Interesting Kombucha study

(Betsy) #21

Yes, that’s the study, Bob, thanks for posting some of the most interesting parts.

(Bob M) #22

Thanks for pointing me toward this study, as they really did a great job with it.

While I never know how well mouse studies transfer to humans, I could see some of this being applicable. The gut microbiota has always been complex, and the “biome” still seems to be the Wild West of research. But I could see the gut microbiota possibly playing a role, even in something I never thought it would – blood sugar.

I bought a 6 pack of Kombucha last night from Costco. One bottle (14 ounces) has 15, 16, or 19 grams for the bottle (three types, one herb, two with different fruits). I had maybe 4 ounces of the 15 gram one last night, so maybe 4 grams carbs (can’t get exact because I didn’t measure the amount I drank). I thought it was too sweet for me, but fine in terms of taste. It’s the “herb” one.

The original study on humans above used 8 ounces per day for 4 weeks. I’m going to try a lower amount to see if there is any effect. Maybe I’ll have to break out my pin-prick blood sugar meter, to see if there an effect. Unfortunately, the error in those is so much it’ll take weeks to see any trend.

If I think there’s an effect, I might have to make my own, unless I find a less sweet version.

(GINA ) #23

Vinegar has long been known to lower or moderate blood sugar. I don’t know exactly how or why, but maybe kombucha is working the same way.

(Betsy) #24

Yeah, it’s an excellent study. Shows that kombucha decreased insulin resistance and increased insulin secretion.

Is the brand you bought at Costco Brew Dr? Their Superberry is my favorite of all store bought kombuchas. I prefer plain, but it’s hard to find. I just started making my own again because it tastes better and as you said, you can make it as low in carbs as you want. I stopped making it because it was causing me anxiety. I started taking theanine a couple of months ago and started to be able to drink regular tea, so I thought I would try kombucha again, and it doesn’t seem to be bothering me.

It’s fun to brew your own, it makes a meal more interesting, and it seems to help with digestion. It will be interesting to see if it helps bring down your blood glucose levels. Keep us posted.

(Bob M) #25

That is the one, Brew Dr. I’ll try the Superberry tonight just to see what it’s like. I measured out 4 ounces of the herb one. I thought it tasted fine, even good, but then I can pretty much drink/eat anything.

I have a few packs of blood sugar strips. I’ll have to start testing, but it’s always an issue as to when to test. This was my last CGM data (from a US FreeStyle Libre):

Morning is always highest, until about 10am or so, but I also exercise in the morning, which further drives up my blood sugar. Meanwhile, before bed tends to be lowest. And for most of these, you can’t tell when I ate (usually around 10am or so, then right before bed, so maybe 7pm? Can’t really tell, except for maybe Wednesday).

Anyway, it’s just a challenge to figure out WHEN to test, because a comparison of morning to evening isn’t useful. I need morning versus morning or evening versus evening.

(Betsy) #26

Have you heard of the term hyper-responder? My brother seems to be in that category, his glucose goes up in the morning, too.

I think if it’s going to work for you, you will see the early AM measurement drop.

Do you ever experience insomnia?


But isn’t it very normal? I don’t even understand what “serving” ever is, why people even use that, it makes zero sense to me… But people apparently like it.
It’s the same with all drinks and food, it’s wildly varies what one consider a proper portion.

I don’t think I ever had or saw Kombucha but it sounds quite sugary from my current viewpoint and probably not flavorful enough to have just a little of it unless it tastes bad. Though it’s usually way easier to eat a lot of sugary stuff if it’s liquid. (I can drink a lot of milk in no time… Or a lot of egg milk… I couldn’t do it with really sugary drinks since ages, thankfully.)

(Bob M) #28

@betsy2 No, I almost never have insomnia. Go to bed shortly after 9pm, get up (naturally) around 5:30am.

I think it’s a combination of working out 5 days a week and keto, so my body wants to perform glucose sparing in the morning. My theory is that I could start pounding honey or white rice or whatever people think is “good”, and my morning blood sugar would come down. I haven’t tried that, though, because I’ve tried a TKD (targeted keto diet), where I ate 100grams (carbs, not weight) rice noodles on both a day of exercising (body weight training, 90 minutes) and the next day with no training. The goal was to see if my body would still produce blood ketones after that, and it did, at least for the few times I took tests.

The problem was that 100g of carbs eaten the first meal after training 90 minutes, it was like I didn’t eat anything. (Though I did NOT take blood sugar; would love a CGM again.) The 100g carbs the day I did not exercise, however, caused hunger, irritability, and generally some negative effects.

I think my muscles “sucked up” the 100g carbs from carbs, but when I don’t work out and eat carbs, there are fewer places (other than fat) for them to go.

