February 10, 2011 by staff 

Kombucha, Kombucha is a fermented tea that is often used for medicinal purposes. There is little scientific evidence to support any health benefit and few studies are conducted, but there are several centuries of anecdotal support for some of the health benefits attributed to tea. Kombucha is commercially available and can be done at home by the fermentation of tea using a visible, massive yeast and bacteria that forms the kombucha culture is often referred to as the “mushroom” or “mother”.

The culture contains a symbiosis of Acetobacter mainly (acetic acid bacteria) and one or more yeast.

The culture itself looks a bit like a large pancake, and often called a mushroom, a mother of vinegar or the Scoby acronym (for “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast”), it is scientifically classified as a carpet zoogleal. It takes the shape of its container, but varies in thickness depending on how long he was able to develop medium and the acidity of tea during the development period. [Citation needed] The culture and the leather are non-elastic, like a thick squid.

The component of the yeast kombucha may contain any of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Candida stellata, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii bailii and Zygosaccharomyces, or other domestic strain. Alcohol production by yeast (s) contributes to the production of acetic acid by bacteria. Concentration of alcohol also plays a role in triggering the production of cellulose by bacterial symbionts. [Citation needed]

Component of a bacterial culture kombucha is generally composed of several species, but almost always contain xylinus Gluconacetobacter (formerly Acetobacter xylinum), which ferments the alcohol produced by yeast (s) in acetic acid. This increases the acidity, while limiting the alcohol content of kombucha. G. Xylinum is responsible for most or all of the physical structure of a kombucha mother, and has been shown to produce microbial cellulose. This is probably due to artificial selection by brewers over time, crop selection firmer and more robust.

The acidity and a slight alcoholic element resist contamination by kombucha most airborne mold spores or bacteria. Accordingly, the kombucha is relatively easy to maintain a culture outside the sterile conditions. Bacteria and yeasts in Kombucha can also produce antimicrobial defense molecules. Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus, a bacterium linked to G. xylinum, is known to produce an antimicrobial called a bacteriocin.

Some producers make kombucha vague statements such as “Kombucha detoxifies the body and stimulates the mind, but make no specific claims as there is little research on the health benefits of kombucha. Proponents often claim a cure for cancer kombucha aid, energy increases, sharpens the sight, aid joint recovery, improves skin elasticity, aids digestion and improves the experience with foods that “stick” downward as rice or pasta. However, these claims are largely untested or subjective.

A review of published literature on the safety of kombucha suggests no specific oral toxicity in rats, but it has also been shown to increase the size of both the liver and spleen in mice. Although no randomized case-control studies have been published in humans, several unconfirmed reports of suspected liver damage, metabolic acidosis and potentially lethal toxicity. Other reports suggest that care must be taken when taking medications or medical hormone replacement therapy regularly drink Kombucha. It can also cause allergic reactions.

Many applications have focused on the glucuronic acid, a compound that is used by the liver for detoxification. The idea that glucuronic acid is present in Kombucha is based solely on the observation that conjugates glucuronic acid (glucuronic acid chemical wastes) are increased in urine after consumption of kombucha. The first chemicalanlysis of kombucha beer suggested that glucuronic acid is the key, and the researchers hypothesized that the excess glucuronic acid would help the liver by providing more of the substance during detoxification. Analyses were performed using gas chromatography to identify the different chemical constituents, but this method relies on the appropriate chemical standards to match unknown chemicals.

However, a more recent and thorough a variety of commercial and homebrew versions of kombucha found no evidence of glucuronic acid at all. Instead, the active component is most likely to glucaric acid. This compound, also known as D-glucaro-1, 4-lactone, helps eliminate glucuronic acid conjugates that are produced by the liver. When these conjugates are excreted normal gut bacteria can be separated using a bacterial form of beta-glucuronidase. Glucaric acid is an inhibitor of the bacterial enzyme, if the waste stored in the conjugated glucuronic acid is disposed of correctly the first time, instead of being reabsorbed and detoxified over and over. Thus, glucaric acid is probably the most effective liver.

Glucaric acid is commonly found in fruits and vegetables, and is being studied independently as an agent for cancer prevention. It was also discovered that the bacterial enzyme beta-glucuronidase may interfere with the proper disposal of a chemotherapeutic agent, and antibiotics against bacteria in the intestine can prevent the toxicity of certain chemotherapy drugs, supporting the The idea that the glucaric acid is an active component of kombucha.

Reports of adverse reactions may be related to unsanitary fermentation conditions, leaching of compounds from fermentation tanks, or “sick” kombucha cultures that cannot acidify the brew. Cleanliness is important during the preparation, and in most cases, the acidity of the fermented drink prevents growth of unwanted contaminants.

Other health claims may be due to the acidity of the drink simple, which might influence gastric acid production or alter microbial communities in the gastrointestinal tract.  [via online various sources]

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