ArticlePDF Available

Guarana and Its Possible Effects on Health



Botanically known as Paullinia cupana (Sapindaceae), guarana is widely grown in Amazon region and naturally in Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. It is used in sugar and/or carbonated soft drinks, herbal teas and energy drinks in the form of guarana extract. Guarana has antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antidepressant effects; improves cognitive performance; triggers weight loss and reduces lipid peroxidation. It has important effects on various methods and treatments from cardiovascular to neurological diseases, from memory and liveliness to cancer. It is also known that guarana enhances biological activities and psychological effects on the body. This compilation has been conducted to evaluate the chemical and physical properties of guarana, its metabolites, the mechanism of its effect on psychological activities and health. GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
Volume 2, April 2020, 709067
Journal of Gazi University Health Sciences Institute
journal homepage:
Guarana and Its Possible Effects on Health
Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun1, Nevin Şanlıer2
1 Firat University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nutrition and Dietetic, Elazig, Turkey
2 Ankara Medipol University, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Nutrition and Dietetic, Ankara,
Article info:
Received: 25.03.2020
Accepted: 30.04.2020
Paullinia cupana,
Botanically known as Paullinia cupana (Sapindaceae), guarana is widely grown in Amazon
region and naturally in Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and the Cooperative Republic
of Guyana. It is used in sugar and/or carbonated soft drinks, herbal teas and energy drinks in the
form of guarana extract. Guarana has antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antidepressant effects;
improves cognitive performance; triggers weight loss and reduces lipid peroxidation. It has
important effects on various methods and treatments from cardiovascular to neurological
diseases, from memory and liveliness to cancer. It is also known that guarana enhances biological
activities and psychological effects on the body. This compilation has been conducted to evaluate
the chemical and physical properties of guarana, its metabolites, the mechanism of its effect on
psychological activities and health.
GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
*Corresponding author: Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun
e-mail address:
1. Introduction
Guarana is a herbal substance extracted from
Paullinia cupana Kunth (Sapindaceae) which is from
maple family in South America and a rain forest ivy
rooted from Amazon for the products rich in caffeine
(Pennay, Lubman, & Miller, 2011; de Lima Portella
et al., 2013). The main components of guarana seeds
were shown in Table 1 (Hamerski, Somner, &
Tamaio, 2013).
The proportion of caffeine in dry weight of guarana
plant seeds is 2-6%, which corresponds to 2 fold of
the caffeine present in the coffee beans (de Oliveira
Campos et al., 2011; Lima et al., 2005; Haskell,
Kennedy, Wesnes, Milne, & Scholey, 2007; EFSA,
2008; Pennay et al., 2011). Caffeine contents of
leaves, seeds and crusts of the dry weight of guarana
are different. According to a study by Baumann et al.
(1995) examining guarana's purine alkaloid contents,
the caffeine content of guarana was found to be
0.02% in the fruit husk (pericarp) and 1.6% in the
seed husk (testa). The caffeine content of the guarana
tinctures is 9.82-11.02%, which is about 2-3 times
higher than the caffeine in seed (Meurer-Grimes,
Berkov, & Beck, 1998). The caffeine content of
guarana is around 1-2%, while this percentage may
rise up to 3% in coffee beans in some cases; its
percentage in yoco husk is around 3%, in tea leaves
between 2-4% while it may rise to very high levels in
some cases, in cola nuts between 1-3% and yerba
mate leaves around 0.4-2% (EFSA, 2008). In other
words, guarana has 30 times more caffeine than
cacao and 10 times more than yerba tea (Edwards et
al., 2005). With this feature, guarana contains the
highest dose of natural caffeine in the world
(Hamerski et al., 2013). As its absorption in the
gastrointestinal system is slower, it can be considered
that guarana has a longer effect than the caffeine in
coffee beans (Pennay et al., 2011).
The popularity of energy drinks has increased in
adolescents and young adults (de Lima Portella et al.,
2013). Such beverages are used to enhance physical
performance and mental alertness with the addition
of herbal supplements and caffeine, such as guarana,
yerba mate and coke nuts (U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, 2012). It is necessary to consider the
combinations of substances as the ingredients of
energy drinks may give a different reaction in the
same formulation. It is also necessary to understand
how these ingredients effect physiology (Moustakas
et al., 2015). Guarana is sold as a stimulant of energy
drinks and also often as capsules combined with
ginseng (Woods, 2012). The different components
found in energy drinks were presented in Table 2
(Zeidán-Chuliá et al., 2013). In energy drinks, it is
anticipated that low doses of guarana seeds have
short term stimulating effect when combined with
caffeine and glucose but high doses do not have a
long term effect (Moustakas et al., 2015).
2. Biological Activities, Molecular Activities,
Molecular Purposes of Guarana and Relevant
It is claimed that guarana reduces the effects of
aging, relieves fatigue, improves vitality, endurance,
strength, concentration and performance in athletes,
reduces rheumatic diseases, tension, migraine,
constipation and diarrhea, facilitates weight loss and
suppresses appetite (Woods, 2012). Guarana is rich
in caffeine and catechins like green tea, and its
GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
*Corresponding author: Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun
e-mail address:
Table 1. Basic composition of renewable guarana beans (Hamerski et al., 2013)
Content medium (%)
Catechutannic acid
Catechic acid
functional properties related to metabolic disorders
are very similar to green tea (de Lima Portella et al.,
2013; da Costa Krewer et al., 2011). Guarana has
antioxidant, antitumoral, anticarcinogenic,
antimicrobial and antidepressive effects. It is also
suggested that guarana has important biological
effects such as improving cognitive performance and
antidepressive effect (da Costa Krewer et al., 2011).
