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Kombucha: is a cup of tea good for you?
  1. Ailsa Holbourn,
  2. Judith Hurdman
  1. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Judith Hurdman, judith.hurdman{at}


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.

  • complementary medicine
  • poisoning
  • metabolic disorders
  • vitamins and supplements
  • toxicology

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  • 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.