Recent Study Shows Kombucha Tea’s Anti-Hyperglycemic Effects in Diabetic Adults
A recent study published in Frontiers in Nutrition evaluated the anti-hyperglycemic effects of kombucha tea in diabetic adults. Diabetes mellitus, one of the leading causes of death worldwide, is a significant risk factor associated with various health conditions. The high prevalence of diabetes has prompted a search for dietary strategies that may lower the disease burden.
About the Study
The present study evaluated kombucha as an anti-hyperglycemic agent in adults with type 2 diabetes (T2D). This double-blind, single-center, randomized, controlled cross-over trial was conducted in Washington, DC. Participants consumed either kombucha or a placebo drink for four weeks, followed by a washout period, and then switched to the alternate drink for another four weeks. Fasting blood glucose levels were measured daily, and participants also reported on their overall health and other outcomes.
The study recruited 28 participants, but the final sample size was 12 individuals after exclusions or voluntary withdrawals. Kombucha significantly reduced fasting glucose concentrations after four weeks compared to baseline levels. Notably, there were no significant differences in fasting blood glucose levels between participants in the kombucha and placebo groups. However, when analyzing participants with higher baseline fasting blood glucose levels, kombucha was associated with a significant reduction compared to placebo.
Kombucha was found to contain lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, and yeasts. The placebo did not contain any detectable microbes. The researchers also performed 16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA) sequencing, which revealed the presence of Firmicutes bacteria and various genera from the Lactobacillaceae family. The yeasts and fungi in kombucha were mainly from the Dekkera and Sordariales genera. Kombucha also contained acetic acid, lactic acid, and ethanol, while these substances were not detected in the placebo.
The study demonstrated that a four-week kombucha intervention caused a significant decrease in fasting blood glucose levels in T2D subjects with elevated levels. However, the study’s limitations include a small sample size and high attrition rate. While the study revealed the positive effects of kombucha on glucose levels, larger-scale studies are needed to reach definitive conclusions.