Kombucha is the flavor of the day when it comes to popular drinks and it’s easy to see why. It’s slightly fermented tea has just a bit of carbonation to it, making it seem like a soda, but without the massive amounts of sugar that many sodas have. Kombucha also has live cultures in it that are said to promote healthy digestion in people who regularly consume it.
Could there also be hidden Kombucha health risks of which people are unaware?
Did You Know That Kombucha Contains Alcohol?
In order to create the magical sweet and sour aftertaste of Kombucha, a combination of bacteria and yeast is allowed to naturally ferment over a period of time. This culture is then added to the tea and then bottled. What happens during the fermentation process? Alcohol is created! If allowed to continue fermenting over time, the alcohol level of the drink will actually increase. World Foods this year had to recall many of their Kombucha products because they believed the alcohol content of the tea had risen above the 0.5% legal threshold.
That means if you drink too much Kombucha, you could become legally drunk in some areas, especially those with a .05 legal limit. This alcohol can interfere with certain medications as well, especially painkillers.
Kombucha Also Contains Acid Compounds
Sometimes the human body struggles to release the byproducts that it creates through normal everyday use. This can result in lactic acid buildup, uric acid buildup, and in turn, these buildups can cause medical problems such as gout or lactic acidosis. Because Kombucha is acidic in nature, it creates a situation where the body is forced to expel the acids that you’ve consumed with this drink before expelling the other stored acids.
When Kombucha is consumed regularly, it can therefore prevent the body from expelling those pent up acids, causing severe health issues. One woman is known to have died from cardiac arrest because of the Kombucha she consumed. Others have suffered severe medical emergencies because of acidic levels in their bodies due to their consumption of Kombucha too.
Molds Can Penetrate Into Kombucha Too
The nature of Kombucha is that it creates the prime working conditions for mold development, especially molds like penicillium. For those allergic to penicillin-based drugs, Kombucha could potentially create a life threatening allergic reaction if it has sat out long enough to develop mold. This is especially true for brews that have not been refrigerated. Though this is a low Kombucha health risk compared to the others, it is still a risk.
Chances are good that consuming Kombucha is not going to create a health problem for you. There are historical precedents set, however, that Kampuchea health risks do exist, especially for specific health groups. That’s why it is important to understand your current health needs and know if Kombucha may negatively interact with them.