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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Mar 11;57(5):1775-80. doi: 10.1021/jf803096g.

Effects of mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) ingestion on mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes, lipid peroxidation, and total antioxidant status in healthy young women.

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


The antioxidant activity of mate tea, the roasted product derived from yerba mate (Ilex paraguarienis), was observed in vitro and in animal models, but studies in humans are lacking. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of mate tea supplementation on plasma susceptibility to oxidation and on antioxidant enzyme gene expression in healthy nonsmoking women, after acute or prolonged ingestion. We evaluated plasma total antioxidant status (TAS), the kinetics of diene conjugate generation, and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) contents in plasma, as well as mRNA levels of antioxidant gluthatione peroxidase (GPx), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT). After the supplementation period with mate tea, lipid peroxidation was acutely lowered, an effect that was maintained after prolonged administration. Total antioxidant status and the level of antioxidant enzyme gene expression were also demonstrated after prolonged consumption. These results suggest that regular consumption of mate tea may increase antioxidant defense of the body by multiple mechanisms.

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