Author: chiara vapino
Date: 03/09/2015


Paulinia Cupana is a climbing plant in a maple family Sapindaceae native to the Amazon basin and especially common in Brazil. Guarana features large leaves and clusters and flowers, and is best known for the seeds from its fruit, which are about the size of a coffee bean. As a dietary supplement, guarana is an effective stimulant: its seeds contain about twice the concentration of caffeine foud in a coffee seeds (about 2-4.5% caffeine in guarana seeds compared to 1-2%for the coffee seeds). As with other plants producing caffeine, the high concentration of caffeine is a defensive toxin that repels herbivores from the berry and its seeds.

The guarana fruit’s colour ranges from brown and red and contains black seeds which are partly covered by white arils. The colour contrast when the fruit has been split oen has been likened to eyeballs; which has formed the basis of an origin myth among the Saterè-Mawè people.

The word guarana comes from the Guaranì, which has its origins in the Saterè-Mawè word for the plant, warana that in tupi-Guarani means “fruit like the eyes of the people”.
Guarana plays an important role in tupi and guarani paraguayan culture. According to a myth attributed to the saterè mawe tribe, guarana’s domestication originated with a deity killing a beloved village child.
To console the villagers, a more benevolent god plucked the left eye from the chid and planted it in the forest, resulting in the wild variety of guarana. The god then plucked the right eye from the child and planted it in the village, giving rise to domesticated guarana.
The guarana’s would make an herbal tea by shelling, washing and drying the seeds, followed by poundng them into a fine powder, the powder is kneaded into a dough and then sjaped into cyliders.
This product is known as guarana bread, which would be grated and then immersed into hot water along with sugar.
This plant was introduced to European colonizers and to europe in the 16th century by Oviedo, Hernandez, Cobo and othes spaniard chroniclers.
By 1958, guarana was commercialized.

a partial list of the components of guarana seeds:

  • vegetal fiber 49%
  • Amid 9%
  • Water 7/8%
  • Pectin, dextrin, mineral salts, malic acid 7/8%
  • Tannin 5%
  • Guaranina (caffeina) 4/5%
  • Piro–guaranà acid 2%
  • Glucose 1%
  • Saponine 0,06%
  • Theophyllin 0-2,500 parts per million
  • Theobromine 200-400 parts per million

it is a purine base found in most human body tissues and fluids and in other organisms. A number of stimulants are derived from xanthine, including caffeine and theobromine.
Xanthine is a product on the pathway of purine degradation.

  • It is created from guanine by guanine deaminase
  • It is created from hypoxanthine by xanthine oxidoreductase
  • It is also created from xanthosine by purine nucleoside phosporylase.

Xanthine is subsequently converted to uric acid by the action of the xanthine oxidase enzyme.

it is a central nervous system stimulant of the methylxanthine class of psycoactive drugs.
It is the world’s most widely consumed psycoactive drug, but unlike many other psycoactive substance ,it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world. It is a bitter, white crystalline purine, a methylxanthine alkaloid, and thus closely related chemically to the adenine and guanine contained in deoxyribonucleic acid and ribonucleic acid. It s fond in the seeds, nuts, or leaves of a number of plants native to South America and East Asia.

Property :

guarana improved secondary memory performance: infact Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are considered potent molecules capable of promoting neuronal cell death and participating in the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previous studies have shown that AGEs exacerbate β-amyloid (Aβ) aggregation and AGE-related cross-links are also detected in senile plaques. Acrolein (ACR) is an α, β-unsaturated aldehyde found in the environment and thermally processed foods, which can additionally be generated through endogenous metabolism. The role of ACR in AD is widely accepted in the literature. Guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) is popularly consumed by the population in Brazil, mainly for its stimulant activity. In the present study, we showed that guarana (10, 100, and 1000 µg/mL) is able to prevent protein glycation, β-amyloid aggregation, in vitro methylglyoxal, glyoxal, and ACR (20 μM)-induced toxicity on neuronal-like cells (SH-SY5Y). Since these are considered typical AD pathological hallmarks, we propose that guarana may deserve further research as a potential therapeutic agent in such a neurodegenerative disease.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-dose evaluation of the acute behavioural effects of guaraná in humans, 2007.

increased alert and content mood ratings. The two lower doses produced more positive cognitive effects than the higher doses. A research supports previous findings of cognitive improvements following 75 mg guarana and provides previous the first exploration of different dose effects of guarana in humans. The findings suggest that the effects cannot be attributed to caffeine alone.

guarana showed an antioxidant effect because, even at low concentrations (1.2 microg/ml), it inhibited the process of lipid peroxidation. In high doses of 1000-2000 mg/kg it did not induce significant alterations in parameters for toxicological screening.

No effects on motor activity were observed, neither did guarana alter the hypnotic effect of pentobarbital.
"Guarana (Paullinia cupana): toxic behavioral effects in laboratory animals and antioxidants activity in vitro.
Guarana (Paullinia cupana): toxic behavioral effects in laboratory animals and antioxidants activity in vitro, 1998.

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 1 week of systemic chemotherapy. PC-18 was administered at 37.5 mg by mouth two times per day (PO bid), starting after 1 week of chemotherapy, for 3 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 3 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% confidence interval: 1.716-3.375, p = .0002). Three weeks after randomization (16 patients on PC-18 and 17 on placebo), we observed no significant differences in the BFI, Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores between patients randomized to PC-18 versus placebo.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the PC-18 extract may be effective for the treatment of CRF in patients with a variety of solid tumors. A conditioning effect, which was observed in patients who had a beneficial effect of PC-18 on CRF, may explain the better than expected fatigue scores of the placebo-treated patients.


lipolytic : guarana is usefull as a slimming substancefot the lipolytic property in condition of overweight and obesity. . It promotes the fat's mobilization to the adipose tissue and stimulates a thermogenesis increase causing energy consumption's increase due to a bigger nutrients oxidation like fatty acids

cardiotonic: the caffeine causes heart rate aceleration with a action vasodilatatory and diuretic action. It's usefull for the athletes because improves physical and mental resistance.

Guarana and obesity.
A denmark's study had two distinct aims: to determine the effect of a herbal preparation 'YGD' containing Yerbe Maté, Guarana and Damiana on gastric emptying; to determine the effect of the same preparation on weight loss over 10 days and 45 days and weight maintenance over 12 months.
METHODS: Gastric emptying was observed using ultrasound scanning in seven healthy volunteers following YGD and placebo capsules taken with 420 mL apple juice. Body weight was observed before and after 10 days of treatment with three YGD capsules or three placebo capsules before each meal for 10 days in 44 healthy overweight patients attending a primary health care centre. Forty-seven healthy overweight patients entered a double-blind placebo-controlled parallel trial of three capsules of YGD capsules before each main meal for 45 days compared with three placebo capsules on body weight. Body weight was monitored in 22 patients who continued active (YGD capsules) treatment for 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS: The herbal preparation, YGD capsules, significantly delayed gastric emptying, reduced the time to perceived gastric fullness and induced significant weight loss over 45 days in overweight patients treated in a primary health care context. Maintenance treatment given in an uncontrolled context resulted in no further weight loss, nor weight regain in the group as a whole. The herbal preparation is thus shown to be one that significantly modulates gastric emptying. Further clinical studies with dietetic monitoring of energy intake, dietary quality, satiety ratings, body weight and body composition are now indicated, and examination of the active principles contained in the three herbal components may prove rewarding.
Weight loss and delayed gastric emptying following a South American herbal preparation in overweight patients, 2001.

2015-09-04T07:15:11 - chiara vapino
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