Phenolic compounds present in Yerba Mate potentially improve human health: a critical review

Phenolic compounds present in Yerba Mate

potentially improve human health: a critical review

The content on the website comes from  the National Library of Medicine and has been translated into Polish.

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Yerba Mate (YM) is a food product derived from  Ilex paraguariensis whose components obtained from its extract, mainly the phenolic fraction, have been associated with numerous health benefits, such as cardiovascular protection, weight reduction, glucose control and gene modulation. However, the evidence linking phenolic compound (PC) intake to human health is still limited and often controversial. Several studies have shown that key components of PC are poorly absorbed in humans and mainly exist in the form of conjugates, which may not be bioactive but may play a key role in interacting with the gut microbiota (GM). Because the gut is the largest organ of the human body inhabited by microorganisms, GMOs are considered a “microbial organ”, acting as a second genome to modulate the host’s health phenotype. For this reason, research on the intestinal microflora has gained great interest in recent years. Its impact on the development of nutrition-related diseases must motivate more extensive research on the interactions between PC and GM YM with respect to the production of metabolites that may affect human health. This review aimed to collect and evaluate available information on how PC from YM may affect host metabolism and the immune and GM systems.

Additional information

The online version contains additional material available at 10.1007/s11130-022-01008-8.

Keywords:  tea, polyphenols, antioxidants, intestines, stimulants Go to:


An aging global population places an emphasis on developing health care policy and research methodologies to improve the relationship between nutrition and human health. Scientists are currently focusing on bioactive compounds (BACs) of natural origin, which are secondary metabolites derived from seeds, foods and metabolic products resulting from fermentation [  1  ]. Several factors, including the food matrix, molecular size, environmental factors, and association with gastrointestinal material, can inhibit the bioavailability and absorption of BACs in host cell systems and target sites. As a result, the isolation of such natural BACs may result in promising multifunctional extracts that can be used in food applications to support health-promoting effects in host cell systems [  2  ].

For example, the most common plant-derived BACs from food are phenolic compounds (PCs). The numerous health benefits associated with them have resulted in an increase in interest in and demand for food rich in phenols, known as a preventive diet. Furthermore, due to their antioxidant properties and mechanisms such as modulation of enzymatic activity, cell signaling, and gene expression, phenolic-rich foods have been associated with the prevention of several chronic diseases [  3  ].

Nevertheless, the same emerging interest in yerba mate (YM) as a food product derived from  Ilex paraguariensis A. St. has been observed. Hil. (mate), the ingredients of which obtained from the extract, mainly the phenolic fraction, have been associated with numerous health benefits. In Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, it is usually consumed as a tea-like drink [  4  ].

Among the countries with the highest YM consumption, Uruguay is estimated to have the highest per capita (8–10 kg/capita/year); Consumption in Argentina is approximately 6.5 kg/person/year and in southern Brazil 3–5 kg/person/year [  5  ]. Today, YM products are also consumed in various countries, including Germany, Syria and the United States for the production of energy drinks and teas. Recently, the consumption of YM products has been increased in other countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Australia, Russia and Korea because their taste and stimulant properties are very attractive [  6  ]. Moreover, the use of mate has already preceded the tradition of infusions, starting to be used in the production of cosmetics and in the pharmaceutical industry [ 7  ].

This plant is a rich source of several bioactive chemicals that apparently affect health in a synergistic or complementary way. Furthermore, it seems clear that several benefits may not be solely related to a specific nutrient, but rather to the interaction between them, the human body and the GM [  8  ]. The interaction between GM and PC has been extensively discussed in many studies using animal models or  in  vitro colon models  . Although the findings reveal that dietary PC increases the number of beneficial bacteria and antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria on GM, the main components of PC are poorly absorbed by animals and are mostly present as inactive conjugates when in the bloodstream. 9  ].

