There are many claims about the benefits of kombucha, including that “Kombucha possesses anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and antifungal activity as well as hepatoprotective effects.” And that “Kombucha is nonallergic and nontoxic (Seyyed et al., 2020).
There aren’t many studies that explore the effects of kombucha, but these claims are supported by the well-studied elements of kombucha that support vitality. Examples include:
Polyphenols found in black tea, used to make kombucha are thought to be potentially anti-cancerous (Seyyed et al., 2020)..
Kombucha contains antioxidants, which are substances that help clear ‘reactive oxygen species,’ which are substances that damage the cell. One study supports this, claiming that, depending on what medium, substrate, and plant material is infused, fermented beverages like kombucha have increased antioxidant activities (C.I. GAMBOA-GÓMEZ et al., 2016). According to another study, the fermentation process caused a “marked increase in polyphenol content and antioxidant activity initially, but this slowed progressively over time.” Nonetheless, the antioxidant activity is increased from the fermentation process, which is beneficial when trying to prevent cell damage (Yi Hsieh et al., 2021)
According to another study, kombucha fermented beverage preparation exhibited a “remarkable antimicrobial activity against some pathogenic bacteria and fungal strains,” “superior in its activity when compared with” neutralized or heat-treated kombucha. In other words, the growth of harmful bacteria is actually hampered by kombucha. (Al-Mohammadi et al., 2021)
More research is necessary when it comes to kombucha, but the traditional beverage has a wealth of potential just when considering its components. Even if the potential isn’t enough to have you reaching for the SCOBY, the flavor will be. Give it a try this weekend and let us know what you think!
Al-Mohammadi, A.-R., Ismaiel, A. A., Ibrahim, R. A., Moustafa, A. H., Abou Zeid, A., & Enan, G. (2021). Chemical Constitution and Antimicrobial Activity of Kombucha Fermented Beverage. Molecules, 26(16), 5026. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26165026
C.I. GAMBOA-GÓMEZ et al.: ACE Inhibition of Kombucha-Fermented Infusions, Food Technol. Biotechnol. 54 (3) 367–374 (2016)
Mousavi, S. M., Hashemi, S. A., Zarei, M., Gholami, A., Lai, C. W., Chiang, W. H., Omidifar, N., Bahrani, S., & Mazraedoost, S. (2020). Recent Progress in Chemical Composition, Production, and Pharmaceutical Effects of Kombucha Beverage: A Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine (ECAM), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/4397543
Seyyed Mojtaba Mousavi, Seyyed Alireza Hashemi, Maryam Zarei, Ahmad Gholami, Chin Wei Lai, Wei Hung Chiang, Navid Omidifar, Sonia Bahrani, Sargol Mazraedoost, “Recent Progress in Chemical Composition, Production, and Pharmaceutical Effects of Kombucha Beverage: A Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2020, Article ID 4397543, 14 pages, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/4397543
Yi Hsieh,1 Ming-Chung Chiu,1 and Jui-Yu Chou1Department of Biology, National Changhua University of Education, Changhua 500, Taiwan