Friday, December 16, 2011

Food Facts Friday: Kombucha, A new discovery!

Without grossing you out with details, I thought perhaps a UTI might be in my future, so I was in search of some cranberry juice yesterday. After reading all the research articles on GMO foods, of course, my eyes lit up when I spotted this really cool glass jar with a label that read, "Organic & Raw Cosmic Cranberry". There it was, on the top shelf, in the veggie aisle at the grocers. I read the ingredients, "organic raw Kombucha and pure unsweetened cranberry juice & 100% pure love". Sounded good. I put the bottle in my cart, and moved on, thinking nothing of it. 
La, la, la....
When I got home, my daughter came to help me with the groceries. As we unpacked the bags, she spotted the juice, "Oooo, what's this?" I told her that it was some cranberry juice that I bought to try to keep a UTI away. She was grossed and decided that was enough of helping Mom. She was out!
She spun around on her heals, looked at me and said, 
"TMI, Mom, I'm gonna go finish my homework, now."

I moseyed on over to the bottle, opened it. It was cool & it had a little effervescence. It was also pretty tasty - not too sweet. I always water down juice, it's too sweet to drink straight, and sometimes it upsets my stomach. This drink, though, didn't need to be watered down. I really liked it, so, I started to sip and read the label.

Fascinating, how some times, I can do more than 1 thing at the same time!

As I read the label, I noticed it was a probiotic and I thought it might actually be good for my Crohn's Disease. But, what's Kombucha?
So, innocently, I Googled: 

"Oh, no." I started to panic. It has yeast? I don't want yeast - after a week of diarrhea and a possible UTI on the way? Absolutely not! Oh, goodness, what did I just put in my body?

Memory Flash Back: 1986, Senior year, Rutgers, School of Environmental & Biological Science. I was chosen to be a part of the George H Cook Honors research program. It was quite an honor! I was assigned an internship with an Environmental Engineering firm. Sounds great, right? Don't be impressed: I had to collect effluent from a factory, International Flavors & Fragrances. This factory is famous for making fragrances, perfumes and food flavorings. Yes, my dear friends, those strong tasty flavors in popular snack foods are made in the same place that makes expensive "French" perfume.
Sorry, but that $200 bottle of perfume did not come from here.
It came from here: IFF, Hazlet, NJ!
Anyway, I was hired to conduct research on a pilot plant, which was installed to treat the factory's waste water. This pilot plant was based on bacteria, which lived on these big discs, called rotating biological contactors. When the discs rotated into the waste water, the bacteria ate the waste in the water. When the discs spun up, out of the water, the bacteria were oxygenated.

I was such a nerdy little scientist - so proud of that pilot plant study!
But one day, it all came crashing to a halt.
I went to the factory to collect my effluent samples.
And what the...
White foamy-like stuff covered my rotating biological contactors.
 What was this stuff?
 It was slimy.
It was disgusting.
It was...
Oh, and by the way, my research, it was ruined!

Back to the present: I was freakin' out. I kept thinking, "What little bacteria I have in my intestines is going to be taken over by this yeast, just like my rotating biological contactors."

I googled the bacteria on the label: Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086
And I googled the yeast: S. Boulardii.
Okay, Relief: 
Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086 is a great natural supplement developed by Ganedan Labs to help support digestive and immune health. This was a good to know, but what about this yeast stuff?

And, much to my chagrin:
S. Boulardii was also effective in treating and preventing gastrointestinal disorders. What luck! The S. Boulardii has also been shown to increase our immune system responses and have an anti-inflammatory effect on the gut! What a relief! I can breathe, again. And I can keep drinking this tasty beverage, "Synergy".
I needed to know more about this company, so I Googled: Synergy with this GT's Kombucha? I encourage you to visit the website. There, you will read an incredible story posted by this young man, GT, and his mom, Laraine. They started the company because Laraine discovered that drinking Kombucha, helped her deal with, and eventually beat, breast cancer! You go, Laraine!

Well, I really liked the Kombucha and am on a quest to see if it can help give me some relief in the tummy area, while building my immune system and keeping that UTI at bay!
Has anyone else heard of this stuff? 
Do you drink it? 
Has it helped? 
Is there something else you drink or eat that makes you feel like you have more energy?
Or maybe you feel like it's helping your immune system?
It would be nice to share, like Laraine did so we can all ....
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