Fermented Tea, Kombucha, Shows Potential Benefits for Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes
A recent small pilot study suggests that fermented tea, specifically kombucha, may have potential health benefits for individuals with type 2 diabetes. Kombucha is a zesty and effervescent fermented tea that is rich in probiotics, antioxidants, and enzymes. It is believed to have originated in China or Japan and is made by fermenting black or green tea with bacteria, yeast, and sugar strains.
The clinical trial, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, involved individuals with type 2 diabetes who consumed either kombucha or a placebo drink for four weeks. The results showed that those who consumed kombucha had lower fasting blood glucose levels compared to those who consumed the placebo.
This pilot study is the first clinical trial to examine the effects of kombucha specifically on individuals with diabetes, highlighting its potential as a dietary intervention to help lower blood sugar levels. The study also analyzed the composition of the fermenting microorganisms in kombucha to identify the most active ingredients. It found equal amounts of lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, and a yeast called Dekkera.
While the difference in fasting blood glucose levels between the kombucha and placebo groups was not statistically significant, the promising results pave the way for larger trials to confirm and expand upon these findings. Given that many individuals in the United States have pre-diabetes, and diabetes remains a leading cause of death in the country, finding effective ways to lower blood glucose levels is crucial in preventing or treating type 2 diabetes and reducing the risk of associated health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
The kombucha used in the study was provided by Craft Kombucha, a commercial manufacturer based in Washington, DC, that has since been rebranded as Brindle Boxer Kombucha.
While this small pilot study provides preliminary evidence of kombucha’s potential impact on diabetes, further research is needed to determine its effectiveness in reducing blood glucose levels and its potential as a treatment option for type 2 diabetes.