Therefore, to benefit from the nutritional effects of BAC, improvements in the absorption rate of these nutrients should be explored, while potential PC-rich food sources should be further explored so that we can safely introduce them into our diet. GM modulation through dietary changes has proven to be the key to improving PC uptake in animals. Several aspects present in GM modulation, such as dietary habits, seem to be particularly important in determining its characteristics. Not only can long-term diet have a decisive impact on human GM, but also small changes in diet can affect species composition [  10 ]. ] For example, PC-rich diets have been reported to alter the nature of GM, which in turn can metabolize phenols into bioactive compounds, improving their regulatory bioavailability [  11  ].

Although several studies have already been published showing interactions between GM and PC, there is almost no research on the effects of YM and its PC on human GM. This is certainly an important topic that should be better explored as YM becomes a potential source of PC, even compared to most beverages and foods that have already been studied [  12  ].

Therefore, to better understand the effects of PC with YM on the gut microbiota (GM) and human health, this review collected and assessed relevant articles selected from the Science Direct, Scopus, Web of Sciences, PubMed, Scielo, and Google Scholar databases as a result of of which a total of 74 publications were selected based on their novelty and impact in the area of ​​this review.

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Yerba Mate Health Benefits Review

Over the past two decades, clinical trials have explored the use of YM in the prevention and treatment of various diseases [  13  ]. Figure S1 in the supplemental material shows the processing of YM products and details of the production processes in different countries.

Several authors have linked YM to a wide range of health benefits, including antioxidant capacity [  8  ,  14  ], vasodilator functions [  15  ], gene modulation and defense against DNA damage [  16  ], hypoglycemic effects [  17  ], anti-obesity and weight loss properties [  13  ,  18  ], cardioprotective effect [  19  ], improvement of cholesterol levels [  20  ] and thermogenic effect [  21  ].

Heck and Mejia [  4  ] reported that YM extracts are particularly rich in CGA (an ester formed by quinic acid, QA, and caffeic acid, CA). The hydrolysis products, QA and CA, are important chemicals of high importance and have high commercial values. For example, CA has shown antioxidant capacity, with several mechanisms regarding chelation of metal ions, inhibitory effects on some specific enzymes involved in free radical production and free radical scavenging [  22  ].

In vitro and in vivo studies   have demonstrated a wide spectrum of biological activity of mono- and di-caffeoylquinic acids, also found in YM extracts. Caffeoylquinic acid derivatives exhibit antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory activity [  23  ], apoptosis-mediated cytotoxicity and  α-glucosidase inhibitory activity [  24  ], hypoglycemic properties [  25  ], anti-obesity activity and improvement of lipid metabolism [  26  ]. Table S1 in the supplemental material provides a summary of studies suggesting some of the beneficial health effects of YM.

Various chemical components responsible for the health benefits of YM have already been identified, such as organic acids, minerals, enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, xanthines, saponins, lignin, lutein, cellulose, and especially PC [  27  ]. For example, methylxanthines, the main excitatory compounds present in YM, have several biological properties, including, but not limited to, peripheral vasoconstriction, CNS and myocardial stimulation, smooth muscle relaxation, neuroprotective, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and cardioprotective effects. benefits [  28  ].

Some studies have also linked the impact of YM’s health benefits to its antioxidant capacity and the recent global health epidemic. In general, it is already known that the antioxidant capacity of food products is related to the neutralization of free radicals by PC, although their potential in the human body is still controversial [  29  ]. However, the main antioxidant effect in YM appears to be primarily due to PC in the extract, electron delocalization and intramolecular hydrogen bond formation [  4  ,  19  ].

De Lima et al. [  8  ] investigated the ability of YM to protect the rat brain from chemically induced reactive oxygen species (ROS), glutathione imbalance, mitochondrial dysfunction, and lipid peroxidation. YM prevented glutathione depletion and mitochondrial dysfunction, and both benefits were related to its ability to reduce ROS formation. Their results also suggest that the preventive properties of YM may be due to the coordinated action of multiple components of the extract, not just the phenolic fraction.

