Unless you have been living under some sort of a rock, you have undoubtably noticed the shelves of your grocery store exploding with different varieties of Kombucha—or, if you live in a super boujee city, perhaps you even have your very own luxury kombucha bar.
So what’s the deal, does this age-old magical elixir really have health benefits or is it just another wildly overpriced diabetes cocktail.
What is it?
Booch (dis is what I call it), is fermented tea made by adding a culture of bacteria and yeast to a solution of tea, sugar and sometimes fruit juice and other flavourings. It’s often referred to as “mushroom-tea” because during the brewing process the bacteria and yeast grow into a mass that resembles a mushroom. In my opinion it looks less like a mushroom and more like a uterus…yum.
If you like drinking vinegar from a shoe, then you will probably like Kombucha and the tasty array of fruity flaves it comes in. I’m not gonna lie, I like it.
I like it so much that I have paid as much as $5 entire Canadian dollars…which translates to about $7.50 American dollars, for one of these bad boys like I am fucking Kanye West rollin’ through Whole Foods. I mean, my iPhone has the ultimate level of protection, so if that doesn’t paint a picture of my disregard for personal finances when it comes to Kombucha, I don’t know what will. (I’ve always believed that your phone protection level is a solid indicator of economic status…if you can afford to go protection free, you have money to burn.)
But when it comes to droppin’ dollars on fermented bacteria, money aint no thang.
Back to my point…is this shit healthy or nah?
Healthy or nah?
Some of the health claims include: disease prevention, healthy gut support, powerful antioxidant, mental health improvements, lung health, antibacterial properties, healthy liver promotion and it may help with symptoms of diabetes.
I did some research and although this all sounds pretty rad, the evidence of any real health benefits is sketch AF. Out of sixty-five journal articles on PubMed, only nineteen studies used human subjects. Nine of the articles showed people with adverse affects and the others could not link directly to any health benefits.
A clinical review (2) of studies found no supported evidence to its “efficacy and safety,” but plenty of documented risks. The risks they are referring to is mainly from “home brew” or over consumption, when the fermentation process goes awry resulting in hepatotoxicity.
However, according to Examine.com “Kombucha, at least when given to rodents, appears to be beneficial in reducing toxicity of known stressors on the liver. This is likely due to anti-oxidative mechanisms or increased glucuronidation of toxins.” So…I guess, maybe, that’s kind of good news, if you are a rat with liver disease?
In lab studies, kombucha has been found to have antibacterial effects against staph, E. coli and two strains of salmonella.
The anti-oxidative properties of kombucha appear to preserve white blood cell integrity in vitro when exposed to radiation, which is an expected effect from antioxidant compounds; practical significance of this information is not known.
“The ‘detoxifying’ properties of kombucha refer to the ability of some acids produced during the fermentation process to increase glucuronidation in the human body, which is involved in eliminating some drugs and xenobiotics from the body by conjugating them,” – Examine.com.
SO, if you were too lazy to read all that sciency shit—basically there are some potential benefits from Kombucha which stem from its antioxidant properties and the formation of some healthy bacteria which can benefit the gut. Because gut health is blowin’ up and the area of study is becoming increasingly more popular, more conclusive research may show up in the future. However, for now the area that looks most promising is it’s potential liver detoxification properties.
Booch is defo not a magic potion, but it does have a handful of potential health benefits. I say, if you like it and have the dispensable income that supports your habits, there are much worse things you could be consuming.
Even though I like it and drink it from time to time, if I’m going to drink 12g of sugar, i’d rather it be in the form of a vodka shot. #sinkshots4life #ifyouknowmeyouunderstand #shotsshotsshotsshotsshots