Guarana is also used as a diuretic and as a pain
reliever for migraine treatment (Hamerski et al.,
2013). Guarana was alos reported to have
hepatoprotective activity and preventive effect on
DNA strand breakage in liver damage caused by
carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄) in rats (Kober et al.,
2016). It is also considered that the high
concentration of caffeine available in guarana
powder contributes to the mating success of lab-
reared male flies (de Aquino, Souza, de Jesus Santos,
& Joachim-Bravo, 2016).
2.1. Effects on Cancer
Guarana extracts have an antioxidant effect on NO
(Hamerski et al., 2013). It is known that it has an
antioxidant effect even at low concentrations (1.2 µg
/ mL). It is stated that it is a natural and powerful
antioxidant beneficial to human health and also
protects the organism from oxidative damage (EFSA,
The antioxidant properties of the guarana extract are
thought to be caused from the tannins, catechins,
epicatechins, saponins, proanthocyanidols as well as
methylxanthines such as theophylline, theobromine
and caffeine (de Lima Portella et al., 2013; Hamerski
et al., 2013). Guarana also protects the body from
damage stimulated by cadmium (Hamerski et al.,
2013). It was reported that guarana supplementation
reduces oxidative stress at maximum 5 mg/mL
(Bittencourt et al., 2013). There is also a significant
GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
*Corresponding author: Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun
e-mail address:
Table 2. Different components found in energy drinks (Zeidán-Chuliá et al., 2013)
Plant extract
Paullinia cupana
*Methylxanthines *Epicatechins
Caffeine *Tannins
Theobromine *Saponins
Theophylline *Catechins
*Other compounds
Panax ginseng
*Saponins * Other compounds
Pausinystalia yohimbe
Snakeroot or sarpagantha
Rauwolfia serpentina
*Flavonoids *Terpenes
Quercetin Ginkgolide A
Kaempferol Ginkgolide B
Biflavone Ginkgolide C
Ginkgetin Bilobalide
Amino acids
GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
*Corresponding author: Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun
e-mail address:
decrease in oxidative stress types such as protein
carbonylation level, intracellular reactive oxygen
species (ROS) and lipoperoxidation in aging adipose-
derived stem cells (ASCs) of the 5 mg / mL
supplemented plant extract (Machado et al., 2015).
Guarana has been reported to significantly reduce
fatigue after chemotherapy in cancer patients (dos
Santos Martins, Ferreira, & del Giglio, 2017). In a
study conducted on cancer patients with anorectic -
cachectic syndrome causing body weight loss and
appetite reduction of more than 5% of normal
weight, all participants were given guarana extract
twice a day for 4 weeks and the body weight of the
patients remained the same and their appetite
increased (Palma et al., 2016). In another study, it
was found out that Paullinia cupana (PC-18) can be
effective for the treatment of fatigue associated with
chemotherapy in 40 patients who had various solid
tumors and was given 37,5 mg PC-18 twice a day
orally for 3 weeks one week after chemotherapy in
induction phase and either the same dose of PC-18 or
placebo randomly for following three weeks
(damping phase) (del Giglio et al., 2013). Besides the
studies revealing the positive effects of guarana, in
another study, the patient group who were treated
with 50 mg guarana twice a day and received
chemoradiotherapy as they have head and neck
cancer suffered from more intense body weight loss
and used more nasogastric tube (dos Santos Martins
et al., 2017). However, further studies are required to
examine its positive effects.
2.2. Antibacterial and Antifungal Effects
Guarana is a bioactive substance which shows
significant antibacterial effect against gram-positive
and gram-negative bacteria (Basile et al., 2013). It
was found out that alcoholic guarana seed extracts
showed strong antimicrobial activity against the
bacteria such as Pseudomonas fluorescens, P.
aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris, Escherichia coli,
Bacillus cereus, Proteus mirabilis and Streptococus
mutans and the harmful fungi such as Trichoderma
viride, Aspergillus niger and Penicillium cyclopium
(Hamerski et al., 2013). It is also claimed that sodium
benzoate, flavonoids, vitamins, carbon monoxide and
tannins contained in the guarana have a protective
effect on teeth erosion (Barac et al., 2015). It is used
in tooth paste due to its antimicrobial effects (de
Camargo Smolarek et al., 2015).
This plant has also a strong effect against some
pathogens in the digestive tract. Besides in another
study, it was found out that guarana can
ethnopharmacologically be used against dysentery
and diarrhea (Basile et al., 2005). Owing to its strong
antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, it is
suggested that guarana can be used as a natural
additive in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical
industries. As a result of another study, it was found
out that guarana seed extract has a significant activity
against growth of th bacteria such as E. coli, B.
cereus and P. fluorescens and fungi such as A. niger,
T. viride and P. cyclopium which are responsible for
the food poisoning (Majhenič, Škerget, & Knez,
2.3. Effects on Nervous System and Memory
Guarana extracts have antidepressive, anxiolytic and
anti-amnestic effects so it is claimed that guarana
reduces the symptoms of depression, when consumed
moderately (Silvestrini, Marino, & Cosentino, 2013).
It was found out that multivitamin-mineral
supplementation prepared with guarana supplement
GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
*Corresponding author: Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun
e-mail address:
improves decision making performance and ensures a
stable autonomous nervous system regulation in the
first hour (Pomportes, Davranche, Brisswalter, Hays,
& Brisswalter, 2014). In a randomized, prospective
and placebo-controlled study also conducted on 27
healthy individuals (9 of them were given guarana
extract and 15 of them placebo), it was suggested that
guarana extract in recommended quantities (350 mg
x 3/day) has no effect on anxiety, state of mind and
psychological wellness (Silvestrini et al., 2013).