Augusti et al. [  30  ] recently published a review of the use of dietary bioactives such as PC as a potential supplement to reduce COVID-19 symptoms. It was hypothesized that the synthesis of PC-derived postbiotics enhances the host’s antioxidant and immune response against SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with GM remodeling.

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Phenolic compounds in Yerba Mate

In YM leaves, the PC fraction constitutes 7–10% of dry matter. Its main PC fraction consists of hydroxycinnamates, a family of esters formed mainly by QA, and a multitude of different hydroxycinnamic acids such as ferulic acid,  p  -coumaric acid and CA, which constitute up to 95% of the phenolic content. The remaining 5% of the PC fraction consists of flavonols [  31  ]. The flavonoids found in Yerba Mate include rutin, quercetin 3-rhamnoside and 3-glucoside, kaempferol 3-rhamnoside and 3-glucoside, and luteolin diglycoside [  5  ].

CA is considered an important biosynthetic precursor representing the major hydroxycinnamate moiety, forming mono- and dicaffeoylquinic acid isomers and accounting for over 90% of total PC, with 5-caffeoylquinic acid being the major hydroxycinnamate in YM [  15  ,  31  ].

In a detailed study, Mateos et al. [  32  ] found 58 PCs in YM, such as four isomers of caffeoyl-2,7-anhydro-3-deoxy-2-octulopyranosonic acid, two isomers of trimethoxycinnamoyl-shikimic acid, di- and tri-methoxycinnamoylquinic acids, and 4-sinapoylquinic acid. In addition, 2-methylxanthines and 46 PC were also found. Similar to the above-mentioned ratio, in their study, hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives and flavonols accounted for 90 and 10% of PC YM, respectively. With rutin (7.1–7.8%), 5-caffeoylquinic acids (21.1–22.4%), 4-caffeoylquinic acids (12.6–14.2%), 3-caffeoylquinic acids (26.8 –28.8%) and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acids (9.5– 11.3%) were the most abundant phenols, and caffeine was the main methylxanthine (90%) [  33  ].

These phenolic compounds can also be obtained from many plant sources, although in different compositions and amounts compared to those found in YM.

In particular, Meinhart et al. [  12  ] analyzed the presence of CGA in 89 plant infusions. They found these compounds in 93% of the infusions, but YM had the highest CGA content (52.6 mg in 100 ml), being an important source of this nutrient compared to other drinks and food products.

Similarly, according to Duarte and Farah [  34  ], 100 ml  of chimarrão  contains twice as much 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 15 times as much 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid and six times as much 4,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid as the same volume of coffee. The values ​​of 5-caffeoylquinic acid in 100 ml  of chimarrão  are on average 100, 60 and 20 times higher than in the same amount of white, green and black tea, respectively [  35  ]. Similar results were obtained for  tererê extract  , the amounts of which were 300, 100 and 50 times higher than those of white, green and black tea infusions, respectively [  35  ].

Additionally, YM-based beverages produced 120 times more 5-caffeoylquinic acid than mountain tea and 15 times more than chamomile tea when aqueous extracts of YM and Mediterranean herbs were compared [  36  ]. Infusions commonly consumed in South America, such as those prepared from macela (  Achyrocline satureioides  ) and carqueja (  Bacharis trimera ) leaves, showed concentrations of dicaffeoolquinic acid isomers 100 times lower than in chimarrão  and  tererê  extracts   [  35  ]. That’s why  chimarrão  and  tererê  are great alternative sources of CGA.

