Drinking kombucha may help to reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes
- Kombucha may help reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes
- 12 volunteers saw their levels drop after drinking it with dinner for four weeks
Drinking kombucha may help to reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, new research indicates.
The fashionable drink was given to 12 people, who were asked to take it daily with dinner for four weeks. They also spent four weeks drinking another drink, which was similar in flavour and appearance, so they couldn’t tell the difference.
After four weeks of drinking kombucha – which is made by fermenting tea with bacteria and yeast – the volunteers saw their blood sugar level drop significantly, which was not the case with the other drink.
These results are based on analysis of just seven people within the study, so far more research is needed (SUBS – must keep).
However, studies in animals suggest kombucha may increase the proportion of healthy bugs living in someone’s gut, which may in turn affect their metabolism and have an effect on blood sugar.
Kombucha fans claim it can lower cholesterol, give you a flatter tummy and even protect you from cancer, but the so-called miracle cure is simply a fermented cold tea
The drink may also help to regenerate beta cells – which produce the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar. But it may also only appear to have an effect because drinking kombucha fills people up, so that they eat less.
Dr Dan Merenstein, co-author of the study from Georgetown University in the US, said: ‘To our knowledge this is the first clinical trial examining effects of kombucha in people with diabetes.
‘A lot more research needs to be done but this is very promising.’
The study asked people to drink both kombucha and a non-kombucha drink, with eight weeks off in between.
That meant they could compare the effect of both drinks in the same person, with the same typical diet and lifestyle.
The average blood sugar in the volunteers, after a month drinking kombucha, fell from 164 to 116 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood.
Good control of blood sugar is important in diabetes to try to avoid complications such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetic ulcers which can lead to amputations, and eye problems.
People’s blood sugar was measured using a finger-prick blood test after fasting, before breakfast.
The difference in blood sugar after drinking kombucha appeared to be most significant in people who had poorly controlled blood sugar to begin with, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.
The kombucha used in the study was produced by a commercial company but the researchers say most kombucha drinks should be fairly similar in their ingredients of bacteria and yeast.
Commenting on the study (SUBS – must keep this quote), Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said: ‘This is a very small trial and so the results are far from convincing. ‘I would not be tempted to take kombucha on the basis of these results.
‘Rather, I would do the things we know work to help improve sugar or diabetes control – and that is better activity, sleep, and trying to reduce my intake of discretionary calories.’
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