Compounds in mate tea induce death in colon cancer cells
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In a recent University of Illinois study, scientists showed that human colon cancer cells die when they are exposed to the approximate number of bioactive compounds present in one cup of yerba mate tea. In the in vitro study, researchers isolated, purified and then treated human colon cancer cells with caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) derivatives from mate tea. As the scientists increased the CQA concentration, cancer cells died. The results of the study strongly suggest that the caffeine derivatives in mate tea have potential as anti-cancer agents and could also be helpful in other diseases associated with inflammation. The scientists have already completed and will soon publish the results of a separate study that compares the development of colon cancer in rats that drank mate tea as their only source of water with a control group that drank only water.