I apologize if there's already a discussion on this around here somewhere. I searched, but didn't find what I was looking for - but if it's out there, feel free to point in me the right direction.

I'm wanting to get some water kefir grains and start making water kefir for my family, but I'd read on here that kombucha can be a bad idea if you have mercury fillings. My husband has multiple mercury fillings, and I'm wondering if I'd actually be doing more harm than good by giving him water kefir. Does it have detox effects like kombucha?

Can anybody tell me whether or not water kefir is safe in this situation, and if so, why it is - while kombucha isn't?




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I love kombucha and after 9 months of having my son on the GAPS protocol (he has Asperger's Syndrome), I began giving him kombucha too. At this point he was eating daily homemade saurkraut, yogurt, cultured cream, kefir etc etc so I introduced kombucha figuring he could handle another ferment. He loved it!

I gave him a 2oz serving once a day and noticed no problems for about a week. Then he started having some sleep problems. I didn't even consider the kombucha. Then he started craving it and asking to drink it at other times of the day and was up to maybe 8 oz a day of my homemade kombucha.

After a couple of more weeks things began going downhill fast, lots of nightmares, stimming came back, his mood was up and down, his good eye contact began to lessen, panic attacks came back and he began (just like before we were on GAPS) complaining of pain in his fingers and scalp. He began complaining of tingling on his arms too. His sensory integration issues returned with a vengeance.  

Another few weeks and he had regressed about a 70%. I was heartbroken. He was doing so well! I scrambled to try and figure out what had caused the regression. At first I thought it was just a little cleansing cycle but three months into it and with such a downward trajectory, I knew something was going wrong. Finally, I decided to take out the kombucha (I was unaware of the mercury issues surrounding using kombucha). Immediately his symptoms stopped worsening.

It took almost four months to bring him back up to a good place but, thank goodness, we're back! Kombucha is powerful and I believe that he has big issues with mercury (most autistics do). I plan to re-introduce it to him in very small quantities in another couple of months. I like the idea that it is cleaning his body of stored mercury but I will be careful not to overwhelm his cleansing pathways next time.

We're doing daily juicing with fresh greens and loads of berries. I think this has helped him detox while recovering from this latest bout of mercury poisoning :)

Wow, Kristin!  Thanks for sharing your experience.  I had a similar reaction and am very cautious with kombucha and mercury/candida. {{{hugs}}}

Did you see this discussion?  I'd love for you to share your observations there too.


So, does the kombucha bind to the mercury and lead it out?? What do you mean by needing the detox pathways to be open? How does that happen? 

Pat Robinson said:

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.

Kefir does not do this similarly. Some people get GI symptoms if they start kefir too much too fast due to the microbial shift in the gut. Kefir has many beneficial microbials. You only need 1 tablespoon to equate to a whole bottle of probiotics.

Kombucha also has the effect of increasing detoxification in the liver. This is beneficial, unless pregnant or nursing, or excess mercury stores. You also need your detox pathways to be open first for effective detox.

Hope that helps. Water kefir is fabulous!!


Hi Pat, could you tell me what you mean by this 'Some people get GI symptoms if they start kefir too much too fast due to the microbial shift in the gut.' My English is pretty good (lived abroad for six years) however I do not know what GI symptoms are? I'd love to know though (: Thanks!

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