Does trendy kombucha tea really have health benefits?

As I started getting into healthy food and healthier living, I've heard about kombucha tea here and there. A friend convinced me to try the fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast, claiming that it has many health benefits for the consumer.

Some of the health benefits that the lovers of kombucha tea claim it has include stimulating the immune system, preventing cancer and improving digestion and liver function. It's supposed to detoxify the body and energize the mind, but can one simple drink really do all that good?

Advertisement

The drink is popular with those that prefer organic beverages, since it's made typically by placing a culture in sweetened black, green or white tea. The sugar assists in the fermentation process then after a week or two, the liquid can be tapped.

Read more ¿Qué más? ¿Te comerías una hamburguesa con carne hecha en un laboratorio?

The acidic tea mixture, though, has some risks. A lot of safety precautions must be taken so that the culture does not become contaminated and grow common mold, typically green, blue or black in color.

Beyond that, according to the Mayo Clinic, there have been no studies that prove the health benefits of kombucha tea. There's simply no scientific evidence to support the claims of kombucha's miracle detox power, though Dr. Brent A. Bauer warns of "adverse effects such as stomach upset, infections and allergic reactions" in drinkers of this trendy tea.

Read more ¿Qué más? Protandim: Could this miracle drug be for real?

Although I tried it in the past, the tea left a weird aftertaste in my mouth. I was never too sure about the health claims, either. Now that I know there's been no evidence to support it, I'm not sure that I will be having it again. It might be all the rage right now, but I think I'll stick to regular water or tea--which doesn't have all of the side effects this drink might.

Have you tried kombucha tea? Did you like it? Have you believed the health claims of this trendy drink?

Image via bionicgrrrl/flickr