The Consumption of Kombucha When Having Diabetes

Among the most frequently asked questions related to kombucha is whether it can be consumed by diabetics, that is, if it is safe. That is why here we are going to talk in detail about it, that is, we will touch on the possible benefits, how it works, and also alternatives that can continue to help.

Can I take kombucha when I have diabetes?

Kombucha is a drink with a nutritional profile low in calories and sugar, and being foamy can become an excellent substitute for soda for people with diabetes. In addition, kombucha, unlike artificially sweetened beverages, is natural and has health and nutrition benefits.

Do the benefits of kombucha also apply for diabetics, given the sugar content of this drink? The answer is yes, in fact, studies in laboratory rats have shown that it is a drink rich in antioxidants, which protect pancreatic cells, regulates insulin more constantly and stabilizes blood sugar levels, being considered as a possible food supplement to effectively control diabetes conditions.  [1]

On the other hand, by containing tea (fundamental ingredient for kombucha), it helps conditions complicated by diabetes, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. [2]

One study in particular that should be mentioned is the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology that specifically studies the ability of this drink to fight periodontal disease, which represents a great risk for diabetics.    [3]

Because of all this, kombucha is shown as a promising alternative medical treatment for diabetics, although research with human tests is required.

Kombucha interferes with metformin.

Now that we know that kombucha has a positive impact on diabetics and that they can consume it, we must understand what it means to drink this drink while consuming diabetes medications.

In this specific case we talk about metformin, a drug that helps control the amount of glucose in your blood.  [4]

Kombucha tea can do exactly the same thing. So the combination of both can be a problem for diabetes, as it can cause the blood sugar level to drop too low.

Because of the latter, it is recommended to closely monitor our blood sugar level, since it is possible that the dose you normally consume of this medication may have to be changed.

In general it can be said that the interaction is moderate, so you have to be careful with the combination of these. In fact, it’s always best to consult with your health care provider. The same applies to other diabetes medications, such as: glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase PresTabs, Micronase), insulin, etc.

With this in mind, under no parameters would I advise you to consume kombucha with metformin simultaneously or in a short period of time, since as I said, it could interfere with its functioning.

Kombucha and blood sugar levels

Much is said about the relationship of kombucha with blood sugar levels, in fact, throughout this article we have talked about that topic. The data obtained come from a study in diabetic rats. [5]

That study found that kombucha can slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, as a result it also lowers blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, the fermented drink similar to kombucha Jun or Xun, made from green tea, is very likely to be much more beneficial. This is because green tea alone has already been shown to lower blood sugar levels. [6]

The study carried out in diabetic alloxane rats consisted of orally supplying kombucha and black tea at a dose of 5 ml / kg of body weight per day for 30 days. They fasted overnight and sacrificed after 31 days. In this way his blood was collected, and various biochemical measurements were carried out.

The entire study revealed that, compared to black tea, kombucha tea functioned as a better inhibitor of α-amylase and lipase activities in plasma and pancreas. In addition, it was determined to work as a better suppressant of increased blood glucose levels. In fact, it was observed that this drink induced a marked delay in the absorption of bad cholesterol and triglycerides by increasing good cholesterol. [6]

How to maintain a low sugar content in kombucha?

Kombucha needs sugar, but you have to know that this is not for you, but it is for the SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of yeasts and bacteria) that feeds on sugar and tea. Do not forget that without sugar there is no fermentation, since at the beginning of fermentation we have a sweet tea, flavor that disappears while the fermentation process takes place.

What happens is that yeasts convert sugar into ethanol, fructose and CO2, the latter are fine bubbles that are seen in drinks while the bacteria present are responsible for transforming ethanol and fructose into organic acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Preparing kombucha without sugar is impossible, because without sugar there are no yeasts or bacteria and without these there is no kombucha.

However, this is not to say that there are no ways to reduce the sugar levels in your finished kombucha. That is, there are several tricks that can be used and here we are going to indicate them one by one:

Extend your brewing time

The most common way to reduce the sugar in a kombucha is to extend its brewing time. This is because, if left to mature for a long time, yeasts consume a lot of sugar and while this happens the bacteria in turn produce natural acids, and these are very healthy for us.

It is important to mention that if it is left to mature for prolonged periods of time it will cause it to become more acidic. You can not prevent this from happening, but it can be minimized, and for this you have to reduce the speed of fermentation of this drink.

In this way, a softer and generally less strong ferment is achieved, also achieving lower levels of sugar. For this method you have to lower the temperature at which the kombucha is made.

Dilute ripe kombucha.

This is another method used to reduce sugar and calorie levels. One of the great advantages of this form is that it also allows to lower the concentrated acidity. It basically consists of diluting kombucha in still or still water.

Also a good option would be fruit juice, although this would add additional sugar. So we recommend using still or still water, to maintain all the probiotics and benefits, with very little sugar content.

