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Kombucha is a fermented drink made from sweetened black or green tea that contains a mixed culture of bacteria and yeasts, which is a good source of probiotics. You can purchase kombucha or you can prepare it at home; however, there is the risk of contamination in home-brewed kombucha as some batches can contain aspergillus, a type of toxin-producing fungus. For individuals with compromised immune systems, this is a concern. In rare cases, drinking kombucha has been linked to serious side effects and even death. It has become a very popular drink, especially among celebrities, and there are numerous health claims for kombucha, including promises that it can support the immune system, prevent cancer and improve energy, digestion and liver function. No human studies have been published to support these health claims, and further research is needed to determine whether it offers any real health benefits.
See alsoMake Your Own Kombucha.
Registered dietitians Tiffani Bachus and Erin Macdonald are the co-founders and creators of URockGirl.com, a website dedicated to promoting wellness and a healthy, balanced lifestyle.