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Diabetes News: Yerba mate tea fights diabetes mellitus type 2

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By David Liu, PHD

Monday Sept 10, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- If you are overweight or obese, you may be at risk for diabetes mellitus type 2 or you may have already acquired prediabetes.   One thing to do to minimize your risk or to stop the disease is drinking Yerba mate tea infusions, according to a study in Journal of American College of Nutrition.

Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) infusions have been demonstrated to reduce plasma glucose in animals and serum lipids in humans.  The current study was intended to evaluate the effect of roasted mate tea consumption on the glycemic and lipid profiles of men and women with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) or pre-diabetes.

Involved in the study were 29 people with diabetes mellitus type 2 and 29 with pre-diabetes who were divided into 3 groups, subject to different interventions: mate tea regimen, dietary intervention, and mate tea and dietary intervention. The mate tea regimen required subjects to drink 330 mL of roasted mate tea 3 times a day for over 60 days and the dietary intervention meant nutritional counseling also over 60 days. Food intake was assessed and blood samples were analysed at baseline, and  20, 40, and 60 days of treatments.

In diabetes mellitus type 2 patients, mate tea drinking decreased the levels of fasting glucose by 25.0 mg/dL, glycated hemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)) by 0.85%, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) by 13.5 mg/dL, all reductions were significant;  Drinking mate tea did not change intakes of total energy, protein, carbohydrate, cholesterol, and fiber in this group of patients.

In those with prediabetes, drinking mate tea coupled with nutritional counseling lowered the levels of LDL-c by 11 mg/dL, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) by 21.5 mg/dL, and triglycerides by 53.0 mg/dL, all reductions were significant.  Subjects in this group decreased intakes of total fat (14%), cholesterol (28%), and saturated (23.8%) and monounsaturated (28.0%) fatty acids, and increased fiber intake by 35%.

The study was conducted by G.A. Klein at Federal University of Santa Catarina, Campus Universitario s/n, Trindade, Brazil and colleagues.

The researchers concluded "Mate tea consumption improved the glycemic control and lipid profile of T2DM (diabetes mellitus type 2) subjects, and mate tea consumption combined with nutritional intervention was highly effective in decreasing serum lipid parameters of pre-diabetes individuals, which may reduce their risk of developing coronary disease."

Diabetes mellitus type 2 or type 2 diabetes mellitus is easy to prevent by following a healthy diet and or taking some supplements.  Taking 6 grams of curcumin per day for a couple of months can be effective in preventing prediabetes from progressing into type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to one study conducted by Indian researchers.

Diabetes mellitus type 2 affects an estimated 24 million Americans.  There is no cure for the disease but it can be controlled by taking medications and following a healthy lifestyle.  if not controlled, the disease can lead to serious complications. 

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