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Juan Ferrario said that yerba mate “has the property of prolonging the life of dopaminergic neurons in culture.”
A study conducted by specialists from the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (Conicet) showed that yerba mate causes a preventive effect on the development of Parkinson's, the investigative agency reported.
The work published on 02/04/2019 by the specialized journal Movement Disorders and carried out by Argentine researchers from Conicet, highlights the hypothesis that “ yerba mate could have beneficial effects in relation to the development and progression of Parkinson's.”
The director of the research team, Juan Ferrario, said that yerba mate “has the property of prolonging the life of dopaminergic neurons in culture.”
“ Dopaminergic neurons, related to locomotion control, in addition to being the first to be affected in Parkinson's patients, are also the ones that die most quickly in the growing conditions we do,” said the professional, who performed his work.as Deputy Researcher of the Council in the Department of Physiology, Molecular and Cellular Biology of the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences of UBA.
“ We tested the effect of administering an extract of yerba mate on this model of dopaminergic neurons in culture and saw that mate has a powerful neuroprotective effect that slows his death,” said Ferrario.
After this determination, the researchers continued their studies to find out what happened when treating them with some of their components separately.
“ We were able to establish that two of the main compounds of yerba mate, theobromine and chlorogenic acid, individually also acted as neuroprotectors, although in both cases their protective effect was slightly lower than that of yerba mate extract as a whole. However, in both cases the neuroprotection was more powerful than that provided by other neuroprotective compounds already known as caffeine, nicotine and Trolox antioxidant,” said the researcher.
Experiments on dopaminergic neurons in culture showed that yerba mate in addition to postponing its death can stimulate the growth of its axons and dendrites.
“ The interesting thing is that yerba mate is one of the main natural suppliers of chlorogenic acid and the intake of mate takers is between 3 and 5 percent higher than that of coffee drinkers. In this paper we were able to demonstrate that this compound alone is a powerful neuroprotective agent,” said the Bachelor of Biological Sciences.
Finally, Ferrario concludes that “although much work remains to be done, our work provides evidence for the first time on the protective effect that yerba mate can have on dopaminergic neurons that are affected in the development of Parkinson's disease.”
Publication Date: 09/04/2019
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