Kombucha Probiotics and Colorectal Cancer
Kombucha Probiotics and Colorectal Cancer
by Morag Currin
Colorectal cancer (CRC) refers to tumors that start in the colon which spreads all the way to the rectum. CRC is a silent killer that is not usually noticed until the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. Symptoms of CRC can be misdiagnosed as it can present with symptoms of other ill health issues and symptoms include unexplained anemia and/or weight loss, bloating, changes in the bowel movement habits, bloody stool, vomiting and pelvic pain. A colonoscopy is the screening test that will confirm CRC.
Bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori, Bacteroides fragilis, Helicobacter hepaticus, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Fusobacterium nucleatum and Streptococcus bovis can rapidly increase, become pathogens which then form adenomas which can develop into CRC.
Within your gut microbiome the right levels of healthy bacteria are needed. Healthy bacteria need the right type of food to grow.
Probiotics are ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria as they help to make sure the digestive system works properly and that the body can absorb all the nutrients from food, plus they are also a component of the immune system. Probiotic organisms include lactic acid producing bacteria of the genera Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium as well as Propionibacterium, Saccharomyces and are the major ingredients in yoghurts and other functional foods such as unfermented milks, cheese, kefir and fermented milk.
Prebiotics stimulate an increased growth of probiotics by providing a more favorable environment for their growth. Getting balanced amounts of both probiotics and prebiotics can help ensure that the right balance of these bacteria can keep the gut microbiota healthy. A gut environment that encounters opportunistic and potentially pathogenic bacteria could initiate the beginning of CRC.
“Several studies have shown that the administration of both probiotics and prebiotics as a combination can aid increasingly in improving the conditions of patients with CRC especially after colorectal surgery has been performed.”
Kombucha has been around for nearly 2,000 years originating in China and then spread to Japan and Russia. Kombucha is a tangy, sweet-and-sour drink produced by fermenting sugar and tea with a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The SCOBY consists of several acetic acid and lactic acid bacteria.
During the fermentation process the sugar is turned into acetic acid (also found in vinegar) and small amounts of alcohol. Following fermentation, kombucha’s chemical makeup includes sugars, tea polyphenols, fiber, ethanol, amino acids and water-soluble vitamins.
Kombucha joins the long list of fermented products that people consume such as yoghurt, gingerbeer and other cordials, sauerkraut, bread, cheese, coffee, chocolate, gherkins and kimchi.
Kombucha Probiotics Benefits
Preclinical studies have shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunostimulatory, hypolipidemic (decrease in the level of lipids in the blood), and hepatoprotective (prevent damage to liver) effects with limited toxicity. Health benefits attributed to kombucha include the reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol, plus it is said to provide anti-cancer and immunostimulatory effects.
Making kombucha for clients in the salon/spa is easy, effective and delicious! The most important requirement is a controlled, sanitary environment and having the right equipment when making
kombucha. Any kombucha that is contaminated is not safe for clients even healthy clients. The higher risk is clients who are immune compromised.
Kombucha during the summer can be fermented for approximately 7-10 days, and before bottling you can add freshly cleaned and cut up strawberries, or freshly squeezed lemon juice with grated ginger. These refreshing kombucha blends can be served cold with ice and mint leaves. At OTI we choose to use rooibos (red bush tea) as the base for Kombucha. This ‘red’ tea has been through a fermentation process, oxidized and it provides good dietary antioxidants benefits plus it is caffeine-free. Rooibos contains minerals, phytochemicals (flavonoids which possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti- cancer properties), and phytoestrogens while remaining very low (and sometimes completely void) in alkaloids, tannins and calories.
So, good bacteria from the fermenting process combined with the benefits of rooibos, should provide a beneficial and healthy option for salon/spa clients! Anything to help prevent colorectal cancer. Any concerns re phytoestrogens for hormone dependent cancers of which colorectal cancer is one, have the client confer with their oncology team regarding this refreshment.
References upon request as there are numerous.
As a leader in our industry, Morag has spent over 27 years in the aesthetic/skin care industry, researching and constantly updating her knowledge on cancer and other diseases and how treatment affects the services we offer; plus she still offers services such as reflexology, aromatherapy and electrodessication. Morag pioneered Oncology Esthetics® training back in 2007. It was her concept that has driven change to our industry that others have followed. She consults globally with industry leaders by educating them how to include the cancer community. Besides making time for written articles and webinars she offers equine facilitated learning and activity sessions for the cancer community and veterans since there is a prevalence of significant psychological distress within these communities.