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Yerba mate and diabetes

Yerba mate and diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder caused by a disruption in insulin secretion. Despite the numerous preventive initiatives, the number of cases is constantly increasing. It is a civilisation disease and a major health problem in many countries. Let's take a look at this topic today: is yerba mate, considered one of the healthiest drinks, good for diabetics? Can it have an impact on this disease?


  1. Diabetes in numbers
  2. Miraculous tea from Paraguay
  3. Research on yerba mate and diabetes
  4. Yerba mate - is it really so healthy?

Diabetes in numbers

According to the WHO, approximately 422 million people worldwide had diabetes in 2014. By comparison, in 1980, the number of diabetics was "only" 108 million. In 2019, approximately 2 million people died from diabetes. Susceptibility to this disorder is hereditary, but it's often linked to a poor lifestyle - bad diet and low activity, and consequently obesity. Diabetes affects the functioning of the entire body, contributes to many health complications and, above all, increases mortality. There is no cure, although research is being conducted. However, its effects can be delayed and prevented with the right medication, a well-adjusted diet and an active lifestyle.

Miraculous tea from Paraguay

Yerba mate is primarily known for its stimulating effect, making many people substitute coffee and energy drinks with it. However, yerba mate does not only contain caffeine. There are many vitamins, minerals and organic compounds that are valuable to the whole body, making yerba mate a very healthy drink with many positive properties. Among other things, yerba mate contains chlorogenic acid, an organic chemical compound from the polyphenol group. It is a powerful antioxidant that increases the body's sensitivity to insulin and slows down the secretion of glucose, while lowering blood sugar levels. It is therefore a very valuable dietary ingredient for people with type 2 diabetes, in whom insulin action and secretion is impaired. The properties of yerba mate in terms of its effect on diabetes have been studied by scientists for many years.

Yerba mate and diabetes

Research on yerba mate and diabetes

Scientists have investigated the effects of yerba mate on blood sugar levels, proving that consumption of the infusion can help control diabetic disorders. They conducted clinical trials on obese mice and the results were published in 2011. It was observed that glucose tolerance was improved with animals which were drinking yerba mate. In 2013, another group of researchers investigated the effects of yerba mate on blood sugar levels. This time, the study was carried out on 29 patients with type 2 diabetes. The patients were given 330ml of yerba mate, three times a day, for 60 days, and then the glycated haemoglobin content of their blood was tested. Glycated haemoglobin levels decreased by 0.85% after the study. Yet another study conducted in 2018 by a researcher at the Instituto de Efectividad Clínica y Sanitaria (IECS) in Argentina found that drinking yerba mate reduces the risk of diabetes. The study involved 2,615 people of different genders, aged 35-74 years. After 26 months, it was observed that people who drank more than 550ml of yerba mate per day showed a lower risk of diabetes than those who drank less than 100ml of mate per day or no drinking the infusion at all.

Yerba mate - is it really so healthy?

Yerba mate versus insulin and the effect on blood sugar levels - this topic has been studied by scientists many times over several years, but is still open and needs to be analysed in more depth. Therefore, more studies are constantly being carried out and new results are emerging. This confirms that yerba mate has a great potential in terms of health properties. The answer to the question - can a diabetic drink yerba mate or is yerba mate good for diabetics - is most definitely yes. Pure, unsweetened yerba mate, with the possible addition of natural herbs, fruits or flavourings, will not harm people with diabetes. At the same time, it must be remembered that, despite its many positive properties, it is not a medicine, but only an addition to a balanced diet, which should be established with a specialist doctor.

Source of information:

  1. Wikipedia: Diabetes, Chlorogenic acid.
  2. World Health Organization.
  3. C. I. Heck, E. G. De Mejia, Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): A Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Health Implications, and Technological Considerations, Journal of Food Science, October 2007, Vol. 72, Issue 9, sites R138-R151.
  4. G. M. E. Hussein and others, Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis) Promotes Satiety and Body Weight Lowering in Mice: Involvement of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1, Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin, December 2011, 35 (12), sites 1849-55.
  5. G. A. Klein and others, Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis) Improves Glycemic and Lipid Profiles of Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes Individuals: A Pilot Study, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, June 2013, Vol. 30, Issue 5, sites 320-332.
  6. El consumo de mate puede ayudar a frenar la diabetes, Diario Popular, August 2018, site 18.
  7. A. Alkhatib and others, Functional Foods and Lifestyle Approaches for Diabetes Prevention and Management, Nutrients, December 2017, Vol. 9, Issue 12.
  8. B. Sarriá and othersi, Yerba mate may prevent diabetes according to a crossover, randomized, controlled study in humans, Proceedings of The Nutrition Society, June 2020, 79 (OCE2), E245.


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