Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
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Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2015, 3(3), 182-190
DOI: 10.12691/jfnr-3-3-9
Open AccessReview Article

Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis A. St. Hil) and Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Diseases

Patricia de Moraes Pontilho MPH1, Andrea Mariana Nunes da Costa Teixeira MPH1, Caterina Yuan BSc2, Liania Alves Luzia1, , Deborah Helena Markowicz Bastos1 and Patricia Helen Rondó1

1Nutrition Department, School of Public Health, University of Sao Paulo-USP. Av Dr Arnaldo, 715, São Paulo, SP, 01246-904, Brazil

2Harvard College, Boston-MA, United States of America. 326 Cambridge St #410, Boston, MA 02114, USA

Pub. Date: March 22, 2015

Cite this paper:
Patricia de Moraes Pontilho MPH, Andrea Mariana Nunes da Costa Teixeira MPH, Caterina Yuan BSc, Liania Alves Luzia, Deborah Helena Markowicz Bastos and Patricia Helen Rondó. Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis A. St. Hil) and Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Diseases. Journal of Food and Nutrition Research. 2015; 3(3):182-190. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-3-3-9


Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the main cause of death worldwide. Risk factors for CVDs include increased blood pressure, dyslipidemia, overweigh/obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Yerba Mate (YM) is an herbal preparation obtained from twigs and leaves of Ilex paraguariensis that seems to provide cardiovascular benefits, improving the lipid profile and preventing cholesterol oxidation. Considering that most of the drugs that have an impact on lipid profile, show several adverse effects, we aimed to review the benefits of YM in the prevention of CVDs, since the use of plant extracts has little or no side effects. The search included articles published up to September 2014, using the “PubMed” and “Food Science and Technology Abstracts-FSTA” databases with the descriptor Ilex paraguariensis. Two hundred and twenty six (226) and 132 articles were identified at PubMed and FSTA, respectively, but 71 were common for both databases. Given that only 1 article was obtained when the descriptors I. paraguariensis and cardio* were utilized in the search, the authors decided to read the 287 abstracts found in PubMed and FSTA databases. From those, 22 articles were eligible because they assessed the associations between I. paraguariensis, yerba mate (or its main compounds) and the following risk factors for CVDs: oxidative stress, atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, overweight/obesity and T2DM. YM consumption apparently has antioxidant, vasodilation, cholesterol lowering, anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects. However, the mechanism by which YM exerts these effects is still not clear. Thus, we advise future clinical trials using YM in humans at risk for CVDs.

Yerba mate Ilex paraguariensis cardiovascular diseases antioxidants obesity diabetes

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