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Interaction between PC and GM

The human body provides a nutrient-rich environment for intestinal bacteria, and the microbiota, in turn, performs essential functions that are not performed by humans, such as the production of valuable nutrients, modulation of bile acid metabolism, intestinal cell barrier and immune system regulation. The balance of gut bacteria has been linked to strengthening immunity, preventing autoimmune disorders and inflammation, and maintaining the integrity of the intestinal epithelium (which prevents pathogens and immune triggers from entering the bloodstream  )  [  37-39  ]. Polyphenols may indirectly regulate these functions by modulating the composition and activity of this microbiota [  38 ]. Furthermore, some polyphenols are involved in the immune system, mainly immunoglobulin A [  40  ].

It also plays an important role in breaking down the primary complex PC into phenolic metabolites that are absorbed in the small intestinal region [  41  ].

In turn, the bioavailability and bioactive effects of PCs and their metabolites seem to influence the composition of GM. For example, dietary PC is able to increase the number of beneficial bacteria and antimicrobial activity against pathogenic bacteria, although most studies have been performed in animal models or  in vitro colon models [  42  ]. In fact, there is also a strong link between PC activity modifying GM and consequently influencing the  Bacteroides/Firmicutes balance. Several studies have demonstrated the importance of this ratio, as reduced values ​​indicate lower rates of insulin resistance, obesity, and obesity [  39 ]. ] This ratio changes throughout life. It is lower in the first years of life (0.4), increases in adulthood (10.9), and decreases in old age (0.6) [  43  ].

Phenolic compounds are poorly absorbed by the stomach and small intestine, as the small intestine absorbs 5 to 10% of the total phenol intake [  38  ,  39  ,  44  –  46  ]. The low absorption is due to the complex molecular structure and polymerization of polyphenols, while free aglycones can be absorbed efficiently [  44  ,  46  ]. Then, unabsorbed polyphenols are transferred to the large intestine, where they are metabolized and biotransformed by the intestinal microflora [  38  ,  44  ,  45  ,  47 ]. Enzymes from the gut microbiota degrade polyphenols into bioactive phenolic metabolites, which can regulate metabolic functions and the composition of the gut microbiota  [  38-40  ,  44  ]. Polyphenols are metabolized through dihydroxylation, glucosidase, esterase, demethylation, and decarboxylation, resulting in simpler phenolic structures through cleavage, hydrolysis, and reduction reactions [  37  ,  46  ,  48  ]. Some of these produced metabolites have higher bioactivity and bioavailability than their precursors, such as simple phenolic acids and lactones  [  44-46  ,  49 ]. In this way, the interaction between polyphenols and the intestinal microbiota promotes the production of active phenolic metabolites, which in turn results in the modulation of the composition of the intestinal microbiota [  38  ,  50  ]. Phenolic metabolites cause a shift in the intestinal microflora population, usually favoring the growth of beneficial intestinal microflora over pathogenic ones [  39  ,  47  ]. For this reason, phenolic compounds act as prebiotics [  38  ,  40  ,  44  ,  47  ]. For example, caffeic and ferulic acids act selectively to reduce the growth rate of pathogens without disrupting beneficial microorganisms [  39  ,  44 ]. Moreover, caffeic and chlorogenic acid may reduce the firmicutes-bacteroidetes ratio in the intestinal microbiota [  51  ]. Polyphenols are also associated with the prevention of intestinal dysbiosis, caused by an imbalance of intestinal microflora [  38  ,  46 ] Additionally, intestinal bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids by fermenting dietary fiber and resistant starch, which have several health benefits such as providing energy to intestinal epithelial cells, reducing inflammation, absorbing minerals, and maintaining intestinal and immune homeostasis [ 45  ]  . ,  47  ].

According to Loo et al. [  44  ] quercetin inhibits the growth of  Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium and Lactobacillus rhamnosus  at minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) ranging from 62.5 to 250 g ml  -1  , however, it seems to inhibit the growth of  Bacteroides galacturonicus, Enterococus caccae, Lactobacillus  spp.,  Ruminococcus gauvreauii, Bifidobacterium catenulatum and E. coli  in doses from 4 to 50 g ml  -1  .

