IMAG0908“The microbial community of Kombucha tea consists of bacteria and yeast which thrive in two mutually non-exclusive compartments: the soup or the beverage and the biofilm floating on it,” says Internal Journal of Food Microbiology.

The journal tested the tea beverage at different times up to 21 days of fermentation.

They found, “The yeast community of the biofilm did not show much variation over time and was dominated by Candida sp. (73.5-83%). The soup however, showed a significant shift in dominance from Candida sp. to Lachancea sp. on the 7th day of fermentation. This is the first report showing Candida as the most dominating yeast genus during Kombucha fermentation. Komagateibacter was identified as the single largest bacterial genus present in both the biofilm and the soup (~50%).”

As we already know there are good bacteria and bad bacteria. Bacteria is a decomposer, breaking down matter. In the forest bacteria breaks down decaying leaves and wood. This feeds the soil.

IMAG3823“The bacterial diversity was higher in the soup than in the biofilm with a peak on the seventh day of fermentation. The biochemical properties changed with the progression of the fermentation, beneficial properties of the beverage such as the radical scavenging ability increased significantly with a maximum increase at day 7,” they reported.

The American Society for Microbiology, Genome Announcements tested booch and found, “Komagataeibacter intermedius AF2, previously known as Gluconacetobacter intermedius, is a Gram-negative rod isolated from Kombucha tea.”

The tea was plated, incubated aerobically and analysed. They found Komagataeibacter intermedius AF2 produced 1.41 g/L of cellulose and found, “Gene content similar to related species: K. rhaeticus (3,460 genes), K. xylinus (3,195),K. hansenii (3,308), K. medellinensis (3,195), K. europaeus 5P3 (3,586),K. oboediens 174Bp2 (3,601), and G. diazotrophicus (3,864).”

Gluconacetobacter produces cellulose, a chain of linked sugar molecules. Cellulose is in vegetables holding the cell walls together and giving strength. 

IMAG3824The kombucha is a known Acetobacteraceae family habitat. Molekuliarnaia Biologiia says, ” Acetobacteraceae are often hard to culture in laboratory conditions and they also maintain very low abundances in their natural habitats. Thus identification of the organisms in such environments is greatly dependent on modern tools of molecular biology which require a thorough knowledge of specific conserved gene sequences that may act as primers and or probes.”

Food Chemistry reported a study testing 10 different types of tea used to ferment kombucha. They found, “An enhancement of the antioxidant and starch hydrolase inhibitory potential of the herbal teas was observed by adding the tea fungus.” This study, however, was retracted citing “article withdrawal.”

Article Withdrawal happens for, “Potential error content or possible infringements of professional ethical codes such as multiple submission, bogus claims of authorship, plagiarism, fraudulent use of data or the like.”

The article showed, “The enhancement of antioxidant and starch hydrolase inhibitory properties.”

The Journal of Food Science and Technology reported a study on kombucha, which they also call bio-tea. In the study  rats with myocardial damage were tested. They stated, “Traditional claims about Kombucha report beneficial effects such as antibiotic properties, gastric regulation, relief from joint rheumatism and positive influence on the cholesterol level, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, and aging problems.”

IMAG3849They found, “Bio-tea showed a higher preventive effect against myocardial infarction when compared to tea, as was observed by the significant reduction in heart weight, and blood glucose and increase in plasma albumin levels. Bio-tea significantly decreased cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and VLDL while simultaneously increasing the levels of HDL. Similarly a decrease in leakage of cardiac markers from the myocardium was also observed.”

One study published in Pharmaceutical Biology showed the effect of rats fed a cholesterol rich diet for 16 weeks with the the effect of Kombucha. They found, “KT (Kombucha) induced a 55% decrease of TBARS level in liver and 44% in kidney, compared with those of rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet alone. Moreover, CAT and SOD activities were reduced by 29 and 33%, respectively, in liver and 31 and 35%, respectively, in kidney, after oral administration of KT.”

IMAG3847TBARS develop as fats are processed in the liver resulting in cell damage. The oxidative stress of this process leads to disease. Some people who can listen to their body crave Kombucha after they have eaten a fat laden meal. 