Guarana is considered to promote cognitive
performance, memory and reduces mental fatigue in
healthy young adults (Haskell et al., 2007; Kennedy
et al., 2008). Although guarana is reported to protect
nerves and promote cognitive ability, its possible
mechanism is not fully understood (Ruchel et al.,
2017). In a randomized and controlled study, subjects
were given guarana in 4 different doses and it was
found out that 75 mg of guarana had positive effects
on memory and cognitive functions (Haskell et al.,
2007). As a result of a study in which guarana was
used as a multivitamin, it was observed that there is
an acute beneficial effect on mood and cognitive
performance (Scholey et al., 2013). Moreover, in a
study it was reported that acrolein has a role in
Alzheimer's disease and acrolein-induced toxicity on
neuronal-like cells (SH-SY5Y) was stated to be
inhibited by guarana; therefore, it can be used as a
therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative diseases
(Bittencourt et al., 2014).
According to EFSA, in order to observe guarana’s
effect on vitality and fatigue, it is recommended to
consume guarana; as fruit-seed-root equivalent to
minimum 8 mg caffeine or equivalent to 75 mg
extract (11-13% caffeine), 1-6 g/day pulverized
seeds, as 3% fruit extract equivalent to 1-3 g/day
caffeine or only minimum 50 mg of guarana (EFSA,
2.4. Relation with Obesity
Guarana seed is increasingly used as a weight loss
product in tablets in powdered and compressed form
(Hamerski et al., 2013). It is considered that guarana
reduces appetite and energy intake and promotes
state of mind (Alkhatib, Seijo, Larumbe, & Naclerio,
2015). Using guarana in natural caffeine sources has
increased significantly in recent years in order to
improve athletic performance and reduce body
weight (Pendleton, Brown, Thomas, & Odle, 2012).
It is extensively consumed by athletes, as it is
believed to be ergogenic and "fat burning" (Hamerski
et al., 2013). Guarana is used in fruit juice drinks,
candy (such as chocolate products), energy drinks, as
well as dietary and herbal supplements and in highly
controversial herbal body weight loss products
(Kennedy, Haskell, Wesnes, & Scholey, 2004).
The metabolic pathways associated with body weight
are related with the role of bioactive components (de
Lima Portella et al., 2013). In a study conducted on
six hundred and thirty-seven elderly individuals (≥60
years), the prevalence of obesity and metabolic
syndrome was found to be lower in guarana-
consuming group than in the group not consuming
guarana. It was found out that the waist
circumference of the male group consuming guarana
was lower than that of the non-consuming group (da
Costa Krewer et al., 2011). In addition, there was no
evidence that weight loss increases when guarana is
consumed alone (Hamerski et al., 2013).
GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
*Corresponding author: Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun
e-mail address:
2.5. Effects on Cardiovascular Diseases and
Lipid peroxidation induced by independent radicals
is involved in the pathogenesis of various diseases.
Using a 2 μg/mL concentration of guarana extract
reduces 62.5% of lipid peroxidation depending on the
dose (Basile et al., 2005). The effect of guarana on
serum oxidation and LDL is probably associated with
some bioactive components (xanthine and catechin)
(de Lima Portella et al., 2013; da Costa Krewer,
2011). However, there is not a certain information on
whether guarana consumption increases low density
lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation resistance (de Lima
Portella et al., 2013).
In the study conducted by da Costa Krewer et al.
(2011), the prevalence of hypertension in individuals
who consumed guarana was lower than those who
did not consume, and cholesterol levels of the female
group consuming guarana were lower than that of the
control group. In another study conducted on 42
healthy adults, it was emphasized that guarana has a
positive effect on LDL oxidation and may have
protective effects, in part, on cardio-metabolic
diseases (de Lima Portella et al., 2013). As a result of
another study, it was found out that the cells with
higher cellular nitric oxide levels exposed to different
concentrations of guarana reduced the level of lipid
peroxidation (Bittencourt et al., 2013).
3. Safe Dose and Toxicology
The results of several studies on long-term intake of
guarana are contradictory (Silvestrini et al., 2013).
The consumption of excessive amounts of energy
drinks and more than 200 mg caffeine per day may
cause health problems (Pennay et al., 2011). The
consumption of caffeine more than 20 mg/kg is
considered as potential toxic amount. Moreover, its
consumption more than 150 mg/kg is regarded as
lethal dose (Pendleton et al., 2012).
Generally, the daily dosage of 20 to 30 mg of
caffeine is recommended (Silvestrini et al., 2013).
The caffeine content of a plant depends on several
conditions such as climate, hydration state and
harvest time (de Carvalho Ferrari, 2011). For this
reason, it is not recommended to consume more than
2 energy drinks per day whether it is alcoholic or not
(Pennay et al., 2011). In the light of this information,
as a result of the calculations made by considering
human dose recommendations and body weight, it is
recommended to consume 150-250 mg extracts of
guarana seeds containing 9-11% of caffeine per day
(Dimpfel, 2013).
Guarana was described as safe by the US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), although it has side
effects when taken in various quantities (de Lima
Portella et al., 2013). EFSA recommends the use of
125 mg of guarana dry powder extract per day
(EFSA, 2012). However, it is suggested in some
sources that elderly people, which are considered to
be sensitive, should be kept under constant
supervision (Lüde et al., 2016).
