What is Guarana seed extract Extract?
Guarana(Paullinia cupana, syn. P. crysan, P. sorbilis) is a climbing plant in the maple family, Sapindaceae, native to the Amazon basin and especially common in Brazil. Guarana features large leaves and clusters of flowers, and is best known for its fruit, which is 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 found in coffee beans (about 2–4.5% caffeine in guarana seeds compared to 1–2% for coffee beans)
Guaraná is indigenous to the Amazon Basin, located in the northern parts of Brazil and Venezuela. The name comes from the Brazilian Guarani tribe who was the first to harvest the plant. The botanical name for guaraná is Paullinia cupana, named for the German scientist C.F. Paullini who first discovered the plant along with the Guarani tribe in the 18th century. It is also known as Brazilian cocoa. Guaraná is a climbing plant of the maple tree family; it produces large flat leaves and red berries that grow to about the size of a coffee bean.
Chemical constituents of Guarana seed extract Extract
Guaraná extract is taken from the seed of the berry. The seed contains a stimulant known as guaranine, which has a chemical structure identical to caffeine. The amount of gauranine (i.e. caffeine) in guaraná, averaging 5.5 percent, is nearly twice the concentration found in a coffee bean. The remainder of the seed contains nearly 50 percent vegetable fiber, 8.3 percent starch, 7.6 percent water, nearly 6 percent guaraná acid, 7.5 percent pectin and trace amounts of malic acid, mucilage, dextrin and salts, colorant and acids.
Guaranine, theine, and mateine are all synonyms for caffeine when the definitions of those words include none of the properties and chemicals of their host plants except the chemical caffeine. Natural sources of caffeine contain widely varying mixtures of xanthine alkaloids other than caffeine, including the cardiac stimulants theophylline and theobromine and other substances such as polyphenols, which can form insoluble complexes with caffeine. The main natural phenols found in guarana are (+)-catechin and (-)-epicatechin.
Benefits of taking Guarana seed extract supplements:
Guarana is basically an herbal form of caffeine. The surprising truth about guarana is that while it may be a valuable aid for temporarily increasing energy levels (which is usually needed before an intense workout or first thing in the morning as a «pick-me-up»), its ability to break down and mobilize fat and use it for energy makes it a «natural» choice for fat loss. Guarana is typically found combined with other «stimulating» herbs to further compound its properties and increase its «fat-burning» effects.
In Brazil guaraná is popular in soft drinks for its flavor. Guaraná Antarctica is the most popular brand of guaraná soft drink, though in recent years many alternatives have tried to compete for the market with little success. Outside of Brazil, guaraná is known for its chemical effects as a stimulant, not for its unique taste.
Effect of guarana ingestion on mental function
A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-dose evaluation of the acute behavioural effects of guaran in humans.
Psychopharmacol. 2007. Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, Division of Psychology, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
The present study aimed to systematically assess acute, dose-related effects of an extract of guaran plant for the first time in humans. This double-blind, counterbalanced, placebo-controlled study assessed the acute mood and cognitive effects throughout the day of four different doses (37.5 mg, 75 mg, 150 mg and 300 mg) of a standardised guaran extract (PC-102). Guaran improved secondary memory performance and increased alert and content mood ratings. The two lower doses produced more positive cognitive effects than the higher doses. This research supports previous findings of cognitive improvements following 75 mg guaran and provides the first exploration of different dose effects of guaran in humans. The findings suggest that the effects cannot be attributed to caffeine alone.
Guarana and blood thinning, anti platelet activity, anti thrombosis
Studies on the nature of anti-platelet aggregatory factors in the seeds of the Amazonian Herb Guarana (Paullinia cupana).
Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2008. Ravi Subbiah MT, Yunker R, Yunker R. Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
Extracts derived from the dried seeds of guarana possess strong anti-platelet aggregatory properties. In this study, an active fraction was extracted containing catechins, epicatechins, and their dimers, with a small amount of caffeine. Complexes containing caffeine and catechins (and their dimers) might be responsible for anti-platelet aggregatory activity in guarana seeds and might offer health benefits towards decreasing risk of thrombosis and cardiovascular disease.
More good news
In addition to its potential fat-loss benefits, guarana’s been shown to enhance sex drive in men and women, improve a sense of well-being, and actually decrease the tendency toward suicide. Who can ignore that?! And, guarana has some additional benefits that it doesn’t share with its cousin caffeine. For one, because guarana contains tannins, it may help soothe the digestive system and even prevent diarrhea.
Side effects and safety of Guarana seed extract
In the United States, guarana has received the designation of «generally recognized as safe» by the American Food and Drug Administration.
Overuse or abuse of guarana (or any caffeine-containing substance, for that matter) can cause jitteriness, irritability, insomnia, and can compete for nutrients entering the body (such as calcium and iron). However, these effects are usually short-lived.
Dosage of Artichoke Extract supplement:
Guarana is not banned but overuse is. The legal amount not to exceed is 12 mcg/ml of caffeine in the urine. (This would be equivalent to six strong cups of coffee.) Because guarana and other caffeine-containing products are considered stimulants, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) prohibits/bans the use of it among its competing athletes.