You're Drinking Too Much Kombucha If This Happens To You

Kombucha is a fizzy, fermented beverage made from black tea boasting a variety of health benefits ranging from helping to manage diabetes, to reducing the risk of heart disease. While it is loaded with antioxidants and probiotics, it is possible to drink too much, which can cause several troublesome side effects.

The drink is made using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, more commonly called a "SCOBY" (via Healthline). The SCOBY is placed in a container of black tea and sugar and allowed to ferment. It is difficult to brew at home, yet many people attempt it. If the conditions are not right, it can develop mold and fungi, which sets the stage for a number of undesirable reactions.

Some of these effects include bloating and digestive issues, especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome. People with weakened immune systems should also be wary of drinking kombucha because it is unpasteurized, meaning it can promote bacterial growth that can cause infections (via Healthline).

Kombucha has been linked to a variety of health conditions

Other more serious health conditions have been linked to kombucha tea. In a case report, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center noted the development of conditions such as jaundice, nausea, gastrointestinal toxicities, yeast infections, as well as the rare development of a bacterial infection known as cutaneous anthrax, related to drinking tea made in an unsanitary environment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reported one woman having died after drinking home-brewed kombucha consistently for roughly two months. Also noted, was another woman who drank the fermented tea and developed metabolic and respiratory acidosis. The two women apparently shared the same SCOBY in making their tea, and perhaps did not follow sanitary practices.

It should be noted that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) examined the production of commercial sellers of kombucha and did not find any hygiene violations or dangerous pathogens. In addition, the agency pointed out that drinking around 4 ounces of properly brewed tea per day likely won't lead to any adverse effects in healthy individuals.