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Part 45 contains a trio of topics beginning with ‘Y’. Yerba maté, a fairly well-known herbal tea, contains caffeine, which accounts for its association with sports performance. Yohimbine, an alkaloid, has traditionally been used as a herbal preparation to combat erectile dysfunction. However, more recently, claims have been made for its putative role in bodybuilding. Yucca, a family of 40–50 shrubs and trees, is marketed as having anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic properties.
S J Stear
Yerba maté tea (maté) is made from an infusion of the dried leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis tree, which is widely consumed in South America, but also found globally as both a herbal tea beverage and an ingredient in formulated foods and supplements.1 Numerous active phytochemicals have been identified in yerba maté tea: the two most prevalent compounds are the polyphenols (chlorogenic acid) and xanthines (caffeine and obromine),2 followed by purine alkaloids (caffeic acid, 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid), flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol and rutin), amino acids, minerals (phosphorus, iron and calcium) and vitamins (C, B1 and B2).1 However, unlike other teas, particularly white, green and oolong and, to a lesser extent black, yerba maté is a better alternative as it does not contain catechins,1 ,3 which have recently been linked with liver …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.