Despite having a very ugly appearance, new research indicates that a SCOBY may be able to assist Type 2 diabetics control their blood sugar levels. According to the study, those who drank 8 ounces of kombucha daily for four weeks observed a drop in their blood sugar levels, from 164 to 116 milligrammes per deciliter.
The research was published in the Frontiers in Nutrition journal on Tuesday by scientists from Georgetown University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the nonprofit MedStar Health.
A symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast produces kombucha, a fermented, sweetened black tea beverage, which has long been promoted as being healthy due to claims that it boosts immunity and energy, lessens food cravings, and reduces gastrointestinal inflammation.
“Some laboratory and rodent studies of kombucha have shown promise, and one small study in people without diabetes showed kombucha lowered blood sugar,” study co-author Dr. Dan Merenstein, a professor at Georgetown’s School of Health, stated in a release.
But to our knowledge, this is the first clinical investigation that looked at how kombucha affected diabetics. Although much more research is necessary, this is quite encouraging. In the experiment, one group drank kombucha while the other consumed a placebo. Nobody was informed which beverage they would be receiving.
The combinations were switched between the groups and instructed to be consumed for four weeks after a two-month interval to “wash out” the biological effects of the beverages. Blood sugar levels appeared to be unaffected by the placebo drinks.
According to the American Diabetes Association, the ideal range for fasting blood sugar is 80 to 130 milligrammes per deciliter. Participants drank kombucha made by Craft Kombucha, a business in the Washington, D.C., region. The authors of the study found that the microbial mixes in various kombucha brands slightly vary.
Dr. Robert Hutkins, the study’s principal author, said: “However, the primary bacteria and yeasts are highly reproducible and likely to be functionally comparable between brands and batches, which was comforting for our trial. 90% to 95% of the more than 37 million Americans who have diabetes, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, have Type 2 diabetes.
More than one in three adult Americans, or 96 million people, have prediabetes. In addition to being a significant risk factor for renal failure, heart disease, and stroke, diabetes is the eighth largest cause of mortality in the US, according to lead study author Dr. Chagai Mendelson.
Mendelson stated that more research is necessary to determine kombucha’s impact on diabetes. The researcher continued, “We anticipate that a much larger experiment, employing the lessons we gained in this trial, may be done to give a more conclusive response to the effectiveness of kombucha in lowering blood glucose levels, and so prevent or help treat Type 2 diabetes.