Food & Drink

In a world of rules and regulations, in here, anything goes… except boobies :(

Re: Food & Drink

Postby mushroom_curry » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:36 pm

Wtf?

Some girl sent out an email with the exact above words as a mass email at our office.

...is it a pyramid scheme?
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Re: Food & Drink

Postby Dreamstate » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:13 am

There's so much money to be made if you get in at the ground level
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Re: Food & Drink

Postby tripwalking » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:15 am

It's better than spam. With probiotics.


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Re: Food & Drink

Postby professor science » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:50 am

I'm just going to put this here.

http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/kom ... c-fallacy/

Scott Gavura wrote:Several researchers have examined the bacteria and yeast in the kombucha mat. Content can vary considerably, based on the geography, climate, and local bacteria and yeasts. Bacteria include Bacterium xylinum, Bacterium gluconium, Acetobacter hetogenum, Pichia fermentons. Sometime antibiotic-producing bacteria like Penicillium species can be detected. And then there’s the toxic bacteria that has been detected, such as Bacillus anthracis - anthrax. Yeasts include Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Zygosaccharomyces bailii. Contamination with Aspergillus fungus has also been reported, as well as Candida. Yes, that fungus that’s poisoning us all (according to alternative medicine proponents). Various Candida species including C. albicans, C. kefyr, and C. krusei are also found in kombucha.



The toxicity

Given this is usually a home-brew concoction, there is the significant risk of contamination. In contrast to the lack of benefit, there is good documentation of the potential for harms associated with kombucha:

  • an alcoholic developed jaundice after two weeks, which resolved after discontinuation
  • dizziness, nausea and vomiting that resolved with discontinuation and restarted with rechallenge
  • toxic hepatitis that resolved with discontinuation
  • metabolic acidosis and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, resulting in subsequent cardiac arrest and death
  • metabolic acidosis, cardiac arrest (with recovery)
  • anthrax infections of the skin through topical application of kombucha
  • lactic acidosis and acute renal failure
  • lead poisoning secondary to making it in a ceramic pot
Given the potential for kombucha to grow potentially dangerous pathogens, it’s particularly important for those with compromised immune systems to avoid the product. Given the risks, pregnant or lactating women should avoid kombucha as well.



The bottom line

The best that can be said about kombucha is that it probably won’t kill you. There are no documented health benefits, so unless you really like the taste, there’s no clear reason to consume it. As I have written before, health decisions should be based on an evaluation of the risks and benefits. In the case of kombucha, the benefits, other than the subjective, are unsubstantiated. The risks are real, but also rare. So if that bet still looks attractive, kombucha may be for you. To each his own fermentation. As for me, I’ll stick with my own favourite fermentations: IPA and wheat beer, and pass on the moonshine panacea.
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Re: Food & Drink

Postby tripwalking » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:44 pm

Thanks Rob.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24192111
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23907022

I read some of the "evidence" of the harm he says it's caused people... good grief, if that's considered proof negative, why won't he accept the "proof" positive from other sources? A 22 year old recently diagnosed with HIV has certain symptoms 12 hours after drinking kombucha. Is that really good evidence that kombucha is the culprit? If it was some medicine he took 12 hours before being symptomatic, would a report be created saying not to take that medicine? Of course not; they might say "don't take it in this situation" but why does KT automatically get the red light here?
The "good documentation of the potential for harms" that he cites are from 1995, 2003, and 2009.

Seems like there are some current studies on the positive effects of KT. Interesting to see where they end up.

I certainly don't hold the panache to argue for the science one way or the other, but this whole thing seems a little odd to me.
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Re: Food & Drink

Postby professor science » Mon Jun 09, 2014 2:49 pm

From the first article:

Without being able to read the article itself I cannot assess the quality of the science, or the strength of the data being analysed.

From the second article:

Same as above, I can't read the article and so I cannot assess the quality of the science. It looks potentially positive, but this is questionable.

Bhattacharya S, Gachhui R, Sil PC. wrote:Results showed significant antidiabetic potential of the fermented beverage (150 mg lyophilized extract/kg bw for 14 days) as it effectively restored ALX-induced pathophysiological changes.



This might be due to the formation of some antioxidant molecules during fermentation period.


The conclusion is reaching beyond what the research supports. If Kombucha is more effective, and the effective ingredients are identified (as mentioned above) then administer the effective ingredients in pill or beverage form and eliminate the potential harmful byproducts. If you cannot identify the presence of antioxidants/cannot identify which antioxidants are present, then you cannot say that it is effective for this reason.

