Should you get on board the kombucha train?


Touted as a probiotic, a hepatic, a cancer cure, an acne remedy, an energy booster and a whole lot more, devotees claim kombucha, a fermented effervescent tea, is a miracle drink.

Others, however, are unimpressed.

“There has been no clinical research done on kombucha that proves any health benefit whatsoever,” said registered dietitian Robin Barrie Kaiden. “There are claims that it helps digestion, the liver, prevents cancer and improves the immune system, but there’s no definite evidence, good or bad.”

Jessica Childs founded Kombucha Brooklyn “after falling in love with the flavor and effects,” she said. “A large number of people experience relief from stomach ailments as a result of drinking kombucha. Other effects that can be correlated with specific compounds in kombucha are a reduction in bad cholesterol, a limiting effect on blood sugar spikes and a calming of acne vulgaris.”

But Kaiden remains unimpressed with such claims and warns that its acidity could have a detrimental effect. “Anyone with a sensitive stomach or colitis could be in trouble [drinking this],” said the nutrition counselor. And as for B-vitamins, Kaiden thinks it’s a poor source.

“If you need B-vitamins, take a supplement,” she said. “If you need a healthy drink, drink water.”

Though Childs acknowledges that “kombucha is not a cure-all,” she does say that “the body is a complex system and kombucha offers nutrients and support to that system.”

The skinny on kombucha

Kombucha contains yeasts and bacteria that produce natural acids after fermentation, including butyric acid, which is linked to preventing colon cancer; gluconic acid, which is thought to benefit anemia; lactic acid, which aids brain function; and oxalic acid, which is found naturally in rhubarb, but can be toxic in high concentration. This fall, Kombucha Brooklyn will publish “Kombucha!: The Amazing Probiotic Tea that Cleanses, Heals, Energizes, and Detoxifies.”


Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Incubus singer Brandon Boyd on his newest act,…

The rocker is releasing two new passion projects.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.


Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.


Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.


Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…