It is fashionable, although it is an old drink. It is a great probiotic that helps fight bacteria, reduce the risk of heart disease and manage diabetes
Almost a newcomer, he has managed to grab everyone’s attention. We talk about the effervescent and fermented drink that we all know as kombucha tea. Its value lies in the way that it can help us strengthen defenses and the microbiota in times of the covid-19 pandemic. But it’s not new.
As Kombucheria.com recounts, in 414 BC.C., a nature-loving Tibetan monk named Kombu went to the royal house of Emperor Inkyo and gave him the kombucha mushroom. The emperor tasted the drink as directed and enjoyed it so much that he was immediately captivated. From that moment on he became a great ‘kombuchista’. He recommended manufacturing throughout his empire. The success spread quickly and so this legendary drink bears his name: kombucha, which translated means ‘Kombu tea’.
- Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folic acid, C, D, E and K.
- Enzymes: invertase, amylase, catalase, sucrose,coagulant enzyme, protease, etc.
- Essential organic acids: glucoronic acid, lactic acid, acetic acid, gluconic acid, carbonic acid, usnic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, etc.
- Minerals: of the tea or plant that is used. For example, rooibos contains iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium,fluoride.
- And no less important: yeasts and polysaccharides,in addition to caffeine (in the case of tea) and about 0.5% alcohol.
Science has discovered in it these health benefits:
It is made by adding specific strains of bacteria, yeast, and sugar to black or green tea, and then left to ferment for a week or more (1 reliable source). During this process, bacteria and yeast form a fungus-like film on the surface of the liquid. This is why kombucha is also known as mushroom tea.
This drop is a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast,or a scoby, and can be used to ferment new kombucha. The fermentation process produces acetic acid (which is also found in vinegar)and other acidic compounds, traces of alcohol and gases that make it carbonated.
A lot of bacteria also grow in the mixture. Although there is still no evidence of the probiotic benefits of kombucha, it contains several species of lactic acid bacteria that may have probiotic function, as highlighted by a study published in ‘Food Microbiology’.
Probiotics provide healthy bacteria to the gut, contributing to improving many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation, and even weight loss.
Many scientists believe that antioxidants in food and beverages are better for health than supplements. Kombucha, especially when made with green tea, appears to have antioxidant effects on the liver.
Studies in rats have found that drinking kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity caused by toxic chemicals, in some cases by at least 70%.
While there are no human studies on this topic, it appears to be a promising area of research for people with liver disease. In fact, a paper published in the Journal of Microbiology Biotechnology determines: “The antioxidant molecules produced during the fermentation period could be the reason for the efficient hepatoprotective and healing properties of this tea against drug-induced hepatotoxicity.”
The main substance produced during the fermentation of kombucha is acetic acid,which is also abundant in vinegar. Like the polyphenols in tea, acetic acid can kill many potentially harmful microorganisms, as demonstrated by a study published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry.
Kombucha made from black or green tea appears to have strong antibacterial properties, particularly against infection-causing bacteria and Candida yeasts. These antimicrobial effects suppress its growth, but do not affect the beneficial probiotic bacteria and yeasts involved in kombucha fermentation. The health relevance of these antimicrobial properties is not yet clear.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world and studies in rats show that kombucha can greatly improve two markers of the disease, LDL cholesterol, the bad, and HDL cholesterol, the good, in as just 30 days, as highlighted by research published in ‘BMC Complementary Alternative Medicine’.
Even more importantly, tea (especially green tea) protects LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease. In fact, green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of developing cardiovascular pathologies, a benefit that can also be applied to kombucha.
It affects more than 300 million people worldwide. It is characterized by high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. A study in diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed the digestion of carbohydrates,which lowered blood sugar levels. It also improved liver and kidney function. Kombucha made from green tea is likely to be even more beneficial, as the infusion itself has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. In fact, a review study of nearly 300,000 people found that green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.