Jaw-Dropping Science Facts Everyone Should Know About Kombucha, Part 2
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from green or black tea, cane sugar and a probiotic live fungus culture called SCOBY*. It’s packed full of probiotic yeasts and bacterias, B vitamins, organic acids and antioxidants, all of which are claimed to work various wonders for your body and mind. Although official government-backed research on kombucha is pretty thin on the ground, there are still tons of fascinating independent studies suggesting that a kombucha a day really does keep the doctor away. Following on from part one, here’s another great reason to make kombucha part of your everyday routine!
Not only can probiotics boost serotonin, scientists have found they also help to decrease negative thinking! In a 2015 study, psychologists Laura Steenbergen and Lorenza Colzato from the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition tested the power of probiotics in combatting negative feelings. They split 40 subjects into two groups, half of which received a probiotics mixture and half a placebo. The conclusion? Prolonged use of probiotics reduces recurrent negative thoughts about possible causes and consequences of distress- a marker of depression.
“These results provide the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood,” Colzato said of her team’s study. “Our findings shed an interesting new light on the potential of probiotics to serve as adjuvant or preventive therapy for depression.”
There you go: that morning kombucha tonic can boost happiness in more ways than one!
Source: Gregor Reid ‘Neuroactive probiotics’ July 2011
Reid, G. (2011), Neuroactive probiotics. Bioessays, 33: 562. doi: 10.1002/bies.201100074
Jaw-Dropping Science Facts Everyone Should Know About Kombucha, Part 1
Probiotics, often referred to as 'good bacteria', are known to promote a healthy gut, but did you know they can also promote a healthy mind? In a 2011 study researchers were excited to discover something completely new to science: probiotic bacteria administered to the gut can positively affect your brain chemistry.
Dr Mark Lyte from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center found that microbial strains in fermented food produce neurochemicals including serotonin, the neurotransmitter credited with boosting happiness levels. In Lyke’s study, serotonin was found in the bloodstream of test subjects after probiotics were administered to the gut, leading to the exciting conclusion that probiotics function as ‘delivery vehicles’ for neurochemicals.
Kombucha fans often say the drink boosts brain power, cures hangovers and gives clarity of mind. The news that it could directly cause serotonin production gives us some clues as to why this might be…so what are you waiting for? Crack open a bottle and get happy!
Professor Mark Lyte from M. Lyte. Probiotics function mechanistically as delivery vehicles for neuroactive compounds: Microbial Endocrinology in the design and use of probiotics. BioEssays, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/bies.201100024