New Study Reveals Kombucha Can Have The Same Effects As Fasting

Turns out, kombucha may be more functional in aiding your weight loss journey than you’d previously thought.  According to a recent study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, kombucha can mimic fasting and offer similar results; it has the potential to alter human fat metabolism and lower fat stores. 

The study published on published in the journal PLOS Genetics, says that drinking kombucha tea may also help reduce fat accumulation and lower triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat in the blood and their high levels are associated with several serious health issues including cardiovascular diseases and liver problems. High triglyceride levels in the body are also linked to a heightened risk for inflammation in the pancreas. A healthy diet that is high in fiber and healthy fats and low in refined sugars and carbs can help lower triglyceride levels and as per the new study, drinking kombucha tea may bring down fat accumulation and lower triglyceride levels

“Investigation of functional foods that may directly improve lipid homeostasis during metabolic disease, or that could serve as a supplement to traditional therapeutic approaches, is paramount to identifying new strategies to support long-term health in the modern age,” Rob Dowen, PhD, professor of cell biology and physiology at UNC’s School of Medicine and lead author of the study, told Medical News Today.

Dowen and his team worked to analyse kombucha tea as a potential way of lowering triglyceride levels. It’s a fermented drink made from black tea and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. “This ancient beverage, which has roots in Eastern traditional medicine, has seen a steady resurgence in popularity since the turn of the century and is prevalent in the beverage retail space despite a striking lack of mechanistic information about how its consumption impacts the consumer,” Dowen explained.

The team of scientists used something called a ‘worm model’ to conduct the study, through which they found that kombucha mimics some components on fasting. Through the worm model, scientists found that after ingesting kombucha tea, microbes from the drink colonized intestines, creating metabolic changes similar to those that occur during fasting. 

“We were very surprised to find that the probiotic microbes in kombucha tea could colonize the worm gut and stimulate a fasting-like metabolic response in the host, which occurred despite the fact that these animals showed no defects in intestinal nutrient absorption,” Dowen said. 

“Incredibly, this response was only seen in animals consuming microbes isolated from a long-term, fully fermented kombucha tea culture and not a simple mix of non-fermenting kombucha-associated microbes. This observation suggested that microbial metabolites produced during the fermentation process could be shaping host metabolic pathways,” he added.