Against type 2 diabetes we now know that we have one more ally on our side, kombucha! In fact, as emerges from a very recent scientific research published in Foods magazine (Xu et al, Foods, 2022), this delicious and slightly sparkling drink shows an important hypoglycemic action.
Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is the typical diabetes of adults and is characterized by reduced insulin secretion and / or an increase in insulin resistance. That is, the insulin that is produced is either not sufficient or does not act as it should and thus blood sugar levels increase. Type 2 diabetes is a growing condition worldwide, which is why science is focusing its efforts on understanding how to tackle this type of diabetes through lifestyle and diet changes. Kombucha is a water, sugar and tea drink that is fermented by bacteria and yeast. The result is a slightly sparkling drink rich in polyphenols and organic acids. The anti-diabetic action of kombucha was already known thanks to previous studies. However, it had not yet been possible to shed light on the mechanism of action.
The anti-diabetic properties of kombucha, the experiment
To fill this gap, the researchers developed a study performed in the laboratory on animals with type 2 diabetes and subjected to a diet rich in sugars and fats. Kombucha was also given to the mice for 4 weeks. At the end of the intervention period, the mice were subjected to tests and analyzes to evaluate the action of kombucha. Well, what emerged is that the antidiabetic action of kombucha is due to its effects on the intestinal microbiota. In fact, kombucha protects the good bacteria of the microbiota, stimulating the proliferation of those bacteria producing short-chain fatty acids, and at the same time reduces the presence of bad and pro-inflammatory bacteria. Short-chain fatty acids stimulate the natural intestinal defenses, reinforcing the barrier against pathogens, and counteract inflammation. A decrease of inflammation leads to an improvement in insulin sensitivity. Not only that, short-chain fatty acids always stimulate the release of particular intestinal hormones which in turn improve the functionality of the beta cells of the pancreas, responsible for secreting insulin. Therefore, kombucha acts both on the amount of insulin produced and on the effectiveness of the insulin itself in reducing blood sugar.
The study made it possible to understand that kombucha, through a beneficial action on the intestinal microbiota, shows hypoglycemic and antidiabetic properties. Therefore, in a healthy and varied diet, kombucha, which is also characterized by a very pleasant taste that makes it even more appreciable, can also find its place.