Trendy Kombucha tea ‘can mimic effects of fasting in the body’ to help you lose weight

By Staff 5 Min Read

Kombucha is a sweetened, fermented tea beverage that has surged in popularity recently, in part due to its health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and protecting against metabolic disease

Trendy kombucha tea can mimic the effects of fasting in the body so people can lose fat without changing their diet, according to a new study.

Researchers have discovered that the microbes in the fermented drink make changes to fat metabolism in the intestines that are similar to the effects of fasting. Kombucha is a sweetened, fermented tea beverage that has surged in popularity recently, in part due to its supposed health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, preventing cancer and protecting against metabolic disease and liver toxins.

The famous fizzy tea has become a favourite amongst big stars such as Madonna, Halle Berry, Lindsay Lohan, and Gwyneth Paltrow for the claimed miracle health benefits. These benefits are believed to come from the drink’s probiotic microbes and their effects on metabolism, but the associated health claims have not been well studied in humans.

New research has discovered that, after consuming kombucha, the yeast and bacteria colonise the intestines and create metabolic changes similar to those that occur during fasting. The researchers also saw that the kombucha’s microbes alter the expression of genes involved in fat metabolism, leading to more proteins that break down fats and fewer proteins that build a type of fat molecule called triglycerides.

Together these changes can reduce fat stores without any change to food intake or exercise. The team from the University of North Carolina got their results by feeding the microbes present in kombucha to a worm. They note that their results, published in PLoS Genetics, provide insights into how probiotics in kombucha tea reshape metabolism in a model worm species, and offer hints to how these microbes may be impacting human metabolism.

Dr Robert Dowen from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said: “We were surprised to find that animals consuming a diet consisting of the probiotic microbes found in Kombucha Tea displayed reduced fat accumulation, lower triglyceride levels, and smaller lipid droplets – an organelle that stores the cell’s lipids – when compared to other diets. These findings suggest that the microbes in Kombucha Tea trigger a “fasting-like” state in the host even in the presence of sufficient nutrients.”

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