4. Conclusion
Guarana is a herb which has been used as a medical
plant for many years. In vivo, in vitro and human
experimens have shown that it can be effective in the
treatment and prevention of many diseases. Although
the positive effects of guarana on health are stated,
safe dosing and interactions of its active ingredient,
caffeine, should be taken into consideration in the
GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
*Corresponding author: Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun
e-mail address:
treatment of diseases. However, studies show
conflicting results about the safe dose.
Due to the increasing consumption of guarana which
has antioxidant features, it can be used for body
weight loss and it is known to reduce cardiovascular
disease prevalence but there is a need for further
human and animal studies on its functional
Conflict of interest
The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.
The authors alone are responsible for the content and
writing of this article.
Alkhatib, A., Seijo. M., Larumbe. E., & Naclerio. F.
(2015). Acute effectiveness of a “fat-loss” product on
substrate utilization, perception of hunger, mood state
and rate of perceived exertion at rest and during
exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports
Nutrition, 12(1), 44.
Barac, R., Gasic. J., Trutic. N., Sunaric, S., Popovic, J.,
Djekic, P., Radenkovic, G., & Mitic A. (2015). Erosive
effect of different soft drinks on enamel surface in
vitro: Application of stylus profilometry. Medical
Principles and Practice, 24(5), 451-457.
Basile, A., Ferrara, L., Del Pezzo, M., Mele, G., Sorbo, S.,
Bassi, P., & Montesano, D. (2005). Antibacterial and
antioxidant activities of ethanol extract from Paullinia
cupana Mart. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 102(1),
Basile, A., Rigano, D., Conte, B., Bruno, M., Rosselli, S.,
& Sorbo, S. (2013). Antibacterial and antifungal
activities of acetonic extract from Paullinia cupana
Mart. seeds. Natural Product Research, 27(22), 2084-
Baumann, T.W., Schulthess, B.H., & Hannı, K. (1995).
Guaraná (Paullinia cupana) rewards seed dispersers
without intoxicaticating them by caffeine.
Phytochemistry, 39(5), 1063-1070.
Bittencourt, L.S., Machado, D.C., Machado, M.M., Dos
Santos, G.F.F., Algarve, T.D., Marinowic, D.R.,
Ribeiro, E.E., Soares, F.A.A., Barbisan, F., Athayde,
M.L., & Cruz, I.B.M. ( 2013). The protective effects of
guaraná extract (Paullinia cupana) on fibroblast NIH-
3T3 cells exposed to sodium nitroprusside. Food and
Chemical Toxicology, 53, 119-125.
Bittencourt, L.D.S., Zeidán‐Chuliá, F., Yatsu, F.K.J.,
Schnorr, C.E., Moresco, K.S., Kolling, E.A., Gelain,
D.P., Bassani, V.L., & Moreira, J.C.F. (2014). Guarana
(Paullinia cupana Mart.) Prevents β‐Amyloid
Aggregation, Generation of Advanced Glycation‐end
Products (AGEs), and Acrolein‐Induced Cytotoxicity
on Human Neuronal‐Like Cells. Phytotherapy
Research, 28(11), 1615-1624.
da Costa Krewer, C., Ribeiro, E.E., Ribeiro, E.A.M.,
Moresco, R.N., de Ugalde Marques da Rocha, M.I.,
dos Santos Montagner, G.F.F., Machado, M.M.,
Viegas, K., Brito, E., & da Cruz, I.B.M. (2011).
Habitual Intake of Guaraná and Metabolic Morbidities:
An Epdemiological Study of an Elderly Amazonian
Population. Phytotherapy Research. 25(9), 1367-1374.
de Aquino, J.C.D., Souza, C.F.C., de Jesus, Santos, J.R., &
Joachim-Bravo, I.S. (2016). Adding guarana powder to
medfly diets: an alternative for improving the Sterile
Insect Technique. Scientia Agricola. 73(3), 294-298.
de Camargo, Smolarek, P., Esmerino, L.A., Chibinski,
A.C., Bortoluzzi, M.C., dos Santos, E.B., & Junior,
V.A.K. (2015). In vitro antimicrobial evaluation of
toothpastes with natural compounds. European Journal
of Dentistry, 9(4), 580-586.
de Carvalho, Ferrari, C.I. (2011). Guaraná-Soft Drinks,
Acids, Pain, Teeth. Faculty of Dentistry McGill
University, Montreal.
de Lima, Portella, R., Barcelos, R.P., da Rosa, E.J.F.,
Ribeiro, E.E., da Cruz, I.B.M., Suleiman, L., & Soares,
F.A.A. (2013). Guaraná (Paullinia cupana Kunth)
effects on LDL oxidation in elderly people: an in vitro
and in vivo study. Lipids in Health and Disease,
de Oliveira, Campos, M.P., Riechelmann, R., Martins,
L.C., Hassan, B.J., Casa, F.B.A., & Del Giglio, A.
(2011). Guarana (Paullinia cupana) Improves Fatigue
in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Systemic
Chemotherapy. The Journal of Alternative and
Complementary Medicine, 17(6), 505-512.
del Giglio, A.B., de Iracema, Gomes, Cubero, D., Lerner,
T.G., Guariento, R.T., de Azevedo, R.G.S., Paiva, H.,
Goldman, C., Carelli, B., Cruz, F.M., Schindler, F.,
Pianowski, L., de Matos, L.L., & del Giglio, A. (2013).
Purified dry extract of Paullinia cupana (guaraná)(PC-
18) for chemotherapy-related fatigue in patients with
solid tumors: an early discontinuation study. Journal of
Dietary Supplements, 10(4), 325-334.
