We know that kombucha is good for your gut health, since the fermentation process produces probiotic microbes are produced which can help balance levels of bacteria in the gut and improve digestion. But one question we're asked, does it have any other health benefits?
Well, in this blog we explore how helping your gut health can affect other areas of your body - such as your brain, weight and immune system - and in turn, boost your overall health and wellbeing.
Good and Bad Bacteria
Bacteria, viruses, and fungi live on your skin and in your body. They are collectively referred to as the microbiota. They dwell in your nose, throat, stomach, and a variety of other places on the body.
Some are beneficial to your health. Some are harmful to you. The majority are neither - they coexist with your own cells, but a single human cell is outnumbered ten to one by bacteria in the stomach alone.
We understand little about these organisms or how they operate together (or against one another). However, we do know that modifications in the microbiome can lead to illness. For example, having "bad" gut bacteria may make you more susceptible to digestive issues such as IBD; food poisoning; inflammatory bowel disease; chronic fatigue syndrome; eczema and ps
Many bacteria are linked to disease, while others are essential for your immune system, heart, weight, and a variety of other factors of health.
What Is the Gut Microbiome?
Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other tiny living things are referred to as microorganisms or microbes for short. Trillions of these organisms may be found mostly in your intestines and on your skin. The gut microbiome is the name given to all of the microorganisms that reside in your digestive tract and contribute to your health.
Overall, these microorganisms may weigh as much as 2–5 pounds (1–2 kg), which is about the same weight as your brain. They serve as an additional organ in your body and have a significant impact on your health.
How Does It Affect Your Body?
The gut microbiome has an influence on the body from birth by controlling food digestion, the immune system, the central nervous system and other bodily functions.
As you mature, your gut microbiome diversifies, indicating the presence of a variety of microbial types. High biodiversity in the gut bacteria is considered beneficial to one's health. The food you eat has an impact on the diversity of your intestinal microorganisms.
As your microbiome grows, it affects your body in a number of ways, including:
- Digesting breast milk: Bifidobacteria are one of the microorganisms that may be found in infants' intestines, and they help to digest the nutrients that are essential for growth.
- Digesting fiber: Bacteria that digest fiber produce short-chain fatty acids, which are beneficial to gut health. Fiber can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risks of heart disease and cancer.
- Helping control your immune system: The gut microbiome influences your immune system, too. The gut microbiome can instruct your immune cells to respond in a certain way by communicating with them.
- Helping control brain health: According to recent studies, the gut microbiome may also influence the central nervous system, which controls brain function.
As a result, the gut microbiome has the ability to impact various bodily processes and your health in numerous ways.
The Gut Microbiome May Affect Your Weight
The intestines of a healthy person contain thousands of different types of bacteria, many of which are beneficial to one's health. However, having an abundance of harmful microbes can cause disease and may contribute to weight gain.
Fortunately, probiotics are beneficial to a healthy microbiome and can aid in weight reduction. However, according to research, the effects of probiotics on weight loss are unlikely to be large, with people losing less than 2.2 pounds (1 kg) over the course of four weeks.
It Affects Gut Health
Gut health may also be affected by the microbiome, and it might play a role in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Gut dysbiosis may cause bloating, cramps, and abdominal pain in IBS patients. This is due to the fact that microbes create a lot of gas and other chemicals.
However, certain beneficial bacteria in the microbiome may also aid gut health. Certain Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which are present in probiotics and yogurt, can help to close gaps between intestinal cells and prevent leaky gut syndrome.
These bacteria can also keep pathogenic germs from adhering to the intestinal wall. In fact, certain probiotics that include Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli have been shown to help manage IBS symptoms.
The Gut Microbiome May Benefit Heart Health
The gut microbiome may also have an impact on heart health. In a study of 1,500 people published in 2016, researchers discovered that the gut microbiota had a significant impact on “good” HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), an unhealthy species in the gut microbiome that may produce, contributes to heart disease. TMAO is a chemical that causes blocked arteries, which can lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Certain bacteria in the microbiome transform choline and L-carnitine, two compounds found in red meat and other animal-based foods, into TMAO, which may raise heart disease risk factors.
However, when used as a probiotic, Lactobacilli and other bacteria in the microbiome, particularly Lactobacilli, may assist lower cholesterol.
It May Help Control Blood Sugar and Lower the Risk of Diabetes
The gut microbiome also may help control blood sugar, which could affect the risk of type 1 and 2 diabetes.
A recent study looked at 33 infants who had a genetic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes. The microbiota's diversity decreased abruptly just before the start of type 1 diabetes, according to the research. It also discovered that a number of disease-causing bacterial species rose significantly just before type 1 diabetes appeared.
A study revealed that even when people ate the same meals, their blood sugar levels might differ significantly. This might be due to the kind of bacteria in their intestines.
It May Affect Brain Health
Gut bacteria may improve brain health in a variety of ways.
Bacteria can aid in the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit messages between neurons. Serotonin is one such chemical, which is mostly produced in the intestines and acts as an antidepressant neurotransmitter.
Second, the gut is linked to the brain through a network of nerve fibers. As a result, the gut microbiome may also have an impact on brain health by assisting with messages transmitted via these nerves.
A variety of research have revealed that individuals with various mental illnesses had different species of bacteria in their guts than healthy persons. This implies the gut microbiome may have an effect on brain health, although it's uncertain if this is due to distinct dietary and lifestyle choices.
Some species of probiotics have also been found to help with the symptoms of depression and other mental health problems in a small number of studies.
Can You Improve Your Gut Microbiome Through Kombucha?
A healthy microbiome thrives on a diet that is rich in fiber and fermented foods. probiotics, as well as antibiotic avoidance, may also assist.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. It has the same health advantages as tea, and it's also high in beneficial probiotics. Kombucha also contains antioxidants, which may help you fight against some diseases. Want to know more about Kombucha? Check out our blog HERE. Or shop our Kombucha Club subscription box HERE.
The gut microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. It is essential for your health, assisting in digestion and benefiting your immune system and a variety of other elements.
Unbalanced proportions of unhealthy and healthy bacteria in the intestines might contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and other diseases. Consume a broad range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fermented foods to help promote the development of healthy microbes in your gut.