Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

Using Kombucha Tea as a Dietary Supplement

Kombucha tea is a type of tea that is ingested for the attainment of medical purposes. A type of fermented tea, Kombucha tea currently does not enjoy a wealth of scientific research that supports it as a bringer of medical benefits. There are, however, several centuries worth of anecdotal evidence that establishes the idea that Kombucha tea carries with it some medical benefits.

While Kombucha tea is suspected by some as having its origins in either Ancient Japan or China, no ancient or historical text from Japan or China ever mentions this type of tea-based beverage. While there are a host of claims about health benefits surrounding Kombucha--such as assisting in cancer recovery, sharpening your eyesight and improving the elasticity of your skin--these are not verified and totally subjective.

No Direct Evidence of Health Benefits

Before you start using Kombucha tea with the expectation that it can be used as a dietary supplement, you ought to do yourself a big favor and educate yourself on where this supposition about the tea is coming from. Kombucha tea is very popular outside the US, but even so, it has not been subjected to a documented, human trial that you can verify by reading about it in a popular medical journal.

Up to this point, the biggest form of so-called evidence about Kombucha tea being a dietary supplement comes from animal studies, personal reports and also lab research. Because of this disappointing and unsatisfactory amount of evidence, there is no direct evidence that establishes this tea as having health benefits.

Claims about Health Benefits

The alleged benefits of drinking Kombucha tea relate to claims involving detoxification of the body, improving your mind's sharpness, increasing your energy, improving joint recovery, aiding your digestion, and also helping food go down your esophagus with greater ease. None of these are verified, but the biggest chunk of health claims centers around Kombucha tea's apparent role in detoxifying your body. These claims stem in large part due to the speculation surrounding the presence of glucuronic acid in the tea. This type of acid is only suspected of being a part of the tea, because waste chemicals associated with the acid are seen in greater amounts in the urine of people who have drunk Kombucha tea. The method of analysis used to hypothesize the presence of this detoxifying acid in the tea was an unreliable one, and so questions have remained.

Safety Concerns

Before you commit yourself to actually drinking Kombucha tea, you should know that there are also reports of health problems. For instance, there are reported cases of upset stomach along with even some allergic reactions, but these are trumped in seriousness by reports about metabolic acidosis and toxic reactions stemming directly from drinking Kombucha. Contamination concerns are also noteworthy with Kombucha tea because it is most often brewed in homes where hygiene is an afterthought instead of a primary goal.

Article Comments