In this case you have to prepare the kombucha until it is quite sharp, this can take more or less time, depending on the temperature of the place where you live. So you should go tasting and smelling while it is prepared and once it is clear you can stop it. Done this you have to dilute with a liquid low in sugar, among the options that are available are still or sparkling water, cold tea, coconut water, etc.

Second fermentation

The third option is to perform a second fermentation, in this way you give a couple of additional days of fermentation, added to the main one, without the presence of SCOBY. Thanks to the fermented seconds, the preparation cycle is extended, while at the same time a softer infusion is produced at the end. It should be mentioned that since SCOBY is not present in the fermented seconds, they tend to mature kombucha less vigorously.

At this point you can also play with additional aromas, but you have to be careful not to add more sugar. So you’re looking for flavorings like spices, herbs, and teas. It should be mentioned that the second fermented can be complicated if you do not have knowledge.

The process consists of transferring the kombucha (without its SCOBY) to a glass container that is sealed and at this point adds flavorings such as those mentioned. Then you have to let the kombucha sit at room temperature for a day and then place in a refrigerator for 7 days.

Reduce the amount of sugar in your initial preparation.

Last but not least, you can try to reduce the amount of sugar you use in your initial sweet tea base. However, you should not reduce the amounts of sugar much, since the microbes will not have enough to eat, and the fermentation process will stop. If you do not know how to prepare kombucha this will not be the best alternative, since you have to experiment a little to achieve a balance in which the yeasts have enough sugar.

You should not forget that as the amount of sugar is less, the sweetness will be reduced before it becomes too sour due to the acids produced by bacteria.

Can kombucha cause diabetes?

Regarding whether kombucha can cause diabetes, a 2018 study [7] determined that this drink had the ability to significantly reduce blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels. In addition, to this we must add that the study indicates that it can increase the production of insulin, as well as the delay in the absorption of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides. It also raised HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol).

According to the study, the treatment carried out with kombucha improved the functionality of gluconeogenic and glycolytic enzymes in experimental rats. In this way, the results showed that kombucha has a hypoglycemic effect [8], which can be used as a functional food supplement with the ability to manage diabetic conditions much more efficiently.

From all this we can determine that kombucha is a food that cannot cause diabetes. Although you have to take into account its preparation, since depending on this the drink will have more or less sugar. In fact, the sugar content in kombucha varies depending on who makes it.

What other fermented foods can diabetics consume?

In addition to kombucha, diabetics can consume other probiotics, this is good news, since as we have mentioned probiotic foods have various benefits. That said, among the probiotics that diabetics can consume we have:


This is a food that comes from Eastern European and Germanic cuisines and in German translates as «sour cabbage«. It is a food that can be prepared from a refrigerated box at your market, where pasteurization kills both good and bad bacteria. It should be mentioned that raw sauerkraut is low in carbohydrates and can contain 15 different species of good bacteria.

You can see our comparison of kombucha vs sauerkraut by clicking on the link.


This is the national dish of North and South Korea, being one of the best options for people with diabetes. It is a meal low in carbohydrates and calories, with a lot of fiber. Usually, kimchi comes as a garnish in almost all Korean meals.


There is not much to say about yogurt that anyone knows since it must be the most consumed fermented globally. The important thing in this case is that it is natural, without any additives.


This is another ideal probiotic for diabetics and is similar to yogurt, although it is more liquid. Kefir is creamy, thick, and acidic, and contains up to a dozen live and active cultures of probiotic bacteria, as well as helpful yeasts.

Here the key is in the lactic acid that is responsible for breaking down the sugar (lactose) in milk, so kefir has very little lactose. It is important to mention that simple kefir is recommended for diabetics.

We also have a comparison between kombucha and milk kefir.


In this case it is a traditional Japanese food made with fermented soybeans. What we should know about this probiotic is that it has a strong flavor and a viscous texture. This food produces sticky threads around soybeans, its essential stickiness comes from its beneficial amino acid, which is responsible for its taste.


Tempeh is a probiotic that is made from soy in the form of a cake. It has a smoky, nutty, and mushroom-like flavor, being quite rich in protein. One aspect that stands out about this food is that it is not as processed as other soy products, so it is similar to soy in its whole food form.


Miso is a paste made with soybeans and it is full of probiotics. In fact, it has more than 160 strains of bacteria. On the other hand, salty soup made from miso is low in calories and carbohydrates and high in B vitamins and protective antioxidants.

Probiotic Supplements

Diabetics can also take probiotic supplements, in fact, it is a good way to get many of the good bacteria for our body. It should be mentioned that this would be a complement to probiotic foods, such as those we have mentioned.

We have already reached the end of the post, in which you feel safer to consume kombucha when you have diabetes. If you want more information about kombucha you can consult several of our articles, being the most related the ones we show you below.