Other studies have reported hydroxycinnamic acid (HCA) MICs ranging from 125 to 1000   µg  ml  -1  for  S. aureus, E. coli, S. typhimurium and L. rhamnosus strains  [  44  ]. HCA on GM has also been reported to increase the growth of lactic acid bacteria in the human intestine as a result of high dose CGA. At the same time, it has been proven that  the presence of CA has a positive effect on the adhesion of probiotic bacteria, such as L. acidophilus [  39  ].

Apparently, numerous studies have shown that PC modulates the gut microbial community through prebiotic or antimicrobial effects against pathogenic gut bacteria [  52  ].

Consequently, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of studies on the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-adipogenic, anti-diabetic, cardioprotective, neuroprotective and anti-cancer effects of phenolic-rich substances through interaction with GMOs [  53  ]. However, there are almost no published studies on the effects of YM and its PC on human GM, and it is certainly an important topic that should be better researched. On the other hand, various PC sources have already been evaluated for their beneficial effects on human GM.

For example, Gil-Sánchez et al. [  54  ] studied grape pomace, a wine product rich in fiber and PC, two food items in which bioavailability involves the microbiota. This study analyzed the  in vitro colonic digestion of grape pomace extracts for the first time. Various benzoic, phenylacetic and phenylpropionic acids were identified based on the release of the main bioavailable phenolic metabolites of grape pomace extract. A significant increase in the amount of acetic, propionic and butyric acid was observed after increased feeding, which indicates the fermentative activity of microorganisms [  54  ]. Furthermore, most classes of bacteria increased during continuous feeding, with the greatest increases occurring in the Lactobacillus and Bacteroids groups.

Nash et al. [  55  ] published a review of recent human studies on the effects of PC from grapes and red wine on GMOs. All studies confirmed the regulation of PC intake by the intestinal microflora by increasing the number of phenolic metabolites found in blood, urine, intestinal fluid and fecal fluids. According to the authors, consumption of PC derived from grapes and red wine may modulate GM and lead to a favorable microbial ecology that improves human health. Moreover, GM showed modulation of grape and red wine PC, suggesting an important bidirectional relationship [  55  ].

Ramírez-Pérez et al. [  56  ] also demonstrated a bidirectional interaction in which host metabolism can be influenced by both microbial modifications of bile acids, either by altering bile acid receptor signals, and microbiota composition. It is becoming increasingly clear that individuals’ GM may determine the health effects of PC and several other bioactive compounds.

Despite all these demonstrated benefits for GMO regulation, the observed reduction in animal absorption of key PC elements requires research aimed at improving the bioavailability of bioactive compounds derived from plant sources [  9  ].

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Approaches to increase the bioavailability of phenolic compounds

Studies on the digestive processes of YM and other plants have shown a modification in the number of bioactive compounds after passing through several compartments of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) as a result of enzymatic activities, GM metabolic activity and pH changes [  57  ]. The temperature and length of digestion can also affect the final qualitative and quantitative result. For example, only one third of all CGA amounts are absorbed in the small intestine, while two thirds reach the colon where they can be metabolized by the microbiota [  58  ].

Consistent with this finding, Gómez-Juaristi et al. [  59  ] assessed the bioavailability of PC YM in healthy humans. They found that in addition to unmetabolized caffeoyl-, feruloyl-, and  p  -coumaroylquinic acids, over 34 metabolites were discovered with rapid onset and clearance in plasma, suggesting absorption in the small intestine. These chemicals accounted for 13.1% of the metabolites found in urine. In addition to feruloylglycine, the delayed absorption of dihydrocaffeic, dihydroferulic, and dihydrocoumaric acids and their phase II metabolites, accounting for 81.0% of the excreted metabolites, revealed a bacterial origin and intestinal absorption, suggesting that PC YMs are extensively metabolized, mainly by the microbiota.

