Health Warning: Yerba Mate Tea Prevents and Causes Cancer
A recent news release touts the potential benefits of drinking Yerba mate tea toward colon cancer prevention. However, what the release does not mention is that Yerba mate tea is also listed as a carcinogen toward the development of other types of cancers as well. Read on to discover why drinking Yerba mate tea to prevent cancer may cause cancer instead.
A press release issued by the University of Illinois, Urbana announced the publication of one lab’s recent findings in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research that components isolated from the Yerba mate tea demonstrated anti-cancer properties that led to the death of cultured colon cancer cells. Yerba mate tea is an herbal infusion of the plant Ilex paraguariensis and is drunk primarily in Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil. The tea is also popular in the U.S. due to claims that it is beneficial to health.
In the study, organic solvents were used to extract specific compounds from dried Yerba mate tea leaves followed by purification and biochemical identification. Various forms of the components are referred to caffeoylquinic acids (CQA) that are well-known for their anti-inflammatory and other properties.
The objective of the study was to isolate and purify diCQAs from Yerba mate tea leaves and assess their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer capabilities under cell culture conditions and explore their mechanism of action. Inflammation is often a precursor to the development of cells turning cancerous.
What the researchers found was that not only did the diCQA compounds inhibit an induced inflammatory response in some cell lines, but that they also caused colon cancer cells to go into a state of apoptosis—cell death.