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Does Unimate Cause Cancer? | Is Yerba Mate Safe to Drink?

feel great system frequently asked questions unicity unimate yerba mate Mar 10, 2022

The Mayo Clinic stated "Yerba mate isn't likely to pose a risk for healthy adults who occasionally drink it. However, some studies indicate that people who drink large amounts of yerba mate over long periods may be at increased risk of some types of cancer, such as cancer of the mouth, throat and lungs"

Lets Review The Facts About These Yerba Mate Cancer Claims

This is a statement that was published by Mayo Clinic FAQ - What is Yerba Mate and is one of the many published articles that has created warnings about yerba mate drinks in general. The statement went on to say...

Drinking very hot yerba mate — 149 F (65 C) or hotter — is associated with a higher risk of cancer than is drinking yerba mate at cooler temperatures.

One possible explanation is that yerba mate contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known to cause cancer. Tobacco smoke and grilled meat also contain PAHs. More investigation needs to be done into the safety and side effects of yerba mate. 

Additionally, when doing a Google Search we find the PubMed.gov article titled Cancer and yerba mate consumption: review of possible associations. It's really important to zero into one statement in the Conclusion study findings. That statement read:

The temperature could act by damaging the mucosa or accelerating metabolic reactions, including those with carcinogenic substances in tobacco and alcohol. However, there is no sound population-based case-control study on mate consumption as a risk factor for cancer.

In another top Google Search article published by Andrew Weil, MD titled Can Yerba Mate Tea Cause Cancer? he stated that:

The few studies that have found links between cancer and yerba maté show the highest risk is among users who also smoke and are heavy drinkers of alcohol. However, at least one study found that the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus was greater in people who drink yerba maté regularly but do not smoke or consume alcohol.

The cancer risk, if it exists, may be due to the fact that maté contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), compounds that are known to be carcinogenic. One study found very high concentrations of these in yerba maté leaves and in both hot and cold infusions of them. (Tobacco smoke and grilled meat also contain PAHs.)

However, a report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), dependent on the World Health Organization (WHO), found that the high temperatures at which the infusion is consumed could be a cause, but not the components of the plant.

What is PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)

The CDC Fact Sheet states that Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline. They result from burning coal, oil, gas, wood, garbage, and tobacco. PAHs can bind to or form small particles in the air. High heat when cooking meat and other foods will form PAHs.

The CDC Fact Sheet says that exposure to PAHs can occur by:

  • Breathing air containing
    • Motor vehicle exhaust
    • Cigarette smoke
    • Wood smoke
    • Fumes from asphalt roads
  • Consuming grilled or charred meats or foods
  • Eating foods on which PAH particles have settled from the air
  • In some cases, passing through the skin.

After PAHs enter a person, the body converts PAHs into breakdown products called metabolites. The metabolites pass out of the body in the urine and feces. Human health effects from indirect exposure to low levels of PAHs are unknown. Scientists consider several of the PAHs and some specific mixtures to be cancer-causing chemicals.

Yerba Mate and the PAH Connection

One possible explanation to the concern that yerba mate contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) is that studies have shown that commercially prepared yerba mate leaves have significant amounts of PAHs. A small amount may be accumulated in the unprocessed green leaves due to soil and atmospheric contamination.

Keeping in mind, it's important to note that there’s a high chance you’re already exposed to PAH’s on a daily basis, without even knowing it. You are exposed to PAH’s if you smoke; eat barbecued, smoked, grilled, or roasted foods; if you eat fruits, vegetables, and grains. PAH can be found in the air, water, and soil in varying degrees. To try to avoid it is nearly impossible.

Smoke Dried Yerba Mate 

Because yerba mate is smoke-dried (over burning wood) when processed, some believe the smoking method to be the cause, as they say it imparts this carcinogenic chemical known as PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) to the leaves that can be released when brewing.

Studies have found a number of commercially available yerba mate brands to contain a high content of it. They believe that this drying method (which is the majority), most likely contain PAHs.

Although I have listed some research that refers to substances in the combustion of certain gasses, these are hypotheses without conclusive results. There is also no evidence to suggest a link between yerba mate and cancer. And to avoid yerba mate, for this sole reason alone should not be the biggest concern.

Varieties of Yerba Mate 

There are many types of yerba mate, just like wine and coffee. Yerba mate is grown in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and each country has their own styles of yerba mate. It’s always a good idea to buy tea from a reputable company that can tell you when and how the yerba mate was processed and packaged as well as provide storage tips to help prolong the life of the herb.

As stated in the article at Yerba Mate Lab, "yerba mate comes in all different colors, tastes, strengths, cuts, and even effects. And this variation comes from the way each type of yerba mate is harvested, processed, and aged".

