Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) improves glycemic and lipid profiles of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes individuals: a pilot study

J Am Coll Nutr. 2011 Oct;30(5):320-32. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2011.10719975.


Objectives: Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) infusions have been shown to reduce plasma glucose in animals and serum lipids in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of roasted mate tea consumption, with or without dietary counseling, on the glycemic and lipid profiles of individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) or pre-diabetes.

Methods: Twenty-nine T2DM and 29 pre-diabetes subjects were divided into 3 groups: mate tea, dietary intervention, and mate tea and dietary intervention. Individuals drank 330 mL of roasted mate tea 3 times a day and/or received nutritional counseling over 60 days. Blood samples were collected and food intake was assessed at baseline and after 20, 40, and 60 days of treatments.

Results: Mate tea consumption decreased significantly the levels of fasting glucose (25.0 mg/dL), glycated hemoglobin A(1c) (HbA(1c)) (0.85%), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) (13.5 mg/dL) of T2DM subjects (p < 0.05); however, it did not change the intake of total energy, protein, carbohydrate, cholesterol, and fiber. In pre-diabetes individuals, mate tea consumption combined with nutritional counseling diminished significantly the levels of LDL-c (11 mg/dL), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) (21.5 mg/dL), and triglycerides (53.0 mg/dL) (p < 0.05). Individuals of this group decreased significantly their consumption of total fat (14%), cholesterol (28%), and saturated (23.8%) and monounsaturated (28.0%) fatty acids, and increased their fiber intake by 35% (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Mate tea consumption improved the glycemic control and lipid profile of T2DM 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.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced / blood
  • Glycemic Index
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Ilex paraguariensis / chemistry*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Prediabetic State / blood
  • Prediabetic State / drug therapy*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Glycation End Products, Advanced
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Lipids
  • Plant Extracts
  • Triglycerides