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What is Kombucha and What are its Benefits?

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Kombucha can be defined as “a fermented drink made from tea, yeast, bacteria and sugar” [1]. Currently, there are not enough studies to reinforce the argument that kombucha has any incredible health benefits that make it a superfood, but that isn’t to say that it doesn’t still provide you with some nutrients. Kombucha is a probiotic, and probiotics are known to be great for gut health; a healthy gut is always a good sign that you’re doing something right. 


So, what exactly is in kombucha that might help you? Well, “kombucha provides vitamins, antioxidants and probiotics, which are components of a healthy diet” [1]. How are these components healthy, though? 


Kombucha contains multiple vitamins and minerals including: “minerals originating mainly from tea (potassium, manganese, fluoride ions) [and] vitamins (E, K, [and] B)” [2]. These E, K, and B vitamins are all important in helping to produce energy, and they are also significant to the production of red blood cells. Potassium, manganese, and fluoride ions all contribute to normal functions in the human body such as: helping to keep a normal blood pressure, helping the body form connective tissues, and stimulating bone formation.


Antioxidants are important because they help protect your cells from free radicals, which are very damaging to cells. More specifically, antioxidants “can help reduce inflammation, support your immune systems and reduce DNA damage. They also may help reduce your risk for diseases like cancer” [1]. A lot of people relate antioxidants to being in superfoods, but again, there has not been enough research to be able to classify kombucha as a superfood itself. 


The gut is very important to your health, and “probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy gut” [1]. You can get probiotics through supplements, but “the best way to get probiotics is through food, and kombucha may be a good source along with yogurt and other fermented products like sauerkraut” [1]. Again, even though kombucha is a source of probiotics due to the good bacteria created through its fermentation process, more research needs to take place in order to determine how much good bacteria is actually in this fermented tea drink. 


Even though there is not enough research to determine the definitive health benefits of kombucha, it definitely has vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and good bacteria that are known to provide us with multiple health benefits. Hopefully more research is being done to help us understand this fermented drink a little more in the near future. In the meantime, try some kombucha for yourself to see how your body reacts to it; or maybe just have it as a tasty drink!



References:

1. Alexander, H. (2022, September 6). What are the Benefits of Drinking Kombucha? MD Anderson Cancer Center. Retrieved from https://www.mdanderson.org/cancerwise/what-are-the-benefits-of-drinking-kombucha.h00-159542901.html 

2. Jakubczyk, K., Kałduńska, J., Kochman, J., & Janda, K. (2020, May 22). Chemical profile and antioxidant activity of the kombucha beverage derived from white, green, black and Red Tea. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278673/ 


 

Contributors:

Author: Lauryn Agron

Editor: Kayjah Taylor

Health scientist: Catherine Sarwat


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