Moreover, GM not only appears to be responsible for the majority of PC metabolism, but can also be modified through specific interventions to beneficially influence human metabolism. Regardless, GM must first be maintained to properly perform its primary function. Pre- and probiotics can play an important role in this regard.

Prebiotics such as inulin, fructooligosaccharides, and galactooligosaccharides have been shown to improve intestinal permeability, reduce inflammation, and improve insulin control  in vivo  [  60  ].

Probiotics such as  Lactobacillus  spp. and  Bifidobacterium  spp. are equally beneficial to human health, even when used alone. However, combinations of pre- and probiotics suggest better potential for GM and host health than single intake, as the combination of both ingredients stimulates the growth and survival of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract [  61  ].

Furthermore, isolated nutrients are rarely consumed and for this reason, in recent years, science has been assessing the ability of diet and dietary patterns to adapt GM to pathological conditions. It appears that long-term adherence to a high-fiber, phenolic-enriched, plant-protein-based diet may provide benefits in terms of GM composition as well as alleviate the symptoms of obesity and metabolic syndrome [  41  ].

Diet has been shown to be a major predictor of GM composition. Varying degrees of in vivo scientific evidence support that nutrition is a key element in GM modulation, as certain foods, bioactive chemicals, and dietary patterns can influence health outcomes through their effects on GM. In this context, it is crucial to understand how specific nutrients, such as PC, may act in GM modulation to elucidate their actions and effects on the human body. The finding that food can have a significant impact on host-microbe interactions suggests that future treatment techniques should be pursued to alter GM and reduce dysbiosis caused by nutrition-related disorders [  41  ].

Currently, polyphenols in the diet are used as a new therapy to prevent many diseases. For example, the association between the gut microbiome and polyphenols has been associated with improving symptoms of depression, alleviating cognitive dysfunction, improving blood flow and vasodilation in the cerebrovascular circulation, and acting as a neuronal protector due to decreasing neuroinflammation [  62  ,  63  ], with immunomodulatory effects [  40  ]. Additionally, dietary polyphenols may prevent inflammation, cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, and type 2 diabetes [  37  ,  46  ]. These properties have also been reported for yerba mate, as yerba mate tea is recommended as dietary therapy [ 5  ,  33  ].

It is important to promote research focusing on metagenomics, transcriptomics and proteomics that help to understand the interactions between dietary polyphenols and the intestinal microflora, in order to thus understand the genes and microorganisms involved in the metabolism of these polyphenols and thus clarify how the dose and polyphenolic compounds from the extract yerba mate influences the intestinal microbiome and the immune system [  37  ].

In addition to maintaining GM, the extraction method used to obtain PC elements from plant sources must be efficient and provide a large amount of compounds to improve the absorption of PC by the human gastrointestinal tract.

It is already known that different extraction conditions, such as time, temperature, solvent type and concentration, can affect the composition of PC. Conventional extraction methods for bioactive compounds can be alternatives to increase their bioavailability and include solvent maceration, direct cooking, distillation, compression, etc. [  64  ], although such processes are time-consuming and may lead to the degradation of thermolabile compounds. Traditional methods such as  Soxhlet  and maceration have numerous disadvantages, including the use of large amounts of organic solvents, which can be toxic as well as harmful to the environment, in addition to high energy and time consumption [  65  ].

The stability of bioactive compounds derived from natural sources is a key factor for their effective integration into various food systems. In this context, methods such as microwave-assisted extraction have emerged as an alternative to reduce the exposure time of bioactive compounds to high temperatures, energy costs and environmental degradation [  65  ]. Ultrasound-assisted extraction is another option for obtaining bioactive compounds, using acoustic energy to enhance the release and diffusion of target compounds from several matrices [  66  ].

Since natural antioxidants are significantly sensitive to the environment, they can also be protected from the surrounding environment by several methods to improve their effectiveness. Recent techniques such as encapsulation can be valuable options for this purpose. The encapsulation process will pack the molecules using an encapsulating material to protect the internal compounds and their functionality. Protective delivery vehicles can also enable targeted release in tissues such as the small intestine, in addition to enveloping, protecting and transporting desired bioactive molecules into the circulatory system [  67  ].

