Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is a plant that is native to northern Brazil and Venezuela. Produces bright red fruit with black seeds that are used for several aim. Guarana contains caffeine. Is an efficient stimulus, with 2.5 times more caffeine than coffee. Also contains theobromine and theophylline, which are chemicals similar to caffeine. The German researcher Theodore von Martius performed the first chemical analysis of guarana seeds in the 1700s. He isolated a bitter, white crystalline substance with a striking physiological action. Martius named this substance guaranine. The seeds and the gum of the guarana tree are manufactured and sold as, tablets, capsules, syrups and teas for a variety ofpurposes. Also guarana is often added to energy drinks.
This plant contains phytochemicals such as theobromine, saponins, catechins and tannins. Phytochemicals have anticancer property, reduce the toxicity of some chemicals and help to protect our DNA. Guarana demonstrated antioxidant effects by inhibiting lipid peroxidation.
Guarana produces a stimulating property, due to the caffeine, theobromine, theophylline. Caffeine is centrally stimulating, has a positive inotropic and, in high concentrations, has a favorable chronotropic cardiac property. It relaxes the vascular muscles and the bronchial tube.
Some experiments show that guarana decreases platelet thromboxane synthesis and inhibits platelet aggregation. In 1989, a U.S. patent was filed on a guaraná seed extract which was property of inhibiting platelet aggregation. The patent described guaraná’s capability to avoid the formation of blood clots and to help in the breakdown of previously-formed clots. Clinical findings was presented in conjunction with the 1989 patent and anew in 1991 by a Brazilian research group that reported these antiaggregation effects.
By increasing your metabolic process, guarana can speed up the weight loss process. Studies show that has some effect on fat metabolism. This efficacy is associated with the methylxanthine content of guarana.
Guarana was shown to be influential against mental fatigue in young healthy people. One study has shown that extracts of ginseng and guarana, both alone and in combination, can enhance cognitive function. In a double-blind, counter balanced, placebo-controlled study of twenty-eight people aged 18 to 24, the cognitive and mood influences of single doses of ginseng, guarana, a combination of the two, and placebo were assessed. Each participant received 150 mg guarana dry extract, standardized to 11-13% alkaloid concentration, or 400 mg ginseng extract (G115), or a guarana/ginseng combination, or placebo per day. Compared with placebo, both guarana alone and ginseng alone, as well as the two combined, improved the subjects’ scores across the CDR test spectrum. Specifically, speed of attention was developed, with guarana producing the best.
Antibacterial effects against E. coli and Salmonella have been documented as well. Guarana, at a concentration between 16 and 128 microg/ml, showed a important antibacterial property against Gram-positive bacteria and Gram-negative.
There is no proven effective dose for guarana. People react differently to caffeine, and different guarana products contain varying amounts of caffeine. For energy, some people use between 200 to 800 mg a day. The statutory level not to exceed is 12 mcg/ml of caffeine in the urine. Because guarana and another caffeine-containing products are considered stimulants, the “International Olympic Committee” bans the use of it among its competing athletes.
Greatly caffeine can lead to a fast heart rate, palpitations, anxiety, agitation, headaches, tremors, dehydration, nausea, and trouble sleeping. 10 g of caffeine is considered a lethal dose.
Seizures were reported in 4 healthy adults following consumption of energy drink that contains guarana along with other contents. Guarana has been reported to cause alterations in heart rhythms. A 25 year old woman with a pre-existing heart problem died after consuming an energy drink containing ginseng and guarana extracts. Was suspected to trigger severe fibrillation of the patient’s heart.
Individuals with high blood pressure, heart diseases, epilepsy, overactive thyroid, anxiety, and kidney illness should only use guarana under the supervision of their physician. Caffeine may cause miscarriage or may slow the growth of a developing fetus when given in doses greater than 300 milligrams a day. Therefore, is not recommended for women who are pregnant or lactating.