BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-221702
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms

Kombucha: is a cup of tea good for you?

  1. Judith Hurdman
  1. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Judith Hurdman, judith.hurdman{at}
  • Accepted 29 October 2017
  • Published 2 December 2017


A 54-year-old asthmatic woman presented to hospital with a 10-day history of breathlessness. On examination, she was tachypnoeic with mild wheeze. She had preserved peak flows and was saturating at 100% on room air. Investigations revealed severe metabolic lactic acidosis. On further questioning, it transpired that she drank kombucha tea, which has been linked to lactic acidosis. She made a full recovery with supportive management and cessation of the tea.


  • Contributors Both authors have made contributions to the conception and design, acquisition and interpretation of data, drafting the article and final approval of the version submitted.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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