Kombucha: Is it safe?
In an era when we are continuously bombarded with new and trendy health fads, it’s always wise to do your due diligence and research before you jump on the bandwagon.
Kombucha has been on the radar for several years. Often billed as a natural drink containing nutrients associated with health benefits, it is fermented black or green tea containing sugar, bacteria and yeast. Kombucha originated in Northeast China around 220 B.C. and was eventually brought to Europe in the early 20th century.1
Pros vs Cons of Kombucha
There is some evidence that kombucha may offer the same kind of benefits that probiotic supplements do, including promoting a healthy immune system and preventing constipation. But according to the Mayo Clinic, the medical studies on kombucha’s role in health and the prevention of disease is very limited.2
Proponents of the fermented beverage claim it can cure everything from high blood pressure to cancer, but it’s important to note that these claims are not backed by science. Despite the fact that the drink is nearly 2000 years old, there just isn’t enough evidence to support the claims that it is a miracle beverage that can cure all ills.
More importantly, there can be risks associated with drinking kombucha. There have been reports of stomach upsets, infections, liver problems and allergic reactions in those who consume the tea.3 It’s possible that this is because kombucha is often brewed at home, and if conditions are not sterile or the wrong kind of pots are used for brewing you could end up with contaminated tea.4
What to look out for when trying new food trend
Even if you’re considering commercially brewed kombucha, check out the manufacturer thoroughly to ensure that they have not had any complaints about the safety of their tea, and always read the ingredients on the bottle so you know exactly what you’re consuming.
If you’re considering trying something new to improve your health, the best thing to do is find reputable, non-biased sources to give you more information about the product you’re thinking of consuming or using. Don’t just go to the product’s website – they will of course always offer glowing reports – check with sites like WebMD and the Mayo Clinic, for example, for additional information.
It’s also important to always visit your doctor before trying any kind of health supplement or diet, and before making other health-related changes in your routine. Your doctor is the best source of information and can offer safe alternatives to help you achieve your health goals, whatever they may be.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so make sure to do your research before trying the next health fad that comes along.
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