Baffled by the choices of yerba? Yerba mate can be mild, strong, sweet, bitter, flavored. The pricing ranges as much as the varieties of the products. Many types of yerba mate are marketed to specifically to augment certain qualities e.g. anti-acid, good for liver, lower cholesterol, organic, weight loss, regulate bowels, help you sleep, give you energy… the list is endless!

 

What Makes Unimate Different? 

Here at Unicity International, we focus on bringing the best and most effective nutritional products to the market that are safe, effective and backed by science. Unimate is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and secondary metabolites such as chlorogenic acids and triterpenoid saponins. 

 

Unimate promotes mental clarity, enhances your mood and supports your endurance. The Yerba Mate extract in Unimate contains ten times more of the valuable antioxidant chlorogenic acid than a cup of coffee and also contains the natural contents of beneficial theobromine and triterpenoid saponins. 

  • Chlorogenic acids - Promotes neuroprotective gene expression and has an antioxidant effect in the brain. Promotes feelings of well-being. Supports healthy blood pressure and glucose levels. Promotes weight loss.
  • Mate saponins - Supports healthy triglycerides and the body’s ability to burn fat.
  • Theobromine - Supports healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, promotes feeling of calm, reduced mental fatigue, and improves focus. 

Unimate: Patented 5-Step Process

The yerba mate in Unimate is unlike any other yerba mate on the market. This yerba mate is grown in South America and undergoes a 5-step patented process to make it 375 times more effective than other commercially available Yerba Mate drinks. The 5 step process is: Hand Picked, Fire Roasted, Extracted, Concentrated, Purified. 

How It's Grown and Harvested

 The yerba mate in Unimate is grown in South America under fertile conditions and free of environmental pollution – and there, right at the source, it is also harvested by Unicity using the 5-step patented process. 

Boost your energy and endurance

Unimate is a potent source of up to 10x the chlorogenic acid content of a cup of coffee. Chlorogenic acid is that “get-up-and-go” compound many seek to find in their daily cup of coffee. With Unimate, you won’t experience the energy crashes, sugar spikes, addiction, irritability, or headaches that come with other energy supplements.

Improved Ketone Levels

 Unimate helps your body increase ketone levels for improved fueling. Ketones are a “clean-burning” fuel—they produce less oxidative stress than glucose—that support your body’s mental and metabolic functions. This makes Unimate perfect for those who are interested in Intermittent Fasting

 Clinical Science & Research on Unimate Yerba Mate

We truly understand the value of yerba mate based on clinical research we have conducted ourselves and in reviewing the latest science literature.

As a result of this research and other clinical studies, Unimate was accepted into the Prescribers' Desk Reference (PDR), the only Yerba Mate that is back by science. The recognition that Unicity can bring leading edge science to the age-old tradition of Yerba Mate, and have it approved for for listing in the PDR based on clinical research, should bring encouragement and confidence to our mission in supporting a healthy lifestyle as part of the The Feel Great System.

As an example, a study from the University of Illinois suggested that bioactive compounds found in one cup of yerba mate can actually disrupt colon cancer cells, at least in the lab. The researchers reported that caffeine derivatives in the tea damaged cancer cell DNA causing the cells to self-destruct. However, no human studies have linked drinking yerba maté to a lower risk of colon cancer.

As a member of Unicity International’s Genomeceutical™ line of products, chlorogenic acids and triterpenoid saponins found in Unimate have been documented in the scientific literature to support healthy gene expression in the body. 

Clinical studies, like the Oxford Happiness Study, show that Unimate has the ability to promote a healthy mood. Psychological well-being in a group of subjects, assessed using the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, was increased by 20% after taking Unimate. The mode of action of this result is likely due to the ability of chlorogenic acids to support healthy mood and cognition—as previously reported elsewhere in the scientific literature.

An additional clinical study, The Zurich Clinical Trial, demonstrated the ability of Unimate to maintain healthy blood-lipid and blood glucose levels in the body. A 12% reduction of total cholesterol, 5% reduction of LDL cholesterol, and 11% reduction of triglycerides was observed in a group of subjects who took Unimate™ once daily for 30 days. Additionally, a 5% reduction in fasting blood-glucose and a 3% reduction in HbA1c levels was also observed in this same group.

Other clinical studies have validated the ability of Unimate to support healthy weight loss in the body due to the ability of Yerba Mate triterpenoid saponins to support healthy gene expression of anti-obesity related genes. 

In the below video, Erin L. Glynn, PhD, Vice President, Research & Development at Unicity explains this 5-step patented process in more detail. As you will see, this process is specifically designed to remove the impurities and any unwanted compounds after the fire roasting.

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