Talk:Kombucha

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Mood benefits from Kombucha[edit]

The drink contains probiotic. Probiotics clean out your gut. Because serotonin is mainly produced in the gut and a cleaner gut produces more serotonin (which is our happy chemical), Kombucha is a mood boosting drink. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Srmcgraw1 (talkcontribs) 16:31, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

Sounds highly dubious. Any such claims need good WP:MEDRS. Alexbrn (talk) 16:35, 4 May 2017 (UTC)
The serotonin in your central nervous system is produced in the serotonergic nerves in your brain. Your gut does also produce serotonin (and in larger volume), which your body uses to regulate intestinal action, but it doesn't cross the blood-brain barrier.
Also, producing more serotonin won't make you any happier. Your nerves have a complex system of regulation for serotonin exchange; if you have extra sitting around inside your nerves, it doesn't do anything. If you want to be happier, you need to do something to encourage the serotonin to be released to synapses or prevent reuptake, or to agonise the receptors. That's how most "happy drugs", from MDMA to Prozac, work.
Of course if you have a serotonin deficiency, more serotonin can help. But only in your brain, not your gut. Consuming serotonin precursors that can get through the blood-brain barrier might be beneficial. If kombucha really did make your gut produce more serotonin, that would use up the precursors your brain needed and give you the same kind of down you get after a night on MDMA—but, fortunately, it has no such effect at all.
Finally, "probiotics clean out your gut" isn't true in the first place. A wide variety of cultures are called probiotics, and they all do different things (well, many of them do nothing at all, but…) ranging from helping lactose metabolism to breaking down bile residues. One thing none of them actually do is clean out your gut; if they did, they'd be banned as unsafe. --173.228.85.220 (talk) 04:30, 22 July 2017 (UTC)
This well-conducted RfC concerns whether our article about a brew should be formatted as a medical article (as it is now) or as a drink (presumably, opening with sections on etymology and history, as our articles on tea and coffee do). Editors are unable to agree, and I see no policy basis on which to prefer one side over the other. Therefore, the only available close is no consensus.

On Wikipedia, a "no consensus" outcome to a content RfC means that the status quo ante continues to apply. Therefore the outcome of this RfC is not to change the format of the page.—S Marshall T/C 12:34, 3 September 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Rfc about the format of the page, food or MOS:MED.[edit]

Should the Kombucha page be formatted as a food or medical article?--SamHolt6 (talk) 13:25, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Support Changing the format of the page to that of a food article would increases the similarity of the Kombucha article to that of other fermented tea pages, and would serve to clarify what Kombucha is.--SamHolt6 (talk) 13:25, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

  • Oppose. It can remain formatted according to MOS:MED. The health effects can be promptly featured in the lead and body. QuackGuru (talk) 14:44, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
  • As a medical article. It is notable mainly for its claimed effects on health. Maproom (talk) 18:35, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - Summoned by bot. Kombucha is a drink, therefore it is consumed and should be formatted as a food article. Meatsgains (talk) 23:19, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment How are food articles formatted? Do they have a MOS for drinks? Keep as currently formatted Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:18, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Support formatting as a food article, Oppose formating as a medical article. MOS:MED begins:
    The article title should be the scientific or recognised medical name that is most commonly used in recent, high-quality, English-language medical sources, rather than a lay term (unscientific or slang name)...
According to the article itself, the scientific name is Medusomyces gisevii (note: red link), and that's clearly the wrong name for the Wikipedia article, and that's because it's not a drug like Ibuprofen and it's not a species like Clostridium difficile. It's a beverage with claimed health benefits, like comfrey#Medicinal use. —Anomalocaris (talk) 17:46, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Keep formatting as a medical article as no has explained how a food article is formatted. Plus this is promoted for health uses / benefits. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:57, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose changing formatting if it is to obscure discussion of purported health benefits. Not really clear what the difference would be but if the intent is to de-emphasize the false health benefit claims that doesn't make sense. The current layout of the lede and article looks good. —DIYeditor (talk) 13:55, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
* Support formatting as a food article (like the tea article), kombucha is primarily a drink - perhaps creating a second article on health effects of kombucha like there is for tea. MonardaDidyma (talk) 20:59, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Interesting article, maybe good for something[edit]

The Atlantic: [1]. Also, you can use it as a legal argument: [2]. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:12, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Here's another article, at Mayo: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/kombucha-tea/faq-20058126

I'd add it myself but I'm really bad at coding wiki. :x

Tabbycatlove (talk) 04:04, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

A User's Perspective[edit]

I'm honestly not certain where to put this, as the threads concerning organisation of this article are scattered all over the Talk page. So I'm making a new section. If someone thinks this information would be better in another thread on the page, please feel free to move it to where it's most appropriate.