Also, rat/mouse models are not entirely indicative of the effects in humans.

In contrast, I can produce this article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12808367

Ernst E. wrote:On the basis of these data it was concluded that the largely undetermined benefits do not outweigh the documented risks of kombucha. It can therefore not be recommended for therapeutic use.


And then there's this:
http://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/herb/kombucha

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre wrote:Clinical Summary
Prepared by fermenting sweetened black tea with a symbiotic culture of yeasts and bacteria, Kombucha tea has been used to treat a wide variety of symptoms as well as certain diseases such as cancer, AIDS and diabetes (3). The high caffeine and sugar content of the tea may account for increased energy some users have reported following consumption of the product (4). In vitro and animal studies show potent antioxidant, immunostimulating (5), hypolipidemic (20), and hepatoprotective (6) (18) (19) (21) effects with limited toxicity (7); however, clinical studies in humans are lacking (8).

Because of the fermentation process, Kombucha can easily become contaminated. Allergic reactions, jaundice, serious illness and occasionally death have been associated with the consumption of home-grown Kombucha tea (9) (10) (11). It may also reduce the absorption of drugs that are sensitive to the pH level of the stomach (12).
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Re: Food & Drink

Postby tripwalking » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:31 pm

I still don't think I'm seeing anything that says KT is responsible... correct me if I'm wrong.

What makes this an undetermined benefit? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10888589 I don't know a lot of the lingo here, and I'm not trying to be snarky :)
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Re: Food & Drink

Postby professor science » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:20 pm

Don't see anything that says KT is responsible for what?
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Re: Food & Drink

Postby tripwalking » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:17 pm

professor science wrote:Don't see anything that says KT is responsible for what?


Any of the maladies mentioned in the articles... It seems like it's a common among the people who had health issues, but is there any proof that it is responsible? They might have all ate mcdonalds too. I didn't see any "a" therefore "b" unless I'm missing something. It appears to be a bit of a scapegoat with no proof that it caused any of the results. I guess I just don't see irrefutable evidence that these studies show that the stuff is the root cause of all these peoples issues. I mean, an HIV positive guy drinks kt and then 12 hours later has some symptoms? What else happened in that 12 hours? I'm not convinced that it was because he drank some fermented tea. Did they test the tea he drank? Was it rotten? Home brewed beer can go bad, can it not?
I appreciate your time on these scientific threads Rob. It's so nice to see your civility towards my layman type :)


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Re: Food & Drink

Postby professor science » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:18 am

From my earlier post:

  • an alcoholic developed jaundice after two weeks, which resolved after discontinuation
  • dizziness, nausea and vomiting that resolved with discontinuation and restarted with rechallenge
  • toxic hepatitis that resolved with discontinuation
  • metabolic acidosis and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, resulting in subsequent cardiac arrest and death
  • metabolic acidosis, cardiac arrest (with recovery)
  • anthrax infections of the skin through topical application of kombucha
  • lactic acidosis and acute renal failure
  • lead poisoning secondary to making it in a ceramic pot

The risks above are are directly attributable to KT. In the first three, the problems were rectified as soon as the person discontinued using KT, in the second case, the problem restarted when they restarted using KT. Anthrax infection because they applied KT to the skin. Lead poisoning because they ingested KT that was made in a ceramic pot (there acidity of the KT leaches lead out of the ceramic glaze).

Metabolic acidosis and lactic acidosis are all directly attributable to repeatedly ingesting quantities of acid. KT is acidic. I've seen reports of pH as low as 2.5. If you drink too much KT your blood pH can become too low.

Symptoms may include chest pain, palpitations, headache, altered mental status such as severe anxiety due to hypoxia, decreased visual acuity, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, altered appetite and weight gain, muscle weakness, bone pain and joint pain.

Extreme acidemia leads to neurological and cardiac complications:
  • Neurological: lethargy, stupor, coma, seizures.
  • Cardiac: arrhythmias (ventricular tachycardia), decreased response to epinephrine; both lead to hypotension (low blood pressure).

If you drink small quantities of purchased KT you should be okay, it probably won't kill you. If you make it yourself you open yourself up to more risk. Be cautious with the vessel you make it in and the status of the ferment. The likeliness of infection increases w/ home brew KT. This is mostly due to mould growth, but also from other fungi and bacteria that may inhabit the SCOBY.
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Re: Food & Drink

Postby tripwalking » Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:40 pm

You're right; it's clear in those cases. I'm interested to see what comes of the more recent studies too.


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