Particularly in the pharmaceutical and nutritional domains, a growing trend is the use of encapsulated micro- and nanoparticles for effective oral delivery of biomolecules. Modern bioactive carriers, which mainly use natural dietary macromolecules as functional materials, aim to enhance the absorption of bioactive ingredients, physicochemical stability, and bioavailability in several ways, while not posing a safety or health risk [  68  ]. Successful application of these bioengineered food compound carriers may provide benefits to human health beyond basic nutrition.

Encapsulation may also be an alternative to changing some product characteristics, improving its appearance or avoiding unpleasant interactions with the food matrix of the carrier [  67  ]. Phenols with higher water solubility can be more easily released from the food matrix, dissolved in the digestive juice, and absorbed by the small intestinal mucosa during digestion. On the other hand, hydrophobic molecules are more likely to interact with other food components, such as fiber and lipids, delaying or reducing absorption [  69  ]. Several wall materials can be used for food encapsulation, such as fibers, proteins, and rubbers. However, depending on the structure and characteristics of each encapsulating agent, the use of multiple agents may result in different physical characteristics [ 70  ].

Several biocompatible and biodegradable polysaccharides have been designed in the form of micro or nanoparticles to solve the absorption problems of PC. Cyclodextrins, cyclic oligosaccharides with a hydrophilic outer surface and a lipophilic inner chamber, are a viable choice. Similarly, chitosan is another type of positively charged polysaccharide often used to capture hydrophilic molecules. Due to interactions with the negatively charged mucus layer, chitosan-based particles promote absorption by facilitating passage through tight junctions [  71  ].

Additionally, dietary proteins such as β-lactoglobulin, β-casein, gelatin, and isolated soy protein are attractive as macronutrients and functional ingredients, making them suitable carrier materials for the efficient transport of nutraceuticals. As seen, by using electrostatic interactions, proteins and polysaccharides can be designed to produce self-assembled particles [  68  ].

In fact, encapsulated PC compounds have already shown higher bioavailability and stability [  72  ]. According to Berté et al. [  73  ], the spray-dried YM extract contained higher amounts of phenolic acids compared to the leaves. Becker et al. [  74  ] evaluated the antioxidant capacity and clinical effects of spray-dried YM extract capsules in healthy subjects. Capsule consumption increased antioxidant biomarkers while reducing lipid peroxidation in both the short and long term.

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Final remarks

Ilex paraguariensis has been shown  to have several health benefits. Although many of these benefits have not yet been fully established, many studies have shown that the plant has the potential to be a promising functional food product, mainly due to its phenolic component. Because the relationship with GM is essential for PC metabolism, the final fraction of YM compounds ingested and how they act in the human body need to be better understood.

In this context, authors should exercise caution in light of the abundance of repetitive and misleading information, as repeated weak studies can weaken solid work. On the other hand, inter-individual variability appears under rigorous research, such as how responses to computer use differ from person to person. Before accurate conclusions can be drawn, it is necessary to determine the likely interrelated elements surrounding the interaction of PC and GM in human health. Furthermore, since the bioavailability and effects of PC are often questioned, it is extremely important to qualify different YM products in terms of PC, as well as to understand how different extractions and consumption methods affect the degree of phenol migration into water as well as absorption by the body. Human body.

Since natural antioxidants are very sensitive, to improve their effectiveness, they can also be protected from the surrounding environment by several methods. Recent techniques such as encapsulation can be valuable options for this purpose. Protective or encapsulated delivery vehicles can also enable targeted release in tissues such as the small intestine, in addition to enveloping, protecting and transporting the desired bioactive molecules into the circulation [  67  ].

The content on the website comes from  the National Library of Medicine and has been translated into Polish.

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