Weighing in here as an information-seeker. I had no pre-conceived notions about kombucha and was looking for information after drinking some at a pub last night that had it on draught. We had a discussion about it while drinking, and wanted to know:

  • do the constituent ingredients matter? (we drank ginger kombucha, but what else can it be made from?)
  • does "kombucha" refer to the process that makes the drink (similar to vodka), or the drink's ingredients, or both?
    • the article mentions a bacterial load or "mother" - is it made similarly yoghurt or cider, where the cultures are preserved from generation to generation, or more like beer, where cultures are sourced externally and may not be genetically related from batch to batch?
  • the bar listed the drink as being 1.5% alcohol (3 proof) - is it top-fermented (like ales) or bottom-fermented (like lagers)?
  • is the bacteria consumed during the fermentation process, or is it a live-culture drink when imbibed?
  • what alcoholic strengths can it be made in? (If it's a live-culture drink, I presume there's an alcohol level beyond which will kill the bacteria...?)
  • is kombucha always fizzy, or are there non-carbonated versions?

None of these questions are answered by the article in its current state.

From my perspective, much of the article seems to have a disproportionately negative (and highly biased) tone. The "Adverse effects" section in particular seems blown wildly out of proportion. At least one person is known to have died after consuming kombucha, though the drink itself has never been conclusively proved a cause of death. I can say with certainty that hundreds of millions of people have died after consuming water, but I would never expect a claim like that to make it into the Wikipedia article on H2O. As a consumer, I expect that many of the adverse affects reported stem from poor preparation practices, and not from the drink itself. (Who would allow it to be sold in a pub if the drink was actually dangerous?) I looked at the Wikipedia article on moonshine, which shares many of the dangers of improper preparation, and there is no "Adverse effects" warning section... I would suggest that any potentially harmful effects be incorporated into a section under purported health effects.

I also think it would be nice to change the first image of the article. While interesting and perhaps useful later in the article for illustrative purposes about the preparation process (the section on which is also incredibly sparse by Wikipedia standards), it is certainly not an appealing image. A quick creative commons licence search shows dozens of more appealing and representative images of the final product, which (if last night's beverage was at all representative) is a slightly-cloudy, honey-coloured fizzy drink served neat and chilled; not a stratified, bacteria-laden mess.

In all, I find myself completely agreeing with the editors who suggest organising the article as a food/beverage article. I purchased and consumed it only as a drink, unaware of any health claims, which, while interesting, are far less important than its classification as a beverage.

[Comment by 74.75.232.15 (talk · contribs) disallowed by edit filter] - Mike Rosoft (talk) 11:27, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

I kind of agree. After reading this article, I know a little bit more about it but mostly in too scared to drink it. I hate that the health nuts have jumped onto it, but it's a traditional drink with centuries of history; it shouldn't just be categorized as a bad-snakeoil-medicine-do-not-drink-or-you-could-die. It feels kind of like the editors read too much pseudo-health stuff about if and kind of started beating a dead horse (unintentionally.) I came here wanting to find out about its history and dietary use, but I'm going to have to read more elsewhere.
But now I'm scared to drink it even if it is probiotic. :o Tabbycatlove (talk) 04:00, 1 August 2017 (UTC)
@Tabbycatlove: Well if you find any good information from reliable sources please let us know. There is no reason the article can't be informative about the history behind Kombucha. I do think that normally "History" (and "Etymology") would be the first section(s) in the article. —DIYeditor (talk) 06:03, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Addition of section on science showing benefits[edit]

I added a new section to this article, reviewing the science showing some benefits to consumption of kombucha. While the science on this substance is far from settled, this article seemed to exhibit bias by only listing negative studies. I have tried to bring it back into balance by adding cited evidence. I also made a few small edits to make the differing claims less jarring. This really needs another set of eyes on it to smooth and unify the information presented. I do greatly agree with some of the other discussion in bringing it in line with the other tea articles. This does seem to need more history and context - placing it first as a drink, and then adding a review of the different health claims and findings. MonardaDidyma (talk) 20:53, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

I reverted; none of your sources appear to meet WP:MEDRS. Alexbrn (talk) 20:54, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
The majority of the information came from the review article: Jayabalan, R., Malbaša, R. V., Lončar, E. S., Vitas, J. S. and Sathishkumar, M. (2014), A Review on Kombucha Tea—Microbiology, Composition, Fermentation, Beneficial Effects, Toxicity, and Tea Fungus. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, 13: 538–550. doi:10.1111/1541-4337.12073

should I just cite to this one article for the whole section? Find more review articles?MonardaDidyma (talk) 21:09, 27 July 2017 (UTC)

You need to find reliable sources. Primary sources cannot be used for assertions in the realm of WP:Biomedical information and your "review" article apparently wasn't even PUBMED--indexed, so is not suitable for such use either. Alexbrn (talk) 21:11, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
I removed the material that wasn't from the review article and reposted. The journal is a respected one with an ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 3/129 (Food Science & Technology).MonardaDidyma (talk) 21:23, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Maybe, but it's not reliable for content on human health, and even if it were putting in a section entitled "Beneficial effects" seems rather POV. Alexbrn (talk) 21:26, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
Help me, then. Because I am so confused. The review article I used was already the first article cited in the Wikipedia entry. There are also 14 cited references to primary sources in the article. (And I'll agree on the "Beneficial Effects" name - I only called it that because there was another paragraph called "Adverse Effects".) MonardaDidyma (talk) 21:39, 27 July 2017 (UTC)
The source is not being used to support claims about human health, and for that it is a fine source. Alexbrn (talk) 21:43, 27 July 2017 (UTC)