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A recent study conducted at Georgetown University School of Health in Washington, DC found that kombucha, a popular fermented tea drink, may help lower blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects over 37 million people in the US and is characterized by high blood sugar levels (glucose) due to a lack of insulin.
In the study, 12 participants with type 2 diabetes were assigned to drink either kombucha or a placebo beverage daily for four weeks. After an eight-week break, the groups were reversed, and the participants’ blood sugar levels were monitored for an additional four weeks. The results indicated that regular kombucha consumption may decrease baseline glucose levels by nearly 30 percent.
Lead study author, Chagai Mendelson, MD, stated that the study provides preliminary evidence that kombucha could have an impact on diabetes. However, he emphasized the need for larger trials to validate the effectiveness of kombucha in reducing blood glucose levels and potentially preventing or aiding in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Kombucha is a fermented drink that has been consumed for centuries, believed to have originated in Northeast China. It gradually gained popularity in Russia, Europe, and the US throughout the 20th century. Today, the kombucha market is valued at over $2.6 billion and is projected to grow at a rate of 15.6 percent annually by 2030.
Aside from its potential benefits for blood sugar levels, kombucha is also known for its alleged positive effects on gut health. As a product of fermentation, kombucha contains probiotics that may improve digestion. It is also a source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamins C and B, which can protect against oxidative damage.
However, it’s important to note that while studies on kombucha’s health benefits have shown promise, they are still limited, and further research is needed. It is possible to consume too much kombucha, leading to symptoms like fatigue, nausea, and digestive issues. Pregnant or breastfeeding individuals, those with compromised immune systems, and those unsure if kombucha suits them should seek medical advice before incorporating it into their regular diet.
While kombucha is not a magic solution on its own, it can be a part of a balanced, healthy diet when consumed in moderation. Registered dietitian Julia Zumpano advises not to overdo it or expect drastic results. However, incorporating kombucha while moving towards a healthier lifestyle may have positive outcomes.
For those interested in exploring kombucha, there are various popular and well-regarded brands to choose from:
Popular Kombucha Drinks:
Based in Los Angeles, Health-Ade offers a range of kombucha flavors, including Berry Lemonade, Watermelon, Tropical Punch, and Pomegranate.
Remedy’s kombucha options are available in cans and include flavors such as Ginger Lemon, Mango Passion, and Apple Crisp.
3. Bear’s Fruit:
This New York brand focuses on gut health with probiotic sparkling water and kombucha options. They offer unique flavors like Strawberry Jalapeño, Pineapple Mint, and Blueberry Lavender.
4. Valley Isle:
Hailing from Hawaii, Valley Isle’s raw kombucha has a slightly different taste profile and comes in flavors like Guava Pineapple, Pineapple Ginger, and Kula Strawberry.
5. Farm Juice:
Farm Juice sources its ingredients from its farm in Hopewell, NJ. Their artisanal kombucha range includes flavors like Smooth Strawberry, Tranquil Apple, and Sacred Pear.
6. Brew Dr:
Brew Dr is the only national kombucha brand certified as B Corp. They prioritize social and environmental causes alongside great-tasting kombucha. Their flavors include Prickly Pear, Island Mango, and Blackberry Trails.
Teazen, a South Korean favorite, is available in the US. It comes in a unique packet form and is quick and easy to prepare by simply adding it to cold water.
In conclusion, while kombucha shows potential benefits for lowering blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes, further research is needed to confirm these findings. Kombucha can be part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation alongside other lifestyle changes. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your routine, especially if you have specific health concerns or conditions.