Dimpfel, W. (2013). Pharmacological classification of
herbal extracts by means of comparison to spectral
EEG signatures induced by synthetic drugs in the
freely moving rat. Journal of
Ethnopharmacology, 149(2), 583-589.
dos Santos, Martins. S.P., Ferreira, C.L., & del Giglio, A.
(2017). Placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized
study of a dry guarana extract in patients with head and
neck tumors undergoing chemoradiotherapy: effects on
fatigue and quality of life. Journal of Dietary
Supplements, 14(1), 32-41.
Edwards, H.G.M., Farwell, D.W., de Oliveira, L.F.C.,
Alia, J-M., Le Hyaric, M., & de Ameida, M.V. (2005).
FT-Raman spectroscopic studies of guarana and some
extracts. Analytica Chimica Açta, 532(2), 177-186.
GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
*Corresponding author: Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun
e-mail address:
European Food Safety Authority. (2008). Flavouring
Group Evaluation 49, (FGE.49): Xanthin alkaloids
from the priority list from chemical group 30 scientific
opinion of the panel on food additives, flavourings,
processing aids and materials in contact with food. The
EFSA Journal, 741, 1-15.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). (2010).
Scientific opinion on the substation of health claims
related to various food(s)/food constituent(s) and
protection of cells from premature ageing, antioxidant
properties, protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from
oxidative damage and bioavailability of anthocyanins
in black currants pursuant to Article of regulation. The
EFSA Journal, 8(2), 1489.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). (2011).
Scientific opinion on the substation of health claims
related to caffeine and increased fat oxidation leading
to a reduction in body fat mass, increased energy
expenditure leading to a reduction in body weight,
increased attention pursuant to Article 13 of
Regulation. The EFSA Journal, 9(4), 2054.
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). (2012).
Scientific opinion on the substation of health claims
related to a combination of Paullinia cupana Kunth
(guarana) and Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze (green
tea) extracts and reduction of body weight pursuant to
Article 13(5) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. The
EFSA Journal, 8(10), 1489.
Hamerski, L., Somner, G.V., & Tamaio, N. (2013).
Paullinia cupana Kunth (Sapindaceae): A review of its
ethnopharmacology, phytochemistry and
pharmacology. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research,
7(30), 2221-2229.
Haskell, C.F., Kennedy, D.O., Wesnes, K.A., Milne, A.L.,
& Scholey, A.B. (2007). A double-blind, placebo-
controlled, multi-dose evaluation of the acute
behavioural effects of guarana in humans. Journal of
Psychopharmacology, 21(1), 65-70.
Kennedy, D.O., Haskell, C.F., Robertson, B., Reay, J.,
Brewster-Maund, C., Luedemann, J., Maggini, S., Ruf,
M., Zangara, A., & Scholey, A.B. (2008). Improved
cognitive performance and mental fatigue following a
multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with added
guarana (Paullinia cupana). Appetite, 50(2), 506-513.
Kennedy, D.O., Haskel, C.F., Wesnes, K.A., & Scholey,
A.B. (2004). Improved cognitive performance in
human volunteers following administration of guarana
(Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction
with Panax ginseng. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and
Behaviour, 79(3), 401-411.
Kober, H., Tatsch, E., Torbitz, V.D., Cargnin, L.P.,
Sangoi, M.B., Bochi, G.V., da Silva, A.R.H., Barbisan,
F., Ribeiro, E.E., Beatrice, I., da Cruz, M., & Moresco,
R.N. (2016). Genoprotective and hepatoprotective
effects of guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart. var.
sorbilis) on CCl4-induced liver damage in rats. Drug
and Chemical Toxicolog, 39(1), 48-52.
Lima, W.P., Carnevali, Jr L.C., Eder, R., Fernando, L.,
Costa, Rosa, B.P., Bacchi, E.M., & Seelaender, M.C.L.
(2005). Lipid metabolism in trained rats: Effect of
guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) supplementation.
Clinical Nutrition, 24(6), 1019-1028.
Lüde, S., Vecchio, S., Sinno‐Tellier, S., Dopter, A.,
Mustonen, H., Vucinic, S., Jonsson, B., Müller, D.,
Fruchtengarten, L.V.G., Hruby, K., De Souza,
Nascimento, E., Di Lorenzo, C., Restani, P.,
Kupferschmidt, H., & Ceschi, A. (2016). Adverse
effects of plant food supplements and plants consumed
as food: results from the poisons centres based
PlantLIBRA Study. Phytotherapy Research, 30, 988-
Machado, A.K., Cadoná, F.C., Azzolin, V.F., Dornelles,
E.B., Barbisan, F., Ribeiro, E.E., Mánica-Cattani,
M.F., Duarte, M.M.M.F., Saldanha, J.R.P., & da Cruz,
I.B.M. (2015). Guarana (Paullinia cupana) improves
the proliferation and oxidative metabolism of senescent
adipocyte stem cells derived from human
lipoaspirates. Food Research International, 67, 426-
Majhenič, L., Škerget, M., & Knez, Ž.. (2007).
Antioxidant and antimicrobial activity of guarana seed
extracts. Food Chemistry, 104(3), 1258-1268.
Meurer-Grimes, B., Berkov, A., & Beck, H. (1998).
Theobromine, theophylline, and caffeine in 42 samples
and products of guarana (Paullinia cupana,
Sapindaceae). Economic Botany, 52(3), 293-301.
Moustakas, D., Mezzio, M., Rodriguez, B.R., Constable,
M.A., Mulligan, M.E., & Voura, E.B. (2015). Guarana
provides additional stimulation over caffeine alone in
the planarian model. PloS one, e.0123310.
