bmicales at facstaff.wisc.edu
Sat Feb 11 21:36:11 EST 1995
In article <Pine.ULT.3.91a.950206155636.6438A-100000 at stein1.u.washington.edu> Clay Malinak <malinak at u.washington.edu> writes:
>From: Clay Malinak <malinak at u.washington.edu>
>Date: Mon, 6 Feb 1995 16:15:44 -0800
>Organization: University of Washington
>Message-ID: <Pine.ULT.3.91a.950206155636.6438A-100000 at stein1.u.washington.edu>
>Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
I do not endorse the use of Kombucha Tea (I am not convinced that it will do
anything), but due to its composition (microbiological) I am interested in
this beverage. Ok, with that said and done here are my answers to your
>Does anyone have any scientific information on a fermented drink called
>Kombucha, Kargasok tea or Kvass tea? It's some sort of culture that's
>grown on the surface of highly sugared tea. Users then strain and drink
>the tea. Of course, it's supposed to cure cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's,
>alcoholism, etc., etc, as well as prevent infections, increase sex drive,
>provide boundless energy, unclog drains, etc., etc. mad nauseum.
> I'm not a microbiologist, but I can't imagine that anyone with
>a microscope couldn't tell between these genera just by looking at it.
I understand and this is not a flame, but this is not possible just by looking
at the culture. Due to the size difference you can tell differences between a
yeast and a bacterium, but not be able to identify to genus and species level.
Telling the difference (genus and species) between two bacteria will require
phenotypic (usually biochemical) testing.
>So, what I'd like to know is:
> 1. What are the major constituents of the culture?
This is a mixed culture of bacteria and yeast. It is not a
mushroom. The microorgansims involved are : Acetobacter xylinium, Acetobacter
xylinoides, Gluconobacter gluconium. Acetobacter ketogenum, several strains of
yeasts including some Saacharomyces and Schizosaccharomyces.
Some names of the bacteria and/or yeast involved may no longer be reconzied.
2. Are there any _verifiable_, peer-reviewed scientific studies to >
support any of the health claims?
I have not been able to find any recent scientific studies. Some were
conducted by in the 1920s but that is too long a time.
There have been some studies (according to users of this tea) conducted by the
Russians, but I do not have the references.
> 3. If this stuff is good (bad?) for you, what is active metabolite
and/or mechanism of action involved?
Good for you..who knows. It does contain several C and B vitamins, plus
glucon- and glucuronic acid. Of course it also contain acetic acid. What the
action these compounds may or may not have is unclear to me.
In conclusion, I would say that this beverage is no worse for you than regular
tea. However, since you are using a mixed culture of microorganisms there is
always the chance that some "nasty" will come along and spoil your fun.
Therefore, from a microbiologist point of view, if your cannot maintain a
"pure" mixed culture, I would not use this beverage.
For more info, I would contact the Kombucha Tea Cider Gopher at
enuxsa.eas.asu.edu 6600. Or use the internet users international gopher and
go to Manchuria Tea, Kombucha Tea gopher.
I hope everything is clear.
bmicales at facstaff.wisc.edu
Department of Anatomy
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