Effect of mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) on the expression of the leukocyte NADPH oxidase subunit p47phox and on circulating inflammatory cytokines in healthy men: a pilot study

Increased superoxide production by phagocytic NADPH oxidase has been associated with inflammatory conditions. Growing evidences suggest that dietary polyphenols may modulate the expression of NADPH oxidase subunits. Herein, we examined whether soluble mate tea (SMT) consumption – a polyphenol-rich beverage – affects the expression of the leukocyte NADPH oxidase protein p47phox and/or circulating biomarkers of inflammation and antioxidant biomarkers in humans. In a two-phase study, nine men were requested to drink water (control) for 8 d and then follow a second 8-d period drinking SMT. Blood samples were analysed for p47phox protein in CD16+/CD14 cells, interleukin (IL)-1β (IL-1β), tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), IL-6, total phenols, and reduced and oxidised glutathione (GSH and GSSG, respectively) after each study phase. After SMT intake, CD16+/CD14 cells' p47phox protein and serum TNF-α and IL-6 levels were significantly attenuated (P < .05) while plasma phenolic compounds and blood GSH:GSSG ratio were significantly enhanced (P < .05). Consumption of SMT favourably affected leukocytes' p47phox expression and inflammatory cytokine and antioxidants levels in peripheral blood, which may help decrease oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation.