Drinking kombucha has surprising effect on a common disease

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink (Picture: Getty)

Scientists have called for large trials to examine whether drinking kombucha can help reduce blood sugar levels among patients with type 2 diabetes.

The fermented tea drink, which has become increasingly popular in the last few years, was linked to lower blood sugar levels in a small ‘feasibility study’.

Scientists carry out these assessments to see whether or not there would be benefit in setting up large-scale clinical trials.

The new assessment, conducted on 12 patients with type 2 diabetes, required half to drink about eight ounces of kombucha every day for four weeks.

The other half were given a placebo, or dummy, drink.

After a two-month break, they swapped over and drank kombucha or a placebo for four weeks.

The research team from the US found that kombucha appeared to lower average fasting blood glucose levels after a month.

There was no difference noted among the group who consumed the placebo, according to the analysis, published in Frontiers in Nutrition.

Fasting blood glucose levels are determined by taking a blood sample from participants who have not eaten for at least eight hours.

Researchers called for a larger trial to confirm and expand upon these results.

Study author professor Dan Merenstein, from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington DC, said: ‘Some laboratory and rodent studies of kombucha have shown promise and one small study in people without diabetes showed kombucha lowered blood sugar, but 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.

‘A strength of our trial was that we didn’t tell people what to eat because we used a crossover design that limited the effects of any variability in a person’s diet.’

Kombucha originated in Manchuria, a historic region in northeastern China, around 220BCE. Its name reportedly comes from a Korean doctor, Dr Kombu, who took the fermented tea to Japan.

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