Yaupon Health Benefits

The chart below shows the health benefits of caffeinated beverages from the genus Ilex:

  • Antioxidant Activity: It is widely accepted that the counteraction on oxidative stress is mainly attributable to the existing phenolic compounds, especially chlorogenic acids (like mono- and dicaffeoylquinic acids) as well as flavonols, since in vitro antioxidant capacity has been confirmed to be positively correlated with their concentrations. In order to better retain the contents and stability of health-beneficial antioxidants in Ilex teas, more attention should be paid to the adjustment of industrial processing methods and the improvement of packaging methods.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Activity: The inflammatory response is usually accompanied by the activation of macrophages, neutrophils, and various released inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, -6, and -12, triggering histological damage to specific tissues. Reduction of the exudate concentration, reestablishment of the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4 and
  • -10), and suppression of the pro-inflammatory enzyme activity are considered to be major therapeutic targets in inflammation treatment.
  • Antibacterial Activity
  • Lipid-Reducing Activity: For the lipid-reducing molecular mechanism, triterpenoid saponins (200 mg/kg/day) derived from latifolia was reported to lower lipids by the inhibition of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) via enhancing AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation in a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease mouse model. In addition, Yerba Mate aqueous extract was reported to improve plasma lipid profile both in vitro (3T3-L1 cells model) and in vivo (mice model), probably by inhibiting adipogenesis via downregulating the expression of adipogenesis related genes (Creb-1 and C/EBPα).
  • Regulation of Gut Microbiota: More recently, growing attention has been paid to the effect of tea beverages on gut Enhanced probiotic colonization was observed in a broiler chicken model fed with ground Yerba Mate leaf supplement (0.55% inclusion rate). Moreover, Ilex kudingcha extract (400 mg/kg) was demonstrated to change the diet-disrupted gut microbiota composition to normal state and increase their diversity in HFD-fed mice. It was reported that polyphenols from I. latifolia played a critical role in establishing the structure of gut microbiota, since dietary polyphenols, especially dicaffeoylquinic acids (diCQAs), exhibited low bioavailability in the upper digestive tract, and reached the colon with an intact form and interacted with the colonic microbiota, contributing to the amelioration of the intestinal flora. In addition, Xie et al. reported that diCQAs from Kudingcha enhanced the diversity of intestinal microbiota in vitro and promoted the generation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) through gut microbiota, which in turn provided nutrients and energy for the optimization of gut microbial profile. Therefore, the interaction between tea consumption and intestinal microbes can further improve the microbial colonization and promote human health.
  • Anti-Cancer Activity: In fact, the cytotoxic action against diverse  cancer cells, such as breast cancer, oral cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and colon adenocarcinoma cells,  was reported in Yaupon Holly leaves.  Several studies also elucidated the anti-cancer molecular mechanisms. It was reported that caffeoylquinic acids in Ilex tea extracts were able to activate the pro-apoptotic factors caspase-3 and caspase-9 in TCA8113 cancer cells, and caspase-8 and caspase-3 in HT-29 human colon cancer cells, accompanied with the decreased expression of the inflammatory mediator NF-κB, which regulates cell proliferation, anti-apoptosis, and cell metastasis. Overall, induction of cancer cell apoptosis and suppression of chronic inflammation could be two main mechanisms of the anti-cancer activity of Ilex
  • Cardiovascular Protective Activity: Research on cardiovascular protection is Ilex tea has great potential to be used as a preventive or therapeutic ingredient against cardiovascular diseases.
  • Anti-Obesity Activity: In recent years, reports have shown that caffeinated beverages from the genus Ilex, can reduce body weight and have great potential to be developed into anti-obesity drugs
  • Anti-Diabetic Activity: The consumption of herbal teas prepared from Ilex species is likely to be beneficial for the treatment of
  • Neuroprotective Activity: The caffeinated beverages from the genus Ilex also show neuro-protective activity.