Kombucha Benefits & Side Effects

Kombucha Benefits & Side Effects

Health Claims

Proponents of kombucha have made many claims about the health benefits of the fermented beverage. One of the most common claims among commercially sold kombucha brands is that it can help increase good gut bacteria, leading to improved digestion and overall better health. Others have made claims that suggest that kombucha has properties that cure asthma, diabetes, gout, herpes, and even cancer.

Kombucha Benefits

The fermentation that takes place when kombucha is brewed plays a major part in the claims about improved gut health. Kombucha is brewed with SCOBY, or a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. When these ferments, it creates probiotics, which are often cited as beneficial bacteria for the gut.

Many people have taken probiotics to help treat diarrhea and ease the symptoms of irritable bowel system. Some people claim that probiotics also help to prevent indigestion and acid reflux. Because they create a balance in the gut, they may be beneficial in overall gut health. When we drink alcohol, use antibiotics, or eat unhealthily, we often reduce the number of helpful microbes in our gut. Replenishing our probiotic supply can help us to counteract the negative effects of this.

In addition to probiotics, there are many enzymes and organic acids that can help to promote healthy digestion. They can either aid an already healthy gut or help to relieve the symptoms inherent in an unhealthy gut. As they work together, we experience better gut health which leads to improved overall health, both physically and mentally.

Many kombuchas are made with green tea, which also has benefits for the stomach. It contains polyphenols which work as antioxidants to protect and nourish the body. Green tea can help to increase calories burned throughout the day, promoting weight loss and a reduction in belly fat. These can all be linked to better gut health.

Currently, there is not much scientific evidence that supports a direct link between kombucha consumption and improved overall health. Some correlations suggest that the cultures can act similarly to probiotics, and there is certainly anecdotal evidence of relief in some people who have suffered from digestive issues. However, these anecdotes do not constitute enough proof to definitively say that kombucha can fix your gut health.

Should You Use Kombucha to Lose Weight?

While there is no scientific evidence that kombucha works as a weight loss agent, there are many success stories and several correlations that may suggest that it can help. If your goal is to lose fat and reduce your waistline, you can use kombucha as a safe supplement, but you shouldn’t rely on it as a miracle cure for obesity.

Kombucha has vitamins and nutrients that can contribute to health, so there is generally no harm in consuming the beverage unless you have other underlying health issues. If you have a history of alcohol abuse, liver damage, or diabetes, you should consult with your physician before using kombucha as a weight loss aid.

Much like any other so-called miracle cure, you can’t just drink kombucha every day and expect to have a 6 pack in a month. You must exercise regularly and follow a healthy, balanced diet. The best way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you expend on a daily basis. If drinking kombucha can help you to reduce your cravings for unhealthy food, then it is perfectly safe to use as an aid. Just remember that kombucha alone is not going to help you reach your goals.

Side Effects

There are some side effects that can come along with consuming kombucha. Some may be positive while others are negative, so it is important to consume it in moderation to see how it reacts with your system.

Alcohol Buzz

Kombucha contains some alcohol, so if you have a low tolerance, you may experience the effects that you would receive from having a cocktail. Generally, this won’t happen with store-bought kombucha as the percentage is less than .05, but it could happen with stronger, home-brewed products.

Improved Digestion

Some people have reported that they benefit from a more regular bathroom schedule after consuming kombucha. His could be because of the healthy bacteria that kombucha introduces to the gut. Of course, this should be monitored and taken in moderation.

Improved Mental State

Because of the high level of B vitamins present in kombucha, it could help to improve your mental state. B12 is known to increase energy levels and to help with mental focus.

Lowered Blood Sugar

Kombucha may be harmful for people with diabetes, contributing to low blood sugar levels, so it is important to monitor this if you have diabetes and drink kombucha.

Yeast Infection

For those who suffer from candida, kombucha may be better avoided due to its high levels of yeast. Although it can help with digestion, it may contribute to an increased likelihood of a yeast infection.


In some cases, people have suffered from acidosis, which is a condition when there is an abnormally high amount of acid in the body. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal.

Liver Damage

A few rare cases have resulted in liver damage. This is more likely if you are an alcoholic or if you have a weakened immune system. The tea can support the growth of certain bacteria and fungi that can lead to infections if your body is unable to deal with them.


Because kombucha has caffeine, it may cause diarrhea in people who are sensitive to the substance.

If you are cleared to try kombucha, it can be a tasty and possibly effective way to improve your overall health. It doesn’t work for everybody, but you may notice some benefits when you drink it. It is important to moderate your consumption, as certain negative side effects can take place. Your best bet is to start with small amounts of kombucha. It is harmless for most people, and in the end you may find that your gut health improves in the long run.

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