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Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast. Some evidence suggests that kombucha exerts antimicrobial, antioxidant, detoxifying, and liver-protective effects. A new study has found that kombucha lowers blood glucose levels by nearly 30 percent in people with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers conducted a small trial involving 12 adults with type 2 diabetes. The participants drank approximately 8 ounces of either kombucha or a placebo beverage daily for four weeks. Eight weeks later, they switched to the other option. During each intervention, they measured their fasting blood glucose levels at the start and after one and four weeks. They completed questionnaires about their overall health, insulin needs, gut health, skin condition, and mental state. The researchers analyzed the kombucha’s microbiota and quantified its fermentation products.

When the participants drank the kombucha, they experienced a notable drop in average fasting blood glucose levels by the end of the intervention compared to the start (164 versus 116 mg/dL – nearly 30 percent lower). However, the placebo group did not experience the same reduction (162 versus 141 mg/dL – less than 13 percent lower). The microbiota analysis revealed lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, and yeast as the dominant components. The primary fermentation products were lactic acid, acetic acid, and ethanol.

This was a very small study, but the findings suggest that kombucha might have blood glucose-lowering potential for people with diabetes. Learn how consuming fermented foods, such as kombucha, kefir, and others, increases gut microbial diversity and decreases inflammation in this clip from a live Q&A with Dr. Rhonda Patrick.

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