However, the Internal Journal of Food Microbiology reported the study saying, “We further observed a significantly higher d-saccharic acid-1,4-lactone content and caffeine degradation property compared to previously described Kombucha tea fermentations.”

They concluded, “The findings revealed that KT administration induced attractive curative effects on hypercholesterolemic, particularly in terms of liver–kidney functions in rats.”

Food And Agriculture Immunology published a study done on 18 mice fed Kombucha showing, “Images of stained tissue sections from all groups demonstrated that inflammation criteria and demyelination in mice treated by kombucha tea were significantly less than control mice.”

They further added, “Staining of brains sections showed that kombucha tea therapy could suppress the progression of inflammation significantly by restricting leukocyte infiltration.”

IMAG3848The Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology printed a study on Kombucha finding booch has, “The potential to revert the CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity. Antioxidant molecules produced during the fermentation period could be the reason for the efficient hepatoprotective and curative properties of KT against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity.”

In layman’s terms this means Kombucha showed curative properties of liver damage.

The Journal of Food Protection says, “Kombucha has in vitro antimicrobial activity and enhances sleep and pain thresholds in rats.”

IMAG0906BioMed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported a study which performed a study lasting 31 days on diabetic rats showing, “The findings revealed that kombucha tea administration induced attractive curative effects on diabetic rats, particularly in terms of liver-kidney functions. Kombucha tea can, therefore, be considered as a potential strong candidate for future application as a functional supplement for the treatment and prevention of diabetes.”

Researchers in the study induced brain inflammation in the animals. Inflammation in the mice “was delayed in kombucha tea-treated mice compared to control mice.”

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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23 Responses to Kombucha – Liver Damage, Kidney Damage and Diabetes

  1. Susie says:

    Am confused. Candida yeast is a problem for many of us,but this is full of it. Please advise. Thanks.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      The SCOBY is a candida yeast. Remember there are good and bad strains. There’s good E. coli and bad E. coli. Good E. coli helps you digest milk. It’s an ecosystem. Kombucha is good.

    • A agree with Becky, but why is it “good” what defines it as good? Like in E-coli bacteria, there is some differences between the good ones and the bad ones, what is it that makes Kombucha good?

  2. Anna says:

    This is totally mind-blowing! Thank you, Becky!

  3. Nan Hebert says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow!! 😀

  4. Susan Hanson says:

    more translation into normal english would be appreciated for those of us who don’t understand the scientific terminology.

  5. I think I love Kombucha especially with ginger and lemon

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Lemon ginger is fantastic! I love it too! It’s a toss up between that and lemon lime. Num, num, num.

  6. Georios Kordonias says:

    strange,i add suggar to the combucha,but it is still good against diabetes

  7. Patty Prince says:

    I love kombucha! Our friends make natural awakenings kombucha its Excellent! We are Very knowledgeable about cbd oil. We have a couple of children with autism on the oil and they are making progress! I can put you in touch with their mom if you would like to follow their progress.
    There are many benefits for health by using cbd oil. Its legal and it works! No high, its thc free
    Thank you for your time
    Patty Prince
    Sunshine Global cbd oil

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Thank you Patty, I have added you to my contacts and left your contact information for others. I do not promote other businesses generally but this type of source is valuable for some. You are an exception.

  8. Stacy says:

    I suffer from a Candida overgrowth…..would drinking kombucha be good or bad for me?

  9. Are there any dangers to be aware of when making kombucha yourself? Thanks..

    • Blanca says:

      Make sure that your hands and the working area is clean. You should wash your hands with soap and then with vinegar before handling the scoby or utensils.

      • Becky Plotner says:

        Just so no one gets overwhelmed, quick calculation says I’ve fermented roughly 1248 gallons of Kombucha and I’ve never paid close attention to washing my hands before making Kombucha. I can guarantee I’ve never washed with vinegar prior to making it. There are many, many ways to make anything. Kombucha is forgiving.

        • Scissorhands says:

          I agree, cold temps are the only problem with pathogenic microbes, if the brew is working and acidic, and the starter is acidic enough, KT kills unwanted microbes on jars and bottles as well as intestines. I only ever rinse with cold water, never scrub or wipe jars and bottles. Makes sure hands are not oily though re handcreams, handling meats and cooking oils. Obviously they need to be reasonably clean…

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