Kombucha tea is a little different from regular tea. It’s a special concoction made from tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. This drink is sometimes called kombucha mushroom tea. Kombucha isn’t actually a mushroom though — it’s a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding this colony of bacteria and yeast to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The tea contains vinegar, B vitamins and a host of other chemical compounds.
There have been many health benefits attributed to Kombucha tea, but little scientific evidence to back up these claims. It might be worthwhile, therefore, to take a look at the results of a new clinical trial that verifies at least one health benefit associated with the fermented drink: improved liver health.
Researchers at the Department of Life Sciences and Biotechnology in Jadavpur University, India, investigated the antioxidant property of kombucha tea. Specifically, the researchers wanted to know how kombucha tea would perform when pitted against cytotoxicity induced by tertiary butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) in mice liver cells. TBPH is an organic peroxide that causes oxidative stress resulting in organ disease.
The researchers found that exposure to TBHP caused a drop in cell function, increased membrane leakage and disturbed the antioxidant processes within the liver cells. TBHP exposure also disrupted mitochondrial membrane potential and induced cell death — not a good series of events at all! However, when the cells were treated with kombucha tea, the fermented drink counteracted the changes in the mitochondria of the cells and prevented cell death.
The kombucha tea treatment also reversed TBHP-induced liver toxicity with a significant efficiency. The researchers speculated that this may be due to the formation of special antioxidant molecules. The research team also found that the radical scavenging activities of kombucha were found to be significant. They concluded that kombucha tea has the potential to heal TBPH oxidative stress and liver cell death.
You can find kombucha tea in most health food stores. Get your doctor’s advice before trying the tea: some people have reported allergic-type reactions.