of Kombucha. The in-depth research on the outcomes of tea on health provide an understanding of the complex mechanisms that are applied in the physiological activity of the beverage.
New polyphenol molecule complexes are formed during the processing of black tea. Black tea is commonly used as the preparation of Kombucha. Tea fungus forms appears and sits on the tea surface, where the jar is carefully covered with a clean cloth and fastened properly. During fermentation, a daughter tea fungus is formed at the tea surface.
The microbiological composition of the tea fungus has been investigated:
- Bacteria and fungus present in Kombucha form a strong symbiosis, preventing the growth of contaminated bacteria. The main acetic acid bacteria found in the tea fungus are: Acetobacter xylinum, A. xylinoides, Bacterium gluconicum, A. aceti, A. pasteurianus.
Aspects of the relationship between micro-organisms that consist fungus and their interaction with the substrates supporting fermentation have been studied. Acetobacter xylinum can synthesize a cellulose network which enhances the association formed between bacteria and fungi.
The yeast cells transform sucrose into fructose and glucose and produce ethanol. Acetic acid bacteria convert glucose to gluconic acid and fructose into acetic acid. Acetic acid encourages the yeast to produce ethanol and ethanol in turn promotes acetic acid bacteria to grow and produce acetic acid. Both ethanol and acetic acid have been reported to have antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria assisting in protection against contamination.
A long-term study in this area has showed:
- A much smaller risk of dying from coronary heart disease and a smaller incidence of strokes when people consume Kombucha tea. It has a rich source of avonoids where epidemiological studies on the effect of avonols regarding cardiovascular diseases support this.
Experimental studies conducted with animals has brought a more accurate understanding of the metabolism and function of tea components that could be used to explain the giving health benefits of tea for humans.
Diabetes has become a serious health problem and a major risk factor associated with serious health issues, including metabolism disorders and liver-kidney dysfunctions. The scarcity associated with conventional medicines have led to a determined search for alternative natural therapeutic options.
Now let’s take a look at some validated test results.
The following related to a study aimed to investigate and compare the hypoglycemic and antilipidemic effects of kombucha and black tea, two natural drinks commonly consumed around the world, in surviving diabetic rats.
The examination involved:
- Alloxan diabetic rats that were orally supplied with kombucha and black tea at a dose of 5 mL/kg body weight per day for 30 days
- The rats fasting overnight and being killed on the 31st day of the experiment.
- The gathering of their bloods given to various biochemical measurements (blood glucose, cholesterol, triglcerides, urea, creatinine, transaminases, transpeptidase, lipase, and amylase activities).
- Their pancreases being isolated and processed to measure lipase and α-amylase activities and to perform histological analysis.
The findings revealed that:
- Compared to black tea, kombucha tea better prevents α-amylase and lipase activities in the plasma and pancreas and is a better preventer of higher blood glucose levels.
- Kombucha is found to induce a marked delay in the absorption of LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides and a much larger increase in HDL-cholesterol. Histological analyses also show that it forces an ameliorative action on the pancreases and effectively protects the liver-kidney functions of diabetic rats, proven through significant decreases in aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, and gamma-glytamyl transpeptidase activities in the plasma, as well as in the creatinine and urea contents.
- Kombucha tea provides beneficial healing effects on diabetic rats, in relation to liver-kidney functions.
Kombucha tea can therefore be considered a potential candidate as a practical supplement for the nursing and prevention of diabetes.
Now we’re going to go in more depth on Kombucha’s effects on cancer prevention – as there are many doubts and hesistations in this particular area.
Research indictes that the ability of Kombucha to fight cancer is because of the presence of tea polyphenols and the secondary metabolites made in the fermentation process. Scientists have found that the polyphenols present in the Kombucha tea actually possess antitumor properties, preventing cancer growth.
Various studies show that tea polyphenols present in this fermented beverage:
- Hinder gene mutations
- Prevent the spread of cancer cells
- Induce cancer cell apoptosis
- Assist in the abolishment of metastasis.
It has also been found that the consumption of Kombucha tea can:
- Aid cancer patients to re-equilibrate blood pH which usually rises above 7.56 in the duration of the illness.
- Promote higher levels of L-lactic acid in cancer patient’s connective tissues (as patients generally have insufficient levels).
Despite its rareness, scientific research and analysis indicates that there are various health giving and prevention benefits of Kombucha tea. It is with great excitement to see the growth of research in this area to provide further insight into the advantages of Kombucha tea.