Palma, C.G.L., Lera, A.T., Lerner, T., de Oliveira, M.M.,
de Borta, T.M., Barbosa, R.P., Brito, G.M., Guazzelli,
C.A., Cruz, F.J.M., & del Giglio, A. (2016). Guarana
(Paullinia cupana) ımproves anorexia in patients with
advanced cancer. Journal of Dietary Supplements,
13(2), 221-231.
Pendleton, M., Brown, S., Thomas, C., & Odle, B. (2012).
Potential toxicity of caffeine when used as a dietary
supplement for weight loss. Journal of Dietary
Supplements, 9(4), 293-298.
Pennay, A., Lubman, D.I., & Miller, P. (2011). Combining
energy drinks and alcohol: A recipe for trouble?
Austrilian Family Physican, 40(3), 104-107.
Pomportes, L., Davranche, K., Brisswalter, I., Hays, A., &
Brisswalter, J. (2014). Heart rate variability and
cognitive function following a multi-vitamin and
mineral supplementation with added guarana
(Paullinia cupana). Nutrients, 7(1), 196-208.
Ruchel, J.B., Braun, J.B.S., Adefegha, S.A., Manzoni,
A.G., Abdalla, F.H., de Oliveira, J.S., Trelles, K.,
Signor, C., Lopes, S.T.A., da Silva, C.B., Castilhos,
L.G., Rubin, M.A., & Leal, D.B.R. (2017). Guarana
(Paullinia cupana) ameliorates memory impairment
and modulates acetylcholinesterase activity in
Poloxamer-407-induced hyperlipidemia in rat
brain. Physiology & Behavior, 168, 11-19.
GUHES 2 (2020) 709067
*Corresponding author: Ayfer Beyaz Coşkun
e-mail address:
Scholey, A., Bauer, I., Neale, C., Savage, K., Camfield,
D., White, D., Maggini, S., Pipigas, A., Stough, C., &
Hughes, M. (2013). Acute effects of different
multivitamin mineral preparations with and without
guarana on mood, cognitive performance and
functional brain activation. Nutrients, 5(9), 3589-3604.
Silvestrini, G.I., Marino, F., & Cosentino, M. (2013).
Effects of a commercial product containing guarana on
psychological well-being, anxiety and mood: a single-
blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy subjects.
Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine, 12(9).
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2012). Caffeine
intake by the U.S. population.
Woods, D.J. (2012). Potion or Poison? Guarana. Journal
of Primary Health Care, 4(2), 163-164.
Zeidán-Chuliá, F., Gelain, D.P., Kolling, E.A., Rybarczyk-
Filho, J.L., Ambrosi, P., Terra, S.R., Pires, A.S., da
Rocha, J.B.T., Behr, G.A., & Moreira, J.C.F. (2013).
Major components of energy drinks (caffeine, taurine,
and guarana) exert cytotoxic effects on human
neuronal SH-SY5Y cells by decreasing reactive
reactive oxygen species production. Oxidative
Medicine and Cellular Longevity.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
ABSTRACT Ceratitis capitata (medfly) is a globally important horticultural pest that can be controlled using the sterile insect technique (SIT), but the success of SIT depends on the sexual performance of mass-reared males when released into the field. We added “guarana” (Paullinia cupana) powder (derived from an Amazonian fruit that is considered to be a stimulant with aphrodisiac effects, capable of improving human physical stamina) to the diets of adult male medflies to determine whether it increased their sexual performance. The basic diet of a protein extract + sucrose (1:3) was enriched with guarana powder (3 % on a volume basis). Experiments examining sexual competitiveness were performed using lab-reared males fed with the enriched diet vs. lab-reared males fed on the basic diet (and lab-reared females fed on the basic diet), as well as lab-reared males fed with the enriched diet vs. wild males fed on the basic diet (and wild females fed on the basic diet). The results of both experiments indicated that males maintained on diets enriched with guarana powder showed higher copulation successes than males fed only with the basic diet. Guarana powder therefore contributed to the greater mating success of lab-reared males (probably because of its stimulant properties), and may represent a new and viable option for increasing SIT effectiveness.
Full-text available
Objectives: This in vitro study evaluated the antimicrobial effects of commercial toothpastes containing natural compounds. Materials and methods: The study groups were divided based on the natural compound present in the toothpaste composition: Sorbitol (I), tocopherol (II), mint (III), cinnamon/mint (IV), propolis/melaleuca (V), mint/açai (VI), mint/guarana (VII), propolis (VIII), negative control (IX), and the positive control (X). The antimicrobial properties of the toothpastes were tested using the disk diffusion method against oral pathogens: Streptococcus mutans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterococcus faecalis. The resulting inhibition halos were measured in millimeters. Results: The data indicated that the bacteria responded differently to the toothpastes (P < 0.0001). The diameters of the inhibition halos against S. mutans were in decreasing order of efficacy: Propolis/melaleuca > mint/guarana > mint/açai > sorbitol > tocopherol > cinnamon/mint > propolis > mint (P < 0.001 vs. negative control). E. faecalis showed variable responses to the dentifrices in the following order of decreasing efficacy: Mint/guarana > propolis > sorbitol > mint/açai > tocopherol > cinnamon/mint > mint = propolis/melaleuca = negative control. The product with the highest antimicrobial activity was mint/guarana, which was significantly different than propolis/melaleuca, mint, cinnamon/mint, and tocopherol and negative control (P < 0.001). The statistical analysis indicated that propolis, sorbitol, and mint/açai did not show any differences compared to mint/guarana (P > 0.05) and positive control (P > 0.05). P. aeruginosa was resistant to all dental gels tested including positive control. Conclusion: The toothpastes with natural compounds have therapeutic potential and need more detailed searches for the correct clinic therapeutic application. The results from this study revealed differences in the antimicrobial activities of commercial toothpastes with natural compounds.
