The Kombucha for Heartburn: The truth

Kombucha for Heartburn

When we need some remedy to relieve discomfort, specifically in our digestive system, kombucha is often mentioned as an effective therapy. Still, the reality is that it can not always be beneficial in some cases

When discussing acidity, you must think twice before using kombucha since it could generate the opposite effect. Although, this usually happens when too much is consumed while it is highly acidic. However, less acidic kombucha could still cause some positive or adverse effects.

Is it really helpful for heartburn?

It is unclear if it could have any benefit in controlling acidity at the stomach level, since most likely not, although it can be involved in regulating other digestive pathologies with heartburn symptoms. 

Its effects on the stomach may be closely related to the drink’s acidity and the consumer’s medical condition. Kombucha is an acidic drink, and the more it ferments, the more acidic it becomes, so drinking it with a very low pH can be dangerous for people with acidity and ulcer problems[1]

Speaking of the subject, these articles on gastric ulcers and kombucha, or the effect of kefir on gastric ulcers, may be of great interest to you. 

In rodent studies, scientists observed that kombucha tea reduced gastric juice by approximately 25%, potentially establishing itself as a product that can prevent ulcer formation. [2]

However, as we always mentioned, the metabolism of humans is not the same as that of rodents. Therefore, this only shows a precedent whose results must be demonstrated in humans.

In what situations might kombucha help against heartburn?

It can participate in the relief of specific conditions that present symptoms associated with reflux and heartburn. However, we do not know if it can be directly involved in decreasing gastric acid, but if it works as a support in controlling the causative pathologies.

There are diseases such as heartburn and reflux caused by Helicobacter Pylori, and kombucha compounders, such as Saccharomyces Boulardii yeasts, help in its eradication as a complementary therapy with the respective treatments. At the same time, its elimination does not always relieve gastric acidity. [3][4]

Indigestion problems can be related to high acidity. In that sense, the high acetic or lactic acid content in the drink can be harmful if you suffer reflux, so you should check the acid content and in which cases its consumption can help.  [5][6]

Can it be useful for GERD?

It seems that probiotics from kombucha and other fermented foods may relieve symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which include acid regurgitation, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating, gas, etc. [7][8]

The problem is that kombucha contains many organic acids, which can trigger GERD symptoms, regardless of the probiotics in kombucha itself.

And therefore, although the intake of probiotics capsules can probably have some significant effect on the treatment of GERD, the consumption of kombucha is incompatible with this pathology.

Can heartburn get worse if I drink kombucha?

That depends on how acidic the kombucha is. Too much acetic acid can increase the risk of heartburn. Caffeine and the higher percentage of alcohol in some kombucha drinks can also promote heartburn. [9][10]

Some people have had heartburn after drinking kombucha on an empty stomach in the morning. If it generates that discomfort, you should not break the fast drinking kombucha, but also avoid it when it is way too fermented. [11]

Kombucha can also alter the pH of the stomach, impairing the dissolution and absorption of some medications. [12]

Another aspect is that kombucha is a carbonated drink. It has often been believed that carbonated drinks cause symptoms of heartburn or GERD when in reality, this fact has not been proven, so this aspect is not dangerous. [13]

While it is not highly recommended as a heartburn remedy, if it does not cause you discomfort, you can continue to drink kombucha.

How does it help therapeutically with heartburn by candida?

Candida is a yeast that naturally lives in the digestive system. However, if it grows in excess, it can generate a disease called candidiasis, which presents symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, where probiotics are one of the treatments of choice

A microbial imbalance and immunosuppression can cause this excessive growth, so it has been recommended to use supplements or unpasteurized fermented foods such as kombucha, which have the necessary microorganisms to restore imbalances in the intestinal flora and maintain the health of the digestive tract, also functioning as a preventive solution.

Another aspect to consider is that Candida infections cause nutritional deficiencies, so nutritional supplementation is necessary to recover and maintain digestive and immune health, needing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which can also be found in kombucha tea.

Depending on the type of kombucha, can it be beneficial or dangerous in cases of heartburn?

If kombucha tea is only slightly acidic, there is no chance that it can cause heartburn symptoms unless it is taken in excess and with a very low pH (pH 2). That way, it can be intolerable and cause health problems. But even reaching those pH levels is very difficult, as it usually stabilizes at 2.5, as we saw in our specific guide about kombucha pH.

Cases have been observed where some patients with heartburn problems are affected after consuming extremely acidic kombucha. The presence of gastrointestinal ulcers can be a risk factor as a cause of perforation and death, although it has only been one reported case where the person had pre-existing conditions and doubled his consumption of kombucha. [14][15]

You could get the drink’s benefits at the stomach level with a slightly acidic kombucha (3-3.5), capable of controlling and preventing pathologies such as GERD and even gastric ulcers. [4] [7] 

Although it will not always be helpful against heartburn, it is still safe to consume even with that condition, as long as it is controlled.

I hope this article helps you. Meanwhile, keep reading about this healthy and tasty beverage called kombucha.