Drinking one cup of popular beverage a day can cut blood sugar and diabetes risk

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Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that's long been claimed to have health benefits - but it might now be based in science thanks to a new study (Image: Getty Images)

Drinking just one cup of a popular beverage every day could help reduce blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes, a new study claims.

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink which has grown in popularity over the last few years and long been claimed to have health benefits. But a new feasibility study has linked drinking it to lower blood sugar levels.

Feasibility studies are conducted by scientists as they try to work out whether there would be a benefit in conducting large-scale clinical trials. The new assessment was conducted on 12 patients with type 2 diabetes. During it, half of them drank eight ounces of kombucha every day for four weeks.

The other half were given a placebo drink and after a two-month break, they changed and drank kombucha or a placebo for four weeks. The research team from the US found that kombucha appeared to lower average fasting blood glucose levels after a month.

The study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition, said: "Kombucha lowered average fasting blood glucose levels at four weeks compared to baseline." It singled out the kombucha microbiota as helpful in this and added: "Although this pilot study was limited by a small sample size, kombucha was associated with reduced blood glucose levels in humans with diabetes. Larger follow-up studies are warranted."

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Fasting blood glucose levels are determined by taking a blood sample from participants who have fasted for at least eight hours. Study author professor Dan Merenstein, from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington DC, said: “Some laboratory and rodent studies of kombucha have shown promise and one small study in people without diabetes showed kombucha lowered blood sugar, but to our knowledge this is the first clinical trial examining effects of kombucha in people with diabetes.

“A lot more research needs to be done but this is very promising. A strength of our trial was that we didn’t tell people what to eat because we used a crossover design that limited the effects of any variability in a person’s diet.”

Kieren Williams

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