Kombucha and gut health

Kombucha is not only delicious - it's also good for your health and is a great alternative to alcohol.

How does drinking kombucha improve your gut health?

Kombucha is a fermented product. During the fermentation process, healthy bacteria called probiotics are produced. Probiotics have been found to improve many areas of health and improve short term and chronic gastro-intestinal conditions.

The probiotics found in kombucha work to improve gut function and fight off bad bacteria in the gut. Acetic acid bacteria, one of the probiotics found in kombucha, works by killing harmful bacteria such as e-coli and salmonella. This is why drinking kombucha is a popular remedy for stomach upsets. 

In the long term, regularly consuming probiotics can improve a long number of gastrointestinal health conditions including ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. As well as this, probiotics have been shown to assist with weight loss and improve inflammation.

Here are some recent studies published in the National Diary of Medicine which support this. 

  • Probiotics for Gastrointestinal Conditions: A Summary of the Evidence (Milajerdi A, Mousavi SM, Sadeghi A, Salari-Moghaddam A, Parohan M, Larijani B, Esmaillzadeh A. The effect of probiotics on inflammatory biomarkers: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Eur J Nutr. 2020)
  • Costa MAC, Vilela DLS, Fraiz GM, Lopes IL, Coelho AIM, Castro LCV, Martin JGP. Effect of kombucha intake on the gut microbiota and obesity-related comorbidities: A systematic review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2023
  • ‘Kombucha showed remarkable inhibitory activity against S. aureus (salmonella) and E. coli bacteria’’ - Al-Mohammadi AR, Ismaiel AA, Ibrahim RA, Moustafa AH, Abou Zeid A, Enan G. Chemical Constitution and Antimicrobial Activity of Kombucha Fermented Beverage. Molecules. 2021    

Why is maintaining our gut health important?

As well as improving gut related health conditions and illnesses, our gut health is linked to other areas of our health including our mental wellbeing, blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Having good gut health is important for maintaining good digestion and a strong immune system.

Recent research has shed light on the connection between gut health and mood regulation. The gut is often referred to as the "second brain" because it produces many of the same neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, that the brain does. In fact, about 90% of serotonin, the "feel-good" neurotransmitter, is produced in the gut.

Can help regulate blood sugar levels and manage type 2 diabetes - this 2023 study found that individuals who consumed kombucha daily for 4 weeks had lower fasting blood sugar levels than those who did not: Atkinson FS, Cohen M, Lau K, Brand-Miller JC. Glycemic index and insulin index after a standard carbohydrate meal consumed with live kombucha: A randomised, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. Front Nutr. 2023 Feb 17;10:1036717. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1036717. PMID: 36875857; PMCID: PMC9982099.