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Yerba Maté for Bone Health?

Yerba mate tea is good for your healthYerba maté (also known simply as maté) is a tea made from the dried leaves of Ilex paraguariensis, an evergreen shrub in the holly family that grows in Central and South America. It has a long history as both a beverage and as a treatment for ailments such as fatigue, appetite control and a weakened immune system. Recent evidence has furthered maté's health benefits by highlighting its potential as promoting healthy bones, specifically preserving bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.

An Argentine study published in the January 2012 issue of the journal Bone compared 146 postmenopausal women, some of whom who drank one liter of yerba maté tea daily for five years and some of whom didn't. Results showed that the yerba maté drinkers had 9.7 percent higher bone density in their lumbar spine and 6.2 percent higher bone density in the area of the thigh just below the hip joint than the women who didn't drink the tea.

If you do want to drink yerba maté for its health benefits, or simply because you enjoy the taste, be aware that it may cause a stimulant effect since maté contains xanthenes, a class of chemical compounds that includes caffeine.

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Reader Comments (4)

Interesting new information for me who suffer from osteoporosis and currently take strontium bone maker on advice of an endocrinologist. Also do resistance exercise, yoga, pilates, etc. Would it be risky for me to have massages from an LMT friend? Am 85 years old; so far no fractures but have developed scoliosis and use a walker.

September 21, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce harddin

Yerba Mate has many benefits and mainly it strengthens the bones. It is the best and tasty tea for everyone

September 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Crofton

I also found the article on maté interesting and actually copied it to send to my Argentine relatives.
Anna, Denmark

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Interesting...I've never heard of yerba maté. Is it a caffeinated beverage? If so, I wonder if it's a safer alternative for pregnant women to drink instead of coffee. I myself am trying to reduce my coffee intake, so perhaps I'll have to give yerba maté a try.

December 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

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