Specialized Kombucha Drink Increases Stool Frequency in IBS Patients

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The mean values of stool scale form also increased in the kombucha cohort, while the control group remained unchanged.

A new kombucha drink could help improve the symptoms of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

A team, led by Vladimir Pilipenko, Federal Research Center of Nutrition and Biotechnology, assessed the efficacy of kombucha-based specialized food product enriched with inulin in patients with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome.

The Study

In the study, the investigators examined patients with constipation-predominant IBS according to the ROME IV criteria. Each participant was randomized to receive either 220 ml of a non-alcoholic drink, based on pasteurized kombucha, enriched with inulin (1.15 g/100ml) (n = 20) or 200 ml of water (n = 20) for 10 days.

Patients in both groups were asked to follow their usual diet other than the study product.

Standard examination included evaluation of stool frequency or bowel movements per day, stool form using the Bristol stool scale, and the evaluation of concomitant symptoms such as abdominal pain or discomfort, abdominal fullness, bloating, and feeling of incomplete bowel emptying using the 5-point Likert scale before and 10 days following the start of intervention.

Overall, the investigators had complete data for 40 participants.


There was a significant increase in stool frequency at the 10 day mark following intervention compared to baseline in the kombucha group (Mean ± SD: 0.60 ± 0.31 to 0.85 ± 0.19 times/day; P = 0.004). There was no change in the control group (Mean ± SD: 0.63 ± 0.33 vs 0.72 ± 0.28; P >0.05).

The mean values of stool scale form also increased in the kombucha cohort (Mean ± SD: 2.95 ± 1.15 to 4.4 ± 0.97; P = 0.001), while the control group remained unchanged(Mean ± SD: 2.94 ± 1.2 vs 3.4 ± 1.2; P = 0.6).

The mean values of the Bristol stool scale in the kombucha and control group differed significantly 10 days following the start of intervention (P = 0.018) and there were significant decreases in mean values of incomplete bowel emptying feelings in the kombucha group (Mean ± SD: 1.88 ± 0.78 at baseline vs 1.41 ± 0.56 points at EOT; P = 0.015), but not in the control group.

There was no different in the patient reports on other symptoms between the 2 groups.

“New specialized kombucha-based drink enriched with inulin is well-tolerated and increases stool frequency and consistency in patients with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome,” the authors wrote.

Vitamin D

Another option that has been explored recently to relieve symptoms of IBS is vitamin D.

A team, led by Ryan Ian Houe Chong, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, identified the clinical effects of vitamin D supplementation on IBS symptom severity and quality of life measures.

The team found vitamin D supplementation significantly improved IBS symptom severity scale scores with a SMD of -0.77 (95% CI, -1.47 to -0.07; P = 0.04, I2 = 91%).

Improvements in quality of life scores for patients with IBS were also seen, but they were not statistically significant (SMD, 0.54; 95% CI, -0.34 to 1.41; P = 0.15; I2 = 87%)

The study, “Efficacy of Newly Developed Kombucha-Based Specialized Food Product for Treatment of Constipation-Predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” was published online in Current Developments in Nutrition.