Kombucha and Urinary Tract Infections

The frequency of some urinary infections, most of the time opportunistic, arise from an imbalance of the normal genital or urinary microbiota or the pH of the urine, and kombucha thanks to its components could help maintain this balance and improve the health of the urinary system.

Some of the probiotics offered by kombucha are natural in the body and help fight these urinary infections, thus avoiding the conditions for foreign microorganisms to settle in the organs of the urinary system, and not reproduce in the bladder and beyond.

Kombucha can offer other components that apparently collaborate with the protection and treatment of urinary infections as we will describe below. It is also important to note that scientific evidence is needed where the trials have been tested in humans.

How can you prevent UTIs?

To this day, there is no scientific evidence that even speaks of the relationship between kombucha and urinary tract infections (UTIs), neither in animals nor in laboratories, so let’s focus a little on the role that probiotics can have.

Probiotics such as Lactobacillus generate an antimicrobial effect that offers an appropriate environment in the genital and urinary tract that prevents infection by opportunistic pathogens that would lead to infections of the urethra and bladder.

Most UTIs are caused by a normal microorganism in the human intestines, Escherichia coli, although it can also result from fungal infections that are less common than E coli infections.

In addition, the decrease of Lactobacillus bacteria from the genitourinary microbiota establishes the conditions of susceptibility for the development of other harmful microorganisms.

While kombucha is not a great source of Lactobacillus probiotics, it does contain them, in addition to other probiotics that help restore the balance where infections are controlled, maintaining a low pH and producing hydrogen peroxide, both of which limit the development of E.  Coli and other pathogens. [1]

This particular study refers to the possibility of using probiotics, particularly those of the Lactobacillus strain, as an alternative to the use of antibiotics, although much more research is needed to assert that it is indeed an alternative treatment.1

We also have other studies regarding the recurrence of UTIs, where it was shown that, again, Lactobacillus strains are effective and safe in preventing recurrent urinary tract infections in women, however, the study had a very small sample of people to generalize definitive conclusions. [2]  [3]

In conclusion, we could say that kombucha, based on its probiotic effect, could help prevent a UTI, although its effect on this is not very large because Lactobacillus probiotics are not abundant in kombucha, unlike what happens with kefir or sauerkraut.

How else can kombucha prevent UTIs?

In other studies it has been determined that vitamin C can have a bacteriostatic effect in the urine working as a preventive to urinary infections, also the antioxidant properties of kombucha would help restore and protect the affected urinary tissues. [4]

To take into account, a bacteriostatic effect is one where, although the cell in question is not eliminated, its reproduction is prevented, and it dies at the same time due to aging.

Kombucha has a good supply of vitamin C, being useful for treatment because ascorbic acid reduces urinary nitrites to reactive nitrogen oxide, which is a potent microbicide against pathogenic invaders, although the truth is that there is a lack of solid clinical evidence to support this claim in healthy adult women.

Many of the pathologies in the urinary system such as glomerulonephritis, vasculitis, toxic nephropathies, among others, arise from oxidative lesions, where the antioxidant effect of the drink can prevent its appearance and prevent scarring. [5]

For example, diseases caused by infections such as pyelonephritis cause oxidative stress that leads to cell death, therefore, the use of antioxidants is beneficial by eliminating reactive oxygen species, which, together with the anti-inflammatory effects of kombucha, could reduce damage to kidney tissues. 5

Can it lead to any side effects?

It is not certain whether kombucha can cause harm while used as a treatment for urinary tract infections, but in studies conducted with probiotics, to determine its therapeutic effects on the urinary tract, it was considered that despite the benefits it could be harmed the health of all urinary organs.

Kombucha may contain L. plantarum and L. brevis that are very useful against infections due to their resistance to high pH, since lactobacillus in alkaline media lose their antimicrobial capacity.

But by interacting in alkaline medium with other microorganisms such as Proteus Mirabilis, found naturally in the urinary tract, they could generate the crystallization of some mineral salts that would probably lead to the formation of urinary stones.  [6]

Therefore, despite the benefits offered, more research should be done to better explain these interactions, since it does not seem entirely safe to introduce microorganisms into the body to prevent or treat various diseases.

What other aspects of urinary tract health can they show?

The varied health effects provided by kombucha are also reflected in the urinary system promoting health beyond the control of urinary tract infections. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects prevent the increase of cellular lesions caused by uncontrolled inflammation caused by non-infectious pathologies.

Also the preparation with other concoctions such as blueberry, perhaps would allow you to acquire some of its benefits such as acidification of the pH of the urine, the combination of blueberries and ascorbic acid result in a good prophylactic of infections.  [7]

It is also thought that blueberries, vitamin C and L. rhamnosus, could prove to be a safe and effective option in women with recurrent UTIs. [8]

To conclude the article, if you have any picture if urinary infection, the best thing you can do is talk to your family doctor and keep if the probiotic content that kombucha has helps as a complementary therapy, in addition to preventing recurrent cases in the future, since the truth is that there is still nothing defined of kombucha in this regard.

As I always tell you, you are totally invited to continue informing you more about how wonderful, fermented products can be.