I’m all for probiotics as part of a healthy diet for anyone. But which probiotic might be preferable? Let’s talk about “Water Kefir” and “Kombucha” today, since those are two probiotics you can brew at home from simple ingredients. They’re economical too, since they aren’t based on dairy. If you go so far as to get organic milk to make your own milk kefir, the pricing goes up, you know?
Laurie from Common Sense Home spells it out in detail; basically, this is the simplified version:
Kombucha is great for the digestion, but it’s also a cleanser, detoxifying the liver too.
Kefir is also great for digestion, and doesn’t contain the caffeine Kombucha can have (although it does have a touch of alcohol). But it’s not really a cleanser and detoxifier.
The Heal Thyself Forums mentions that the detox Kombucha might bring on is not ideal if you’re pregnant or nursing. or for anyone with a lot of excess mercury stores.
Heal Thyself also includes this word of caution: “Kombucha has Saccharomyces boulardii which displaces and replaces candida albicans in the gut. Candida binds mercury to keep it out of circulation. When you kill off candida in the gut, stored mercury is released back into circulation to redeposit into other organs and the brain.
That last paragraph concerns me! I ended up spending a day researching how to deal with mercury toxicity in the system. Read Dr. Mercola’s article, “Revised Protocol to Detoxify Your Body” for more info. Also, Dr. Mark Hyman mentions many of the complications that might be connected to mercury toxicity. Meanwhile, I have come to a few conclusions:
1. Drinking kefir is a no-brainer. Of course it’s good for you! And you don’t have to worry about going into some heavy detox mode.
2. Kombucha might be good for you (if you’re not pregnant or nursing), but do be prepared to deal with the candida/mercury issue, as your body might start freeing up it’s mercury stores. Metals need to leave the system, not just roam free!
3. Amalgam silver fillings aren’t cool. Though being used less often now, many of us still have silver fillings which leach mercury into our system. Apparently, the mercury constantly emits vapors that are carried from our mouth, on down through the digestive system, wreaking havoc along the way.
4. If you want to detox from mercury, you shouldn’t keep exposing yourself to the metal. Which means, if you have silver fillings, you should get them removed by a trained biological dentist (not by the average dentist that doesn’t know how to deal with this toxic substance).
5. I’m probably not getting my fillings removed any time soon.
6. But I can avoid shark, swordfish, tuna and other big fish that contain more mercury. Alaskan salmon and smaller fish contain less- I’ll stick to those.
7. I can keep taking my chlorella, since Dr. Mercola mentions that it’s helpful for getting rid of mercury and other toxins in the body. I’ve bought mine from Nuts.com, here. (They offer organic chlorella, which I really like.) But Amazon has a good deal on 1.1 lb. of the powder; find that deal here.
8. This whole mercury problem depends a lot on genetics. Some folks have a certain gene which discourages natural detoxification from heavy metals. So, while some people can get more exposure to toxic metals with no adverse effect, there are others who may ingest less, who suffer for it due to the inability of their system to process and eliminate the metals from their body.
9. Those more sensitive to mercury, due to their genetic makeup, might suffer from autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, heart problems, Type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune diseases, and/or depression. And more!
10. My dad’s trying out certain nutritional supplements on my mom, to see if that might help her release stored mercury. Meanwhile, I think I’ll try brewing some Kombucha, adding a bit of that to my diet. Should it cause me to release some stored mercury, I’m hoping the chlorella will help me weather the detox successfully. I don’t like taking supplements (unless they’re food-based), but I always feel safe using super foods. If I notice anything, I’ll be sure to report back!
If you’ve experienced any symptoms after beginning a Kombucha regimen, please share it with us below in the comments section!