Elvira de Mejia (2007), the foremost mate scientist, taking into consideration the cancer studies as well as the wide array of health benefits of yerba mate, presents a concluding thought: Yerba mate has been consumed for centuries but it has only been scientifically studied in the last 2 decades. 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! Hey, thanks so much for reading! Inflammation is closely linked to the progression of cancer and a number of other health issues including heart disease. Thank you for the work that You did several years ago! Dora Loria, in the paper “Cancer and yerba mate consumption: a review of possible associations,” (Rev Panam Salud Publica, 2009) adds to the discussion: Choosing to use hospitalized controls could be a cause of confounding in the results. Some researchers believe that the high intake of meat from the participants played a role in disease: Referring to a Brazilian study, Loria (2009) discussed the PAHs in association with BBQ meats: Concentrations [PAHs] varied according to cigarette and mate consumption with the exposure to asados (or open fire used for barbecuing meat). It takes 7 seconds to join. Between the years 1990—2004 De Stefani and his team of social workers in Montevideo, Uruguay, studied 13,201 participants (8,875 cases and 4,326 controls), from four major public hospitals. The growing worldwide interest in Mate has made it paramount that research on this herbal tea continues, as it has shown extraordinary possibilities not only as a consumer beverage but also in the nutraceutical industry. Never before in Western history have we seen an herb unite North Americas such as mate is beginning to do, especially in the last 3 years (2010—2013). “I found more evidence that mate causes cancer… damn, I love the stuff…but ignorance is bliss, so…”, Yerba Mate may not be so healthy, after all: “risk of lung cancer 60% higher.”. So it's no more cancerous than your morning black tea. heart articles you love. A consequence of poverty is poor diet. On the first page of search results, we find several articles which implicate yerba mate in causing cancer of the esophagus or other parts of the upper aerodigestive tract: mouth, oral cavities, throat, etc. Learn how your comment data is processed. I am sure that you are aware that providing a full citation at the end of the article is just good academic practice. Thank you for this distinction between smoke dried and air dried. In 2011, in a study conducted by Elivra de Mejia, mate was shown to destroy colon cancer cells in vitro. 1091, no. 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. 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. Wonderful article! With abject-poverty comes poor diet and nutrition, as well as poor education and and lack of full comprehension of the questions being asked. There was an unavoidable bias towards the consumption of mate; however, the author, before being associated with selling mate products, had lived in Argentina for over 2 years studying the herb. …a large pooled analysis was conducted that reported estimates of association between mate drinking and esophageal cancer stratifying by temperature and showed little evidence of association when mate was consumed warm [below 149ºF degrees], regardless of the amount consumed, thus supporting a role of very hot temperatures and not mate per se. That’s so detailed article. When you heart, comment or share, the article's "Ecosystem" score goes up—helping it to be seen by more readers & helping the author to get paid. However, there is a growing body of research that takes a deeper looking into the mate and cancer situation. From various studies on the dangers of drinking ANY hot beverage —well documented in Japan, China, and Iran (Ghadirian P. Thermal irritation and esophageal cancer in Northeastern Iran, Cancer, 1987; Wang JM, Diet habits, alcohol drinking tobacco smoking, green tea drinking…Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2002), we know that the substance alone isn’t to blame, but the procedure of how it’s prepared—with very hot temperatures. With any given epidemiological and scientific study, there are limitations which invariably confound (or confuse) the results of the experiments. The information from these agencies places yerba mate in the category of having a moderate level of evidence of posing a cancer risk to humans (20). Takehiko Yamamoto, “Chemistry and Applications of Green Tea,” New York: CRC Press. Which we’ll discuss in 4 principal segments: Socioeconomic status, Diet, Currently Sick Patients, and Subjective responses to questions. yerba mate coupled with smoking and alcohol, cannot be ignored. De Sefani, as well as other isolated case studies in South America, have consistently linked higher incidences of cancer with smokers and drinkers who also drunk hot mate. Not only that, but the pesticides used on organic produce are definitely at least as dangerous. Learn about the saponins in yerba mate tea >>. Wang JM, “Diet habits, alcohol drinking, tobacco smoking, green tea drinking, and the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in the Chinese population.” Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 19, no.2 (2007):171-6. Taking into account these studies discussed, particularly with the understanding that PAH levels can be controlled by limiting flame contact to leaves during postharvet, and removing contaminants from the storage facilities, it would be wise to select the cleanest, non-smoked, organic yerba mate available to you. Such a basis is critical to begin the dissection of De Stefani’s work. Despite this though, they were still able to find a possible relation between yerba mate and cancer. The PAHs identified in mate perhaps now become more of a threat in such a toxic and susceptible environment. It’s a shame it’s still getting bad press on the net. The hypothesis of hot mate being the culprit of cancer through thermal carcinogenesis, has been widely accepted within the community of researchers involved in the matter. 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. The primary article, in Los Angeles Times, is “Yerba mate tea: Drink in moderation,” by Elena Conis. The temperature effect but not PAH exposure may pose an esophageal cancer risk. So naturally the term “yerba mate” has over 3M global monthly searches. Don’t drink your mate very hot. To speak bluntly, the participants in the study were poor. Therefore, postharvest technologies need to be improved—especially the drying process needs to be optimized to completely eliminate contaminants. One study of roughly 1,000 adults in Uruguay, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention in 1996, found the risk of lung cancer to be 60% higher among mate drinkers.
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