Yerba Mate – A Weight Loss Wonder

Published:August 6th, 2010

Yerba Mate is a species of holly growing in subtropical South America. It is an evergreen shrub with white flowers. Yerba Mate contains xanthenes, more caffeine than tea leaves but less than guarana. The caffeine content of Yerba Mate has a distinct effect on muscle tissue, and not on the central nervous system. The three xanthenes in Yerba Mate have a relaxing effect on smooth muscle tissue. It also contains postassium, magnesium and manganese. It is also rich in antioxidants. The high antioxidant values were linked to the absorption of antioxidant chemicals found in leaves.

Yerba mate contains mateine that is said to possess all the benefits of caffeine, but none of its negative effects. Mateine is in fact caffeine bound to a tannin or phenol in the raw leaves.

A study performed on humans focused on the weight loss properties of Yerba Mate. The study was conducted in Switzerland in 1999 on healthy individuals. The results showed a rise in the proportion of fat burned as energy. Another study was conducted using a combination of yerba mate, guarana and damiana. The product prolonged gastric emptying and reduced the subjects’ body weight.

One other study pointed to the useful effect of Yerba Mate on disorders such as depression, mood and emotional disorders.

Consumption of Yerba Mate can improve lipid parameters, reducing LDL cholesterol. Yerba mate leaves inhibit lipoxygenase, the enzyme responsible for inflammation.

Infusions of leaves were proven to inhibit lipid peroxidation which is the initiating factor in atherosclerosis. Extract of Yerba mate can increase bile flow and inhibit vasoconstriction. Another effect was compared to AGE inhibitor drugs. AGE, advanced glycation end products play a significant part in the development of diabetes.

Yerba mate tea-based drinks contained the largest antioxidant and polyphenol amount among tea or non-tea based drinks.

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