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The surprising side effect popular fizzy drink has on your body

The surprising side effect popular fizzy drink has on your body

The yeast and bacteria in the drink mimics metabolic changes related to fasting.

Kombucha is trending as the new health drink craze of today.

If you've not heard of it, kombucha tea is a fizzy drink made by fermenting black or green tea with a mix of sugar, bacteria, and yeast.

Thought to be a traditional health brew derived from China, kombucha tea now serves as a popular fizzy drink offering many benefits from lowering blood pressure to improving gut health and even preventing cancer.

The magic of the trendy tea is often believed to be from its probiotic microbes which are thought to boost our metabolism.

Despite there being a lack of research into the effect of kombucha on human health, a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found some intriguing results.

Getty Stock Photo
Getty Stock Photo

The study - published in the journal PLOS Genetics - involved transferring kombucha microbes into worms to test its effects.

After consuming kombucha, the yeast and bacteria colonised the intestines and mimicked metabolic changes related to fasting.

Moreover, the research team found that the kombucha’s microbes change the way the genes linked to fat metabolism work.

This was shown when the scientists spotted an increase in proteins that break down fats and less proteins that build up the fat molecule, triglycerides.

This makes sense in that people who regularly drink the fizzy tea reported weight loss despite any changes to food diet or exercise.

Dr. Robert Dowen, lead author of the study, said: "We were surprised to find that animals consuming a diet consisting of the probiotic microbes found in Kombucha Tea displayed reduced fat accumulation, lower triglyceride levels, and smaller lipid droplets - an organelle that stores the cell’s lipids - when compared to other diets."

Getty Stock Photo
Getty Stock Photo

"These findings suggest that the microbes in Kombucha Tea trigger a “fasting-like” state in the host even in the presence of sufficient nutrients," Dowen continued.

However, before you start assuming that kombucha is the silver bullet to losinf weight, note that the study was only tested on worms and has not yet been replicated in humans. More research needs to be conducted to form human generalisations.

Dowen, also a professor of cell biology and physiology at the University of North Carolina, explained that more understanding is needed of how kombucha probiotics impact our metabolism.

In turn, we can leverage its effects to tackle health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease by reducing fat accumulation and lowering triglyceride levels in the body.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Photo