Should you get on board the kombucha train?

Group.Bottles.7

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.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.