Kombucha is basically yeast though it is sometimes considered a mushroom. It is consumed in the form of tea. The kombucha is first fermented black tea and sugar mainly, and also with certain other ingredients. The effectiveness of kombucha in treating any illness does not have any medical backup but it is drunk by people as a medicine. Here we will discuss the various side effects posed by drinking kombucha.
10 Negative Side Effects Of Kombucha
Acidosis is the presence of abnormally high amounts of acid in the body. This leads to a life threatening condition. In 1995 a report was submitted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that acidosis from kombucha can lead to death. Two women who had admitted to the centre with severe acidosis had been drinking kombucha tea that they had made at home, daily for two months. After admission one of them died without responding much to medication. The other women survived after recovering from a stopped heart.(1)
Drinking kombucha in moderation is the key to keeping good health. Excess consumption of it leads to bloating among individuals. Various reports show that when they consumed kombucha in moderation their problems with bloating diminished and they began to enjoy the health benefits of kombucha.(1)
3. Alters Blood Sugar Levels
If you have the habit of drinking kombucha tea regularly and have to go through a surgery soon, then you must stop consuming your tea. Kombucha is known to affect your blood sugar levels. So it is better to stop drinking at least two weeks before surgery.(2)
Kombucha has caffeine content. If it is drunk in excess quantity then it leads to diarrhea. It is important to regulate the amount of tea you are drinking. If you are suffering from diarrhea then consult the doctor at once.(3)
5. Liver Damage
It affects the liver just like alcohol does, though not with equal severity. Death from liver damage caused by drinking kombucha is rare. According to the American Cancer Society, liver damage from drinking kombucha occurs just like it does for jaundice. Yellowing of skin, eyes and nails are noticeable.(4)
6. Lead Poisoning
Kombucha contains certain amounts of lead and chromium. There have been some documented cases that show that drinking excessive kombucha tea has caused lead poisoning. In 2008 a study published in Food Chemistry pointed out that kombucha contains around 3.2 mg/g of fluoride, an amount that is significantly more than what is generally found in unfermented black tea.(5) (6)
This is not a common side effect noticed among all. Allergies from kombucha may happen due to addition of taste enhancers found in certain types of kombucha. Sometimes the unpasteurized version of kombucha is used at homes to brew the tea. This can be contaminated with pathogens which is toxic for the body. Improper storing of kombucha is also harmful.(7)
[ Read: Unexpected Side Effects Of Black Tea ]
Researchers have found out that kombucha contains yeast. Many of the yeast strains found in kombucha have the same strain as that used in wine and beer production. A particular yeast, known as the Zygosaccharomyces bailii or Z. bailii yeast, when it feeds on sugar they produce alcohol and gas. It produces acetaldehyde when it feeds on sugar. Acetaldehyde is a carcinogen, irritant and air pollutant that is found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust. If it enters the body in high enough levels, it can lead to a rapid pulse rate, intense sweating, skin flushing, nausea, and vomiting as well.
[ Read: Harmful Side Effects Of Green Tea ]
Acne is also considered a possible outcome of kombucha tea. This is because of the introduction of new gut bacteria. When new bacteria is introduced, pathogenic bacteria die to accommodate the new ones. This has a downstream effect on the health of your skin thus causing an acne outbreak.
[ Read: Major Side Effects Of Peppermint Tea ]
10. Weakens Immune System
Kombucha supports the growth of certain bacteria in the body. It affects the immune system of the body especially if your immunity is already weak.
These are some of the side effects one needs to be careful of while drinking kombucha. The side effects are less known and rare. However if you encounter any of these it is suggest to stop the consumption and seek medical intervention at the earliest to avoid any further damage.
- Pathophysiology, Evaluation, and Treatment of Bloating : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264926/
- Sugar Sweetened Beverage Consumption Among Adults With Children in the Home : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5945829/
- [Chronic diarrhoea: the importance of an accurate medical history] : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16538836/
- A case of Kombucha tea toxicity : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19460826/
- Lead poisoning : https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lead-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354717
- Nutraceuticals: Recent Advances of Bioactive Food Components : https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jchem/2015/591869/
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