On the days I do body weight training to failure, I eat 50g of carbs, and don’t seem to have any issues. But the above test indicates I can’t really eat carbs on the days I don’t exercise or go jogging.

I’m not a LMHR, as I’m still not “lean”. And even though I exercise 5 days a week, it adds up to about 3.5 hours of body weight training (slightly less) and about 1 hour of jogging. The LMHRs are typically even more active than that.

Today, I got a morning blood sugar of 118. But these things have up to a 20% error, so while my blood sugar is around there, I don’t know if it’s actually 118 or not. I’ll keep track.

@Shinita I think “serving size” is possibly a US thing and done because everyone thinks that only calories matter. Each bottle of kombucha is a “serving” in this case (often, it’s not; serving sizes for salsa, for instance, are 2 tablespoons – who eats just 2 tablespoons of salsa?). But the carbs aren’t too bad if you’re not chugging the whole bottle, and can handle a few extra carbs.

I tried the berry one last night, had 4 ounces, so 8 ounces in the day. The berry one was actually good, better than the herb one. I’ll probably limit myself to 4 ounces a day. We’ll see, and we’ll see if I can determine there’s an effect.


It’s more general as we have it in snack packages too but it still makes no sense to me.
Even if only calories would matter, it wouldn’t. I can eat X or 20*X amounts of a single item and getting he same calories and macros in my day. But of course I have no intention to eat the officially advised macros at all (and we aren’t the same anyway, of course, our needs are different).
I kinda understand if they mean one shouldn’t eat more than some amount per day (it’s for bad things though and we should just… not eat it or as little as we can?) but per meal, that makes less sense to me.

I don’t eat salsa but it sounds a pretty big amount for me… Sauces should be tasty, rich so a little goes a long way!
I guess it’s a valid amount so they include the info but you totally can eat 10 servings for a single course of your several-course meal… That means multiplication (but it’s easy with 10 :D). As servings are so pointless and individual little things… I just shouldn’t think about it much more.

I googled Kombucha and oh, Hungary has those flavored Kombucha drinks too! I never noticed. The ones I have quickly found have sugar and stevia (worst from both worlds, they love to do that here). Cane sugar as that is surely much fancier or whatever… 4.4% sugar.

(Joey) #30

I, too, have had my curiosity piqued by kombucha products, but reading the label - noting all the carbs - have shrugged and avoided going down that path.

It’s definitely lower than when it starts out prior to fermentation … but what you see on the label is what you get post-fermentation out of the bottle. That’s the “actual” amount that matters to a consumer, no?

Which further suggests to me that a dry (i.e., lower sugar) red wine (< 4g carbs/serving) is the better path to take (vs high carb kombucha @ 12g carbs/serving). :wine_glass:

(Betsy) #31

It might not pertain to all cases, but cortisol raises blood sugar and blood pressure.

Could that be what causes the morning rise in blood sugar?

L-theanine is a miracle supplement.

" One study tested the effects of an L-theanine-based drink on a group of healthy adults aged 18 to 40. The study found that the L-theanine-based drink had anti-stress effects, with the L-theanine group seeing reductions in stress and cortisol levels compared to the placebo group ."

(Bob M) #32

@betsy2 It could be cortisol. I’ve had one cortisol test, and the results came back “high”. But since it’s like insulin and varies quite a bit, even over the course of a day, it’s hard to know how to interpret that single test.

Saw an Instagram post by Dr. Bikman that said cortisol does go up when you’re losing weight too.

For l-theanine, I’m already taking Kombucha, fish oil, curcumin, and black seed oil (just started taking ALL of these). I’ll have to wait for a while to see what happens before trying anything else.

Started testing blood sugar, and this is why it’s so hard to do anything with pin-prick blood sugar:

8/6 7:47 am, 118
8/6 3:05 pm, 95
8/7 6:50 pm, 81
8/8 5:52 am, 106

That’s a fairly wide range, and trying to figure out whether Kombucha is affecting this will be a challenge. I guess if my morning blood sugar drops <100 for days, that could be an indication. But I gave up testing blood sugar like this when I got morning blood sugar readings from the upper 80s to the low 130s. I find it hard to believe my morning blood sugar is that variable. (If you look at the CGM data I have, it’s pretty much the same every morning.)

Anyway, I’ll keep trying this test and if there’s anything interesting (either good or bad) to report, I’ll chime back in.

(Betsy) #33

That is an amazing variation in blood sugar numbers. But it’s also very interesting that the morning one is the highest, and also that the morning one went down. I know what you mean about the unreliability of the test, so time will tell.

A side note, there is theanine in kombucha!

(Bob M) #34

If I read some websites, it’s also in tea, and I usually have 1 cup a tea most days, 2 if I’m really tired (like today).

Here’s a graph I did separated from December 2017 (top, only 7 days, but the month-long one is similar) to April 2019, both are remarkably similar: