Let’s just say kombucha is an acquired taste. I would be lying by omission if I didn’t mention the slight vinegary flavor that sits beneath whatever sweeteners or flavor additions used to mask the less savory elements of kombucha’s flavor.

But the taste of kombucha is a taste that can be acquired when one considers the flavor as a whole, particularly when the flavor of the plain fermented tea is combined with other flavors, much in the way that kombucha drinks produced by brands like Health Ade and Humm are.

Brass Tacks: How Good For You is Kombucha?

Good for Your Gut

The primary known benefit (and the benefit that people most associate with kombucha) lies in the rich probiotic properties of the beverage. (The fermentation process that begets these bacterial strains also produces acetic acid, which is also found in vinegar and is the source of the slight vinegary taste in kombucha). The beneficial bacteria in kombucha have the power to kill bad gut bacteria like candida, which feeds on refined flour and causes the body to crave simple carbohydrates to satiate the bad bacteria’s bottomless hunger.

The good bacteria in kombucha consume these bad bacteria and also consume food, breaking down nutrients and playing a key role in the digestive system by processing food and excreting enzymes, vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin K.

Gut bacteria also causes the production of one of the brain’s most important neurotransmitters: serotonin. It is estimated that 90% of the brain’s serotonin is produced in the gut by the body’s helpful bacteria. That’s why whenever one consumes a beverage or food high in beneficial bacteria, one is prone to experiencing a warm feeling of happiness in brain and body. Serotonin is the ‘happy’ neurotransmitter. But it also plays an important role in various mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. Research is being done into whether probiotics can help with such conditions; major conclusions have yet to be drawn.

Antioxidants Galore

Kombucha also contains a truckload of antioxidants, which are molecules that bind with and steal particles called free radicals, which cling to and oxidize (rust) the cells in our bodies.

According to a study published by Murugesan, et al, green tea kombucha has profound anti-toxic and antioxidant effects on the liver. Long term consumption of kombucha by rats reduced liver toxicity by 70%, according to the study.

Might Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

One study, published in 2012, revealed that, in laboratory rats, kombucha lowered bad cholesterol (LDL or low-density lipids) and raised good cholesterol (HDL or high-density lipids).

Potential Diabetes II Aide

A study of diabetic rats found that kombucha significantly slowed carb digestion, which prevented spikes in blood sugar characteristic of insulin-resistant diabetes.

A Word of Caution

Beware of home-brewed kombucha. If kombucha is not prepared properly, it could be dangerous due to pathological bacteria spreading instead of the good bacteria. That is why home kombucha brewing kits are something to potentially beware, as amateur mistakes can be made to disastrous effect.

That is why it is best to put one’s faith in brands like Health Ade, which processes its product in a way that is USDA compliant and certified safe.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is: kombucha is good for you. We listed above some of the benefits and, even though the only one of those benefits that has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt is the probiotic benefit, the other ones have some evidence to support their existence, and can enter into any reasonable discussion about the potential benefits of kombucha. This manner of speaking of kombucha is acceptable, so long as the caveat that the results of studies about these benefits are not yet conclusive is expressed as part and parcel of the discussion. So enjoy your kombucha and know that you’re doing a good thing for yourself by drinking it!



Chad Weisman—CEO, Golden Strands Communication; ‘creative type’; surfer on the amber waves of grain; avid concert attendee.