The fermented tea, Kombucha, has been consumed for thousands of years. Not only does the tea come bearing a delicious tangy and tart taste, but also several health benefits. There is no doubt, kombucha’s powerful probiotic benefits are far-reaching. Those suffering from diabetes- a serious but common health problem- too can benefit from the natural therapeutic agents of kombucha. According to estimates, diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that approximately 422 million people worldwide suffer from. This estimate is expected to increase by 5.6% in 2030.
While most food products are shunned by the diabetic community, kombucha isn’t due to its interesting prospective health advantages. Research has proven that kombucha is rich in antioxidants, many of which have demonstrated the ability to protect pancreatic cells, in turn regulating insulin more steadily and stabilizing blood sugar levels. A review published in 2015, in the Diabetic Care Journal states that changes in the gut microbiome plays an important role in an individual’s risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Maintaining a collection of natural bacteria can help one stay healthy and potentially increase their longevity, whereas an imbalance of good gut bacteria may impair one’s immunity system and bowel function. Another study in 2018 found that kombucha can reduce blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c levels, as well as increase insulin levels. The study further concluded it delayed absorption of bad cholesterol or LDL and raised HDL or good cholesterol levels.
Kombucha- rich with fiber, a nutrient that promotes the feeling of fullness, thereby promoting a healthy weight, can help stabilize blood sugar in those suffering from type 2 diabetes. Incorporating fermented food in your daily diabetes diet may help produce compounds that lower blood sugar levels directly while stimulating the liver to absorb more glucose.
Compared to black tea, kombucha is a better inhibitor of alpha-amylase and lipase activities in the plasma and pancreas and a better suppressor of increased glucose levels. Histological analyses also show that it protects liver-kidney function. Kombucha made with green tea is most effective for this purpose as green tea is high in antioxidants and can help prevent free radical damage to the liver. Since kombucha is made with tea, which has flavonoids they help protect against heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer.
SCOBY found within kombucha consumes the overall sugar content as it grows, but the end glucose content varies from batch to batch, brand to brand. The little yeast and bacteria employed during brewing kombucha, are hard at work, gobbling up the sugar turning it into beneficial organic acids. The process transforms the sugar from its original state as sucrose to form glucose and fructose- two of the sugars that are easier and more gentle on our bodies, and are found in fruit.
When it comes to serious health conditions like diabetes, it's always advised to consult your doctor before integrating an alien food or product into your diet. When consuming kombucha for its health benefits, make sure you aren’t drinking one that has added sugar after it's been fermented, as that would negate the purpose of the healthy drink. Check the labels, better yet if you know the brewer ask them about the processes, techniques and ingredients employed. Buying from a local company will be your best bet as they prefer brewing theirs the traditional way, much like one would at home just with the added expertise.