From a methodological point of view, it would have been more appropriate to use subjects from the general population in the control groups…, De Stefani admits that “perhaps selection bias and recall bias are the major limitations. Another Uruguayan study, published in the same journal in 2003, found that in a group of about 800 adults, mate drinking tripled the risk of esophageal cancer. We’re curious about what we put in our bodies. It states: …Scientists disagree about the bottom line on yerba mate, says K. Simon Yeung, clinical coordinator and research pharmacist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Too long to read. Hey, thanks so much for reading! We focus on anything that's good for you, good for others, and good for our planet. Two research programs that evaluate carcinogenic activity of hundreds of chemicals, mixtures, and natural substances are the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans and the US National Toxicology Program’s Report of Carcinogens. Welcome to elephant's ecosystem. Mate was shown to possess the highest cytotoxicity against human liver cancer cells compared to green tea.” (Yamamoto, 1997; Ramirez- Mares, 2004). Thanks for the work. Further standardization of measurements and temperatures need to be undertaken for such epidemiological studies to carry more validity. Yerba mate drinking is most consistently associated with esophageal cancer (4-6,8,9,13-16,19). Dora Loria, “Cancer and yerba mate consumption: a review of possible associations.” Rev Panam Salud Publica 25, no.6 (2009):530-9. This is quite important to clearly grasp: it’s not the yerba mate, it’s the temperature that may be dangerous, which “may start at [149ºF]”. So much better than coffee! A suggested temperature of around 165ºF is recommended. I know from 3 years of personal experience, living in Argentina and Uruguay, that many mate drinkers consume it with scolding hot temperatures, exceeding 190oF, which is very normal to many drinkers of the Southern Cone. The study points out that drinking mate in tea bags, where the leaves are discarded after brief soaking, is far better less worse than drinking mate in the traditional matter, where the leaves are continually steeped. Know where and how your mate is processed. Years ago, studies showed an association between yerba mate and increased risk of esophageal cancer. We're community-driven. This observation led the authors to conclude that the population could be exposed to certain levels of PAHs through tobacco smoking, as well as mate drinking and inhaling asado smoke. Revered for its energizing properties and healthy boost of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, yerba maté grows under the canopy of the rainforest where it has been a regional dietary staple for centuries. Though Conis did not explicitly state the researchers involved in the studies, her references stem from the work of Eduardo De Stefani. The brand has always emphasized the health benefits of the product, and, says Richard Bruehl, Guayaki's Vice President of North American Operations, “It is very encouraging to once again see the anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents in yerba mate getting studied." Consumer education on risks associated with consumption of ‘very hot’ beverages and policy measures to threshold serving temperatures should be discussed. It is firmly established that a high intake of fresh fruits and vegetables are responsible for attenuating the chances of developing cancers or any disease of the body. With the work of Elivra de Mejia, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Univ. Support Organic Authority by subscribing to Premium and view the site with no ads. Thank you for this distinction between smoke dried and air dried. Elvira de Mejía, “Yerba Mate Tea (ilex Paraguariensis): A Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Health Implications, and Technological Considerations.” Journal of Food Science 72, no.9 (2007): R138–R151. With antioxidants significantly higher in concentration than green tea, in addition to the significant amounts of chlorogenic acid and saponins unique to mate (Mejia, 2007), yerba mate has shown to be an effective drink (when consumed with the right temperature) of health, both socially and scientifically. Your investment will help Elephant Journal invest in our editors and writers who promote your values to create the change you want to see in your world! I love this stuff. However, I do have one point of contention against this article and articles on websites in general. Learn more. …the assumption [is] implausible that PAH and temperature may act synergistically. “In 1991, the International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC) evaluated the carcinogenic risk of mate and concluded that there is limited evidence for carcinogenicity of hot mate in humans.”(Loria, 2009). Though yerba mate has been scientifically studied for over 100 years, it has only been in the last 10-20 years that a renewed, and relatively vigorous, interest into the pharmacology of the herb has begun. To speak bluntly, the participants in the study were poor. (latimes.com), “Yerba mate has a reputation as a health drink and indeed, a Google search on yerba mate yields over 3 million websites, many of which tout the benefits of this drink. “Several studies have been conducted on the anticancer properties of Mate tea and comparisons have been made with other teas such as green tea, believed to have high anticancer potential. For more: LA Times. Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Sign up (or log in) below FDA’s GRAS List, “Botanicals Generally Recognized As Safe,” FDA, http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/syllabus/gras.htm (accessed July 1, 2012). Thank you for informing us with diligence. of Illinois, Urbana, and other notable scientists, we now have a better insight into the chemical makeup of this ancient herb. If it were, cancer would run rampant in countries like Argentina. Therefore, postharvest technologies need to be improved—especially the drying process needs to be optimized to completely eliminate contaminants. Play for free. Using interviews and questionnaires, patients were asked about their age, sex, education, income, weight, height, history with alcohol, cigarettes, yerba mate consumption (amount, hot, cold), etc. There has been a great deal of association of yerba mate with weight loss, which has been scientifically proven to help increase metabolism and have anti-obesity effects (Mejia, 2007). “[Mate] has been shown that oral cancer cells can be completely inhibited by treating them with 375 μg of Mate extract/mL.” (Mejia, 2007). As Americans, we love our Google. I am sure that you are aware that providing a full citation at the end of the article is just good academic practice. Wonderful article! Every nationality has its warm drink tradition. 15 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), known carcinogens, have been identified in 11 brands of mate (Zuin, 2005); however, these chemicals are found in all roasted (BBQ) foods, green tea, tobacco smoke, and common soap products. Bacterial colonies found inside the colon absorb and metabolize caffeine compounds like those found in yerba mate making their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits most effective.