Guarana has been used by the indigenous people of the Amazon as a diuretic, and has therapeutic effects for headaches, fever, cramps and aphrodisiac effects. While the taste is bitter, the guarana can be ground into a powder and dissolved in water; it has been used as an elixir to promote a healthy and long life.
An 8 week long study utilizing the herbal supplement of Ma Huang and Guarana was shown to result in significant weight loss.
Energy Level Boost - In a case study conducted on breast cancer patients who went through chemotherapy while experiencing fatigue this herbal remedy was shown to be an effective tool to combat the fatigue associated to the chemotherapy. Guarana is an effective, inexpensive, and nontoxic alternative for the short-term treatment of fatigue in BC patients receiving systemic chemotherapy. Further studies are needed to confirm these results and to evaluate their generalizability to chronic CRF and to other types of cancer.
Mental Health Boost - A 6 day study was conducted on 26 people, the subjects that used guarana showed signs of memory performance and increased alertness and mood. This research supports previous findings of cognitive improvements following 75 mg guaraná and provides the first exploration of different dose effects of guaraná in humans. The findings suggest that the effects cannot be attributed to caffeine alone.
Another case study showed increased contentment and improved attention span. In summary, this study shows that multivitamins acutely improve neurocognitive processing. In the case of multivitamins with guaraná, there was increased self-rated contentment and improved attentional/working memory performance, which may be attributable to the activation of working memory/attentional networks as revealed by fMRI. That we also saw increased brain activation from the multivitamin without guaraná treatment suggests that there are acute central effects from multivitamins, which merit further investigation. Hence, our finding suggests that both Berocca Boost and Berocca Performance modify the functional activation of a key brain region underlying high-order cognitive functions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first fMRI experiment that demonstrates that a multivitamin supplementation with and without guaraná impacts both neural activity and cognition.
Guarana was also able to delay the growth of induced cancer cell death in the human colon and breast cancer patients. Guaraná presented cell anti-proliferative effect and increased anti-proliferative oxaliplatin sensitivity at all concentrations tested here. Guaraná was able to induce apoptosis and up-regulate the p53 and Bax/Bcl-2 genes.
Antioxidant and Boosts Testosterone - Guarana has an antioxidant effect. This is possibly related to the tannins contained in the seeds. Despite the alterations observed in both groups, pre-treatment with P. cupana was effective in attenuating morphological changes in Leydig cells, as well as reducing inflammatory response, relative to animals exclusively exposed to the metal. Animals treated only with P. cupana presented a significant increase in plasma testosterone levels and a significant increase in volumetric proportions of seminiferous tubules, which are indicative of spermatogenic stimulation.
Digestion - In a study of 637 elderly patients that lived in the Amazon Riverine, the signs of obesity, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome was decreased in these populations where daily intake of guarana was moderated. The results constitute the first epidemiological study to suggest a potentially protective effect of habitual guaraná ingestion against metabolic disorders in elderly subjects.