Is Yerba Matte A Safe and Effective Weight Loss Supplement

You may also see this supplement referred to by other names such as Chimarrao, Hervia, St. Jesuit?s tea, or even by its scientific name, ilex paraguariensis (now aren?t you impressed?)

Its very commonly drunk as tea in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. In foods, mate is consumed as a tea, and it is known to have stimulant as well as diuretic properties. Its use as a weight loss aid is questionable.

Yerba mate contains caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline, chemicals commonly found in coffee, tea and chocolate. This causes yerba mate to possess both stimulant and diuretic properties. Its concentration of caffeine is less than coffee, 0.5-0.8% as opposed to 1-2% in the latter.

Minerals such as iron, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, thiamin and riboflavin, vitamins C and E and the known carcinogens, tannins and N-nitrosamines, are also found.

As with other herbs and plants, the concentration of these compounds is dependent on the growing conditions of the plant, harvesting procedures and manufacturing.

In other words, variability within different yerba mate products should be expected.

Long term consumption of yerba mate increases the risk of developing certain cancers, most notably mouth, laryngeal, liver, kidney and bladder. This risk seems to be greatest when the supplement is consumed as a warm beverage, and also when it is drunk by persons who smoke and consume alcohol.

Bottom Line: It is doubtful whether the risk of developing cancer outweighs the possible benefit of this supplement for weight loss. If you do decide to give it a try, be careful when using it in combination with other herbal supplements, such as bitter orange or other caffeine-containing substances.

As a certified nutritionist and registered dietitan for over 20 years, Sue is passionate about helping you become your healthiest ever! She provides completely confidential online nutrition counseling, wellness coaching and education services at

Online nutrition counseling/coaching for weight loss, health and wellness

Just think... right from the comfort of your own home you can get all the help you need to lose weight, gain weight, deal with compulsive overeating, or simply learn how to have a nutritionally-healthy lifestyle. Sue provides all the compassionate support and education necessary! Sign up for her monthly ezine and receive a free ebook, "Losing Weight with Dietary Supplements: Fact or Fiction?"

Sue Roberts - EzineArticles Expert Author

By: Sue Roberts