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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Nov 26;56(22):10527-32. doi: 10.1021/jf8021404.

Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis) aqueous extract decreases intestinal SGLT1 gene expression but does not affect other biochemical parameters in alloxan-diabetic Wistar rats.

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Nutrition Department, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


Yerba maté (Ilex paraguariensis) is rich in polyphenols, especially chlorogenic acids. Evidence suggests that dietary polyphenols could play a role in glucose absorption and metabolism. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antidiabetic properties of yerba maté extract in alloxan-induced diabetic Wistar rats. Animals (n = 41) were divided in four groups: nondiabetic control (NDC, n = 10), nondiabetic yerba maté (NDY, n = 10), diabetic control (DC, n = 11), and diabetic yerba maté (DY, n = 10). The intervention consisted in the administration of yerba maté extract in a 1 g extract/kg body weight dose for 28 days; controls received saline solution only. There were no significant differences in serum glucose, insulin, and hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase activity between the groups that ingested yerba maté extract (NDY and DY) and the controls (NDC and DC). However, the intestinal SGLT1 gene expression was significantly lower in animals that received yerba maté both in upper (p = 0.007) and middle (p < 0.001) small intestine. These results indicate that bioactive compounds present in yerba maté might be capable of interfering in glucose absorption, by decreasing SGLT1 expression.

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