Full-text available
Background: Achieving fat-loss outcomes by ingesting multi-ingredient mixtures may be further enhanced during exercise. This study tested the acute thermogenic effectiveness of a commercially available multi-ingredient product (Shred-Matrix®), containing Green Tea Extract, Yerba Maté, Guarana Seed Extract, Anhydrous caffeine, Saw palmetto, Fo-Ti, Eleuthero root, Cayenne Pepper, and Yohimbine HCI, on fatty acid oxidation (FAO), perception of hunger, mood state and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) at rest and during 30 min of submaximal exercise. Methods: Following institutional ethical approval, twelve healthy recreationally active participants, five females and seven males, were randomized to perform two separate experimental ergometry cycling trials, and to ingest 1.5 g (3 × capsules) of either a multi-ingredient supplement (SHRED) or placebo (PL). Participants rested for 3 h, before performing a 30-min cycling exercise corresponding to their individually-determined intensity based on their maximal fat oxidation (Fatmax). Fatty acid oxidation (FAO) was determined at rest, 3 h before exercise (Pre1), immediately before exercise (Pre2) and during exercise (Post), using expired gasses and indirect calorimetry. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was measured every 3 min during the 30-min exercise. Additionally both mood state and perception of hunger were assessed at Pre1, Pre2 and Post exercise. A repeated measures ANOVA design and Cohen's d effect sizes were used to analyze potential differences between times and treatment conditions. Results: FAO increased in SHRED from Pre1 to Pre2 [0.56 ± 0.26 to 0.96 ± 0.37, (p = 0.003, d =1.34)] but not in PL [0.67 ± 0.25 to 0.74 ± 0.19, (p = 0.334) d = 0.49], with no differences were found between conditions (p = 0.12, d = 0.49). However, Cohen's d = 0.77 revealed moderate effect size in favor of SHRED from Pre to Post exercise. RPE values were lower in SHRED compared to Pl (p< 0.001). Mood state and perception of hunger were not different between conditions, with no interaction effects. However, a trend was shown towards improved satiety in SHRED compared with PL, [F(1,11) = 3.58, p = 0.085]. Conclusions: The multi-ingredient product's potential enhancement of FAO during exercise, satiety, and RPE reduction suggests an acute effectiveness of SHRED in improving the exercise-related fat loss benefits.
Full-text available
To assess the erosive potential of various soft drinks by measuring initial pH and titratable acidity (TA) and to evaluate enamel surface roughness using different exposure times. The initial pH of the soft drinks (group 1: Coca-Cola; group 2: orange juice; group 3: Cedevita; group 4: Guarana, and group 5: strawberry yoghurt) was measured using a pH meter, and TA was measured by titration with NaOH. Enamel samples (n = 96), cut from unerupted human third molars, were randomly assigned to 6 groups: experimental (groups 1-5) and control (filtered saliva). The samples were exposed to 50 ml of soft drinks for 15, 30 and 60 min, 3 times daily, during 10 days. Between immersions, the samples were kept in filtered saliva. Enamel surface roughness was measured by diamond stylus profilometer using the following roughness parameters: Ra, Rq, Rz, and Ry. Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA, Tukey's post hoc and Student-Newman-Keuls post hoc tests. The pH values of the soft drinks ranged from 2.52 (Guarana) to 4.21 (strawberry yoghurt). Orange juice had the highest TA, requiring 5.70 ml of NaOH to reach pH 7.0, whereas Coca-Cola required only 1.87 ml. Roughness parameters indicated that Coca-Cola had the strongest erosion potential during the 15 min of exposure, while Coca-Cola and orange juice were similar during 30- and 60-min exposures. There were no significant differences related to all exposure times between Guarana and Cedevita. Strawberry yoghurt did not erode the enamel surface regardless of the exposure time. All of the tested soft drinks except yoghurt were erosive. Erosion of the enamel surfaces exposed to Coca-Cola, orange juice, Cedevita, and Guarana was directly proportional to the exposure time. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Full-text available
The stimulant effect of energy drinks is primarily attributed to the caffeine they contain. Many energy drinks also contain other ingredients that might enhance the tonic effects of these caffeinated beverages. One of these additives is guarana. Guarana is a climbing plant native to the Amazon whose seeds contain approximately four times the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans. The mix of other natural chemicals contained in guarana seeds is thought to heighten the stimulant effects of guarana over caffeine alone. Yet, despite the growing use of guarana as an additive in energy drinks, and a burgeoning market for it as a nutritional supplement, the science examining guarana and how it affects other dietary ingredients is lacking. To appreciate the stimulant effects of guarana and other natural products, a straightforward model to investigate their physiological properties is needed. The planarian provides such a system. The locomotor activity and convulsive response of planarians with substance exposure has been shown to provide an excellent system to measure the effects of drug stimulation, addiction and withdrawal. To gauge the stimulant effects of guarana we studied how it altered the locomotor activity of the planarian species Dugesia tigrina. We report evidence that guarana seeds provide additional stimulation over caffeine alone, and document the changes to this stimulation in the context of both caffeine and glucose.
