The researchers tested liver cells by exposing them to tertiary butyl hydroperoxide, a potent toxin that damages liver cells similarly to other environmental toxins such as paracetamol and carbon tetrachloride. In the study, the toxin exposure caused the liver cells to die or become damaged – primarily from the cell membranes becoming damaged and porous.
However, those cells that were exposed to the toxin along with treatment with kombucha tea avoided much of this damage from the toxin exposure, as their protective cell membrane integrity increased. The kombucha-treated liver cells had significantly less damage, as the kombucha protected the cells from damage from the toxin’s free radical oxidation.
The researchers stated: “Kombucha tea was found to modulate the oxidative stress induced apoptosis in murine hepatocytes probably due to its antioxidant activity and functioning via mitochondria dependent pathways and could be beneficial against liver diseases, where oxidative stress is known to play a crucial role.”
The study was published in the medical journal Pathophysiology.
Liver disease and damage to liver cells has become more common as we are exposed to increasingly higher levels of toxins. Thousands of new toxins have been released into our environment over the past fifty years, and our consumer goods contain higher levels of toxicity. These, along with increased pharmaceutical use, alcohol consumption and poor dietary habits, have contributed to increased rates of liver disease and liver damage over the past few decades.
Kombucha tea is made by fermenting a culture of bacteria and yeast together with tea and a sweetener. It is an ancient beverage that has been prepared and consumed in Asia and Europe for many centuries. Kombucha tea has increasingly become popular in the United States over the past few years.
Bhattacharya S, Gachhui R, Sil PC. Hepatoprotective properties of kombucha tea against TBHP-induced oxidative stress via suppression of mitochondria dependent apoptosis. Pathophysiology. 2011 Jun;18(3):221-34.