Health

Cancer: Popular herbal tea linked to increased risk – contains ‘known cause’ of cancer – Express

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Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, or nearly one in six deaths. Despite the grim statistics, much can be done to reduce the risk of cancer. The dangers of eating too much red or processed meat should come as no surprise, but there are some less obvious risks.

One potential risk factor that should raise a few eyebrows is drinking yerba mate.

Yerba mate is a herbal tea. Commonly known simply as mate, it is popular in parts of South America.

Yerba mate is unlikely to pose a risk to healthy adults who drink it occasionally.

“However, some studies indicate that people who drink large amounts of yerba mate over long periods of time have an increased risk of some types of cancer, such as cancer of the mouth, throat and lungs,” warns the Mayo Clinic.

READ MORE: Colon cancer: ‘worse at night’ symptom – could signal a cure is ‘highly unlikely’

According to the health agency, drinking very hot yerba mate — 149 F (65 C) or hotter — is associated with a higher risk of cancer than drinking yerba mate at colder temperatures.

Indeed, a review article published in the BMJ cited research that found drinking “scaling hot” yerba mate was associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer.

The research, published in the journal American Association for Cancer Research.

The researchers found that the intensity of drinking yerba mate did not affect cancer risk.

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It is worth noting that other studies have found the opposite.

IN 2012 study carried out by the University of Illinois scientists showed that human colon cancer cells die when they are exposed to the approximate number of bioactive compounds present in one cup of mate tea.

“The caffeine derivatives in mate tea not only caused death in human colon cancer cells, they also reduced important markers of inflammation,” said Elvira de Mejia, an associate professor of food chemistry and food toxicology.

That’s important because inflammation can trigger the steps of cancer progression, she said.

In the study, Professor de Mejia and former graduate student Sirima Puangpraphant isolated, purified, and then treated human colon cancer cells with caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) derivatives from mate tea.

When the scientists increased the CQA concentration, cancer cells died as a result of apoptosis – the process of programmed cell death.

Further research is therefore necessary to reach a more definitive conclusion about the connection between mate tea and cancer.

“If yerba mate is your cup of tea, enjoy it in moderation. But, as always, check with your doctor before trying any herbal product,” advises the Mayo Clinic.


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