e20680 Background: Paullinia cupana (guaraná) is an Amazonian plant that has been previously shown to be effective in treating chemotherapy-related fatigue (CRF) in patients with breast cancer. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a purified dry extract of P. cupana (PC-18) in patients with various solid tumors treated with chemotherapy. Methods: We included 40 patients with solid tumors who showed increases in their Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI) questionnaire scores after one week of systemic chemotherapy. PC-18 was administered at 37.5 mg by mouth two times per day (PO bid), starting after one week of chemotherapy, for three weeks (induction phase). Patients who had an improvement in or stabilization of their BFI scores were randomized to receive either PC-18 at the same dose or placebo for the following three weeks (maintenance phase). Results: After PC-18 treatment, the BFI fatigue scores improved or stabilized in 36 out of the 40 patients (mean BFI score difference = 2.503; 95% CI: 1.716 – 3.375, P = 0.0002). Three weeks after randomization (16 patients on PC-18 and 17 on placebo), we observed no significant differences in the BFI, FACIT, HADS, and PSQI scores between patients randomized to PC-18 versus placebo. Conclusions: We conclude that the PC-18 extract is effective for the treatment of CRF in patients with a variety of solid tumors. A conditioning effect, which was observed in patients with early positive effects of PC-18 on CRF, may explain the better than expected fatigue scores of the placebo-treated patients.
MESSAGE: The main constituent of guarana is caffeine, with smaller quantities of theophylline and theobromine. There is no evidence that the berries or extracts contain anything else that is therapeutically useful. Guarana is associated with many therapeutic properties, but there is no evidence to support these other than effects that can be attributed to caffeine. Guarana is widely available in herbal products and energy drinks. Excessive intake can cause the same effects as too much caffeine. It is not widely recognised that guarana has a high caffeine content and the labelling on some products is misleading. Although not specifically studied, guarana would be expected to exhibit the same range of adverse effects and drug interactions as those associated with caffeine.
Hyperlipidemia is a risk factor for the development of cognitive dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Currently, the natural compounds have received special attention in relation to the treatment of diseases due to their low cost and wide margin of safety. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the possible preventive effect of guarana powder (Paullinia cupana) on memory impairment and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in brain structures of poloxamer407 induced hyperlipidemic rat. Adult male Wistar rats were pretreated with guarana 12.5, 25 and 50mg/kg/day and caffeine (0.2mg/kg/day) by gavage for a period of 30days. Simvastatin (0.04mg/kg) was administered as a comparative standard in this study. Hyperlipidemia was acutely induced with intraperitoneally injection of 500mg/kg of poloxamer407. Memory test and evaluation of anxiety were performed. The cortex, cerebellum, hippocampus, hypothalamus and striatum were separated for the assessment of acetylcholinesterase activity. Our results revealed that guarana powder was able to reduce the levels of TC and LDL-C in a manner similar to simvastatin and partially reduced the liver damage caused by hyperlipidemia. Guarana was able to prevent changes in the activity of AChE and improve memory impairment caused by hyperlipidemia. Guarana powder may therefore be a source of promising phytochemicals that can be used as an adjuvant therapy in the management of hyperlipidemia and cognitive disorders.
Methods: In this phase II prospective study, we evaluated 60 patients with stage I-IV head and neck squamous cell carcinoma before, during, and after chemoradiotherapy. The patients were randomized into two arms: placebo versus guarana at a dose of 50 mg twice a day during the chemoradiotherapy treatment. We used the FACT-HN, EORTC-HN35, and EORTC-Q30 questionnaires to assess fatigue and quality of life (QOL). Results: A significant worsening of QOL in the overall (p = 0.0054), functional (p = 0.018), and symptom (p = 0.0042) domains after the second cycle of chemotherapy was observed in patients using guarana compared to the placebo group. No significant differences in any QOL domain for either the guarana or placebo group were observed when the first and the fourth evaluations of each domain in each group were compared. Regarding the FACT-HN35 questionnaire, the guarana group showed improvement after the first cycle of chemoradiotherapy with respect to pain (p = 0.0133), social eating (p = 0.0227), swallowing (p = 0.0254), coughing (p = 0.0107), and weight loss (p = 0.012); however, after treatment completion (after the third cycle) weight loss worsened (p = 0.0074) and greater use of a nasogastric tube (p = 0.051), in addition to increased use of analgesics (p = 0.0253), was observed in the guarana group. Regarding the EORTC-QOL C30 questionnaire, improvement of symptoms in the three domains (functional, overall, and symptoms) was observed in patients using guarana. No significant difference was observed between the groups regarding toxicity as graded by the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) scale. Conclusion: We propose that guarana is not beneficial for this patient population.
Plant food supplements (PFS) are products of increasing popularity and wide-spread distribution. Nevertheless, information about their risks is limited. To fill this gap, a poisons centres-based study was performed as part of the EU project PlantLIBRA. Multicentre retrospective review of data from selected European and Brazilian poisons centres, involving human cases of adverse effects due to plants consumed as food or as ingredients of food supplements recorded between 2006 and 2010. Ten poisons centres provided a total of 75 cases. In 57 cases (76%) a PFS was involved; in 18 (24%) a plant was ingested as food. The 10 most frequently reported plants were Valeriana officinalis, Camellia sinensis, Paullinia cupana, Melissa officinalis, Passiflora incarnata, Mentha piperita, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Ilex paraguariensis, Panax ginseng, and Citrus aurantium. The most frequently observed clinical effects were neurotoxicity and gastro-intestinal symptoms. Most cases showed a benign clinical course; however, five cases were severe. PFS-related adverse effects seem to be relatively infrequent issues for poisons centres. Most cases showed mild symptoms. Nevertheless, the occurrence of some severe adverse effects and the increasing popularity of PFS require continuous active surveillance, and further research is warranted. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.