Is Kombucha Really A Super Drink?

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Kombucha has become the new hip drink within the past year or so, taking over the shelves of supermarkets such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. It has spiked in popularity because of its high content of probiotics and antioxidants and its supposed health benefits, such as its ability to help with indigestion, arthritis, and even cancer (source). The owner of one of the biggest Kombucha suppliers, Synergy drinks claims that Kombucha stopped his mother’s breast cancer from spreading throughout her body and saved her life.

The fermented tea, filled with sugar, bacteria and yeast, which you can often see floating at the bottom of the bottle, tastes slightly tart and vinegary, and has a very low alcohol content of about 0.5%. You can buy Kombucha at your local grocery store or even ferment it yourself. Over the summer I actually began buying Kombucha from a local brewery near my house and it was quite delicious. The process of making the tea is really interesting to watch, and creates this weird blob-like, gross-looking substance like this that is really weird (I totally understand why she’s making that face). But with all of the hype surrounding this drink and its sudden rise in the market, I wondered if the health benefits that people believe Kombucha to have are true.
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According to this article from the Washington Post, the health benefits that are associated with the consumption of this beverage have no actual scientific basis. There have been no research studies on people and very few on animals. However, the drink is known to have many probiotics, which we do know are good for your health and immune system. But the probiotics are only present in unpasteurized Kombucha, and if unpasteurized Kombucha isn’t made in very clean places there could be very negative health consequences because of leftover harmful bacteria.

And according to WebMD, the health benefits are really only based on personal testimonials and those few studies on animals as indicated in the Washington Post article. Because there have been no experiments conducted, we cannot say that Kombucha is the cause of these health benefits, as there may be some other confounding variables involved. So, I’m not saying that we should stop consuming this tasty drink, but I am saying that until we have more evidence, don’t drink this tea thinking that it will definitely cure your cancer or boost that immune system, because we just don’t know.

2 thoughts on “Is Kombucha Really A Super Drink?

  1. Griffin Lambert Brooks

    Rebecca- I’ve never heard of this drink before! From what you described it to be it sounds quite good and personally I believe that they could be healthy for you. I was never big into energy drinks and think they’re terrible for you body. That being said this sounds like it could actually help your body and its systems. I do enjoy the NAKED fruit drinks that give you the right amount of vitamins and minerals and are made from 100% real fruit and vegetable juice. I’m not sure if this drink has caffeine but here are some dangers to drinking energy drinks like monster, red bull, amp, etc.

  2. Dana Corinne Pirrotta

    I actually have never heard of Kombucha until I read this post! It inspired me to do some googling. I found this website that tells us why we should be drinking this fermented tea every day. I think that it is very interesting that there is no real scientific evidence that proves the drink’s health benefits but everyone is supposedly drinking it! I think sometimes we get so excited about a cool new cleanse or health craze that we just start consuming whatever we think might have some sort of random benefit. Although I’m not drinking kombucha, I am guilty of falling into health craze traps, too! I wonder if they will continue doing studies on it.

    -Dana

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