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Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
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David G. Savage:
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Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
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May 3, 2013
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Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
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April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
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Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
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April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Kombucha tea: More hype than health
Environmental Nutrition editors
Q: Is kombucha tea as good for you as the hype would indicate?
A: Steeped in promises as irresistible as "anti-aging, immune-boosting and speeding up metabolism," kombucha tea is all the rage, even filling the cups of Hollywood A-Listers, such as Alec Baldwin and Gwyneth Paltrow. With that kind of publicity, kombucha is quickly changing its image from a centuries-old, home-brewed remedy to a commercially produced fad. Like many trends, however, an up close glimpse reveals that drinking kombucha tea may offer risks rather than benefits.
Kombucha tea is made by fermenting tea, sugar and a culture of yeasts and bacteria known as the kombucha "mushroom," due to the brew's shape as it ferments. The "mushroom" steeps in tea and sugar for about a week before it produces a "baby mushroom," which is used to start a new culture.
While many people get their baby mushroom from friends, they also are available commercially. Several companies sell bottled kombucha tea, as well as drinks combining kombucha tea with fruit juices or flavorings. Kombucha is an acquired taste due to its sour flavor and fermented odor. Dried kombucha also is available in a capsule and liquid extract.
The tea is thought to have originated in Asia during the Chinese Tsin dynasty, where it was known as a remedy, or "tea of immortality," based on the belief that it brought health, longevity and wellbeing. Travelers brought kombucha to India, Russia and Japan, where it reportedly was drunk by Samurai.
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Now known around the world, it has acquired many names in many cultures, such as Russian fungus and Japanese sponge, where it has gathered a legacy of proclaimed miracles. Over the years, these miracles have been replaced by alleged health benefits for everything from baldness and arthritis to cancer and HIV.
KOMBUCHA BENEFITS UNKNOWN
Unfortunately, these health benefits have not been scientifically proven, although preliminary research shows antioxidant properties in kombucha. In fact, there have been reports of serious side effects like stomach upset, infection and even death, possibly due to contamination during home-brewing, where conditions may not have been sterile. Kombucha tea may also contain molds and fungi, which can cause illness.
After it's fermented, the drink is highly acidic and contains alcohol, ethyl acetate, acetic acid and lactate. There are reports of jaundice, anthrax of the skin, and allergic reactions associated with drinking kombucha, as well as lead poisoning attributed to brewing and storage in ceramic, lead crystal, or painted containers. To be fair, these safety concerns have been raised over home-brewed kombucha rather than commercially prepared beverages.
Despite a long history and impressive list of supposed health claims, kombucha tea should be approached with caution. Not only is there a lack of scientific evidence to back many of its claims, but home-brewed kombucha has been linked with illnesses. If you'd like to try kombucha, purchase it from a reputable, commercial vendor, but don't expect any miraculous health benefits.
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© 2012 BELVOIR MEDIA GROUP DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC. (Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)