Chemical composition and properties:
Yerba mate contains a variety of polyphenols such as the flavonoids quercetin and rutinXanthines
Yerba mate contains three xanthines: caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, the main one being caffeine. Caffeine content varies between 0.7% and 1.7% of dry weight(compared with 0.4- 9.3% for tea leaves, 2.5-7.6% in guarana, and up to 3.2% for ground coffee);theobromine content varies from 0.3% to 0.9%; theophylline is present in small quantities, or can be completely absent. A substance previously called “mateine” is a synonym for caffeine (like theine and guaranine).
- Mineral content: Yerba mate also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
- Lipid metabolism: Some non-blinded studies have found mate consumption to be effective in lipid lowering.
Weight loss: Yerba mate contains polyphenols such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, which work by inhibiting enzymes like pancreatic lipase and lipoprotein lipase, which in turn play a role in fat metabolism. Yerba mate has been shown to increase satiety by slowing gastric emptying. Effects on weight loss may be due to reduced absorption of dietary fats and/or altered cholesterol metabolism.
Mechanism of action: E-NTP Dase activity Research also shows that mate preparations can alter the concentration of members of the ectonucleotide triphosphate phosphohydrolase (E-NTP Dase) family, resulting in an elevated level of extracellular ATP, ADP, and AMP. This was found with chronic ingestion (15 days) of an aqueous mate extract and may lead to a novel mechanism for manipulation of vascular regenerative factors, i.e., treating heart disease.
Antioxidants: In an investigation of mate antioxidant activity, there was a correlation found between content of caffeoyl derivatives and antioxidant capacity (AOC)
Monoamine oxidase inhibition activity: A paper from the University of São Paulo cities yerba mate extract as an inhibitor of MAO activity; the maximal inhibition observed in vitro was 40-50%. A monoamine oxidase inhibitor is a type of antidepressant, so there is some data to suggest that yerba mate has a calming effect in this regard.
Research has found that yerba mate may improve allergy symptoms and reduce the risk of diabetes mellitus and high blood sugar in mice