Drinking kombucha might enhance blood glucose levels. Here’s why

Drinking the fermented drink might reduce your fasting blood sugar levels, according to a research study released Tuesday in the journal Frontiers.

Researchers from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., split individuals—all type 2 diabetics—into 2 groups. One group was offered 8 ounces of kombucha to consume prior to a carb-heavy supper every night for 4 weeks; the other was offered a similar-tasting gleaming drink to consume rather. Then, the groups changed.

Kombucha-drinkers reduced their fasting blood glucose levels by about 50 points—from 164 to 115. (The American Diabetes Association suggests a fasting blood glucose of less than 100.) The drop is a lot more considerable considered that scientists let individuals consume whatever they desire. While the fasting blood glucose levels of non-kombucha drinkers stopped by about 20 points, the number wasn’t statistically considerable, the authors compose.

The million-dollar concern: Why?

There are a couple of possibilities, according to scientists. Adding any soft drink to supper might reduce the cravings and decrease meal size, causing a lower fasting blood sugar in the early morning.

Another possibility: Kombucha intake has actually been related to the regrowth of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas—in animals, anyhow—suggesting it may be able to reverse the condition (a minimum of partly). 

Yet another: Compounds included within kombucha—such as polyphenols, caffeine, natural acids, ethanol, and alkaloids—might avoid oxidative stress-related illness like heart conditions, cancer, and neurodegeneration. And they might likewise reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure, the authors compose, indicating a well-rounded health-boosting advantage.

There are other theories, too—and more research study is required to identify precisely which added to the obviously involved decrease in fasting blood glucose. Other health advantages, consisting of possible enhanced gut health, were not checked out and warrant research study, the authors include.

The research study just consisted of 12 individuals. Still, kombucha programs genuine health pledge, scientists assert.

“An estimated 96 million Americans have pre-diabetes—and diabetes itself is the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S., as well as a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure,” Georgetown’s Dr. Chagai Mendelson, a lead author on the research study, states in a press release about it. 

“We were able to provide preliminary evidence that a common drink could have an effect on diabetes. We hope that a much larger trial—using the lessons we learned in this trial—could be undertaken to give a more definitive answer as to the effectiveness of kombucha in reducing blood glucose levels, and hence prevent or help treat type 2 diabetes.”

Just what is kombucha?

The ancient mixture, taken in as early as 200 B.C. in China, includes tea (black or green, typically), sugar (or another sweetener like honey), “healthy” germs, and yeast that ferments from a week to a month. The outcome: a gently carbonated beverage with a tasty taste. Fermentation includes a tint of alcohol to the drink, however very little—typically less than 0.5%, making it technically non-alcoholic.

The beverage is popular, no doubt—the worldwide market deserved almost $1.7 billion in 2019 with a forecasted yearly development of 20%, according to the research study’s authors. And it’s understood for its viewed health advantages. But little research study has actually been done on its real health advantages, if it has any, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Still, possible plusses, according to the Cleveland Clinic, consist of:

  • Weight loss
  • Reduction in swelling
  • Improving gut health
  • Boosting body immune system
  • Fighting cancer
  • Detoxification
  • Protecting heart health

Consuming the brew is not, nevertheless, without threats. Possible negative effects of drinking excessive kombucha consist of:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • GI problems
  • Ketoacidosis (a condition where there’s excessive acid in your blood)

If kombucha is brewed in clay vessels or other containers with lead, lead toxicity is likewise possible, Cleveland Clinic diet professional Maxine Smith states. Another threat: unhygienic developing conditions, specifically if kombucha is made in your home. Smith suggests looking out for odd coloring or a nail polish-like odor.

“Most of the commercially packaged kombucha at the store is perfectly fine,” she states. “But if you’re at some random flea market and there’s a kombucha table, it might not necessarily be the best place to get it.”


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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