Guaraná Seed Extract
(Paullinia cupana)

(Memory and Nutrition)

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Guaraná Seed Extract Research

Heart Rate Variability and Cognitive Function Following a
Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation with Added
Guarana (Paullinia cupana)

Nutrients. 2014 (Dec 31); 7 (1): 196–208 ~ FULL TEXT

The results suggest that the ingestion of a multi-vitamin-mineral with added guarana improves decision-making performance and is accompanied by a stable autonomic nervous system regulation during the first hour.

The Effect of a Single Dose of Multivitamin and Mineral
Combinations with and without Guaraná on Functional
Brain Activity During a Continuous
Performance Task

Nutr Neurosci. 2014 (Sep 26) [Epub ahead of print]

While preliminary in nature, these findings suggest a single multivitamin/mineral dose is sufficient to impact on functional brain activity in task-related brain regions.

Acute Effects of Different Multivitamin Mineral Preparations
with and without Guaraná on Mood, Cognitive Performance
and Functional Brain Activation

Nutrients. 2013 (Sep 13); 5 (9): 3589–3604 ~ FULL TEXT

These data confirm the acute benefits of multivitamins with guaraná on mood and cognitive performance. Furthermore, they demonstrate for the first time increased brain activation from multivitamin preparations both with and without guaraná, as measured using fMRI.
NOTE:  The MRI images (see Figure 2) are a real eye-opener!

Paullinia cupana Mart. var. Sorbilis Protects Human
Dopaminergic Neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y Cell Line
Against Rotenone-induced Cytotoxicity

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011 (Sep); 30 (9): 1382–1391

To test their hypothesis, they treated human dopaminergic brain cells with a toxic insecticide called rotenone over 48 hours. Then they treated those same cells with guaraná extract, at 2 different concentrations. Post-testing showed that guaraná significantly increased cell viability, in a dose-dependent manner. Although this is a basic cell culture study, it does suggest that guaraná provides important neuro-protective effects which need to be explored further.

Improved Cognitive Performance and Mental Fatigue
Following a Multi-vitamin and Mineral Supplement
with Added Guaraná (Paullinia cupana)

Appetite. 2008 (Mar); 50 (2-3): 506–513

This research supports previous findings demonstrating guaraná's cognition enhancing properties and provides evidence that its addition to a multi-vitamin-mineral supplement can improve cognitive performance and reduce the mental fatigue associated with sustained mental effort.

Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity of Guarana Seed Extracts
Food Chemistry 2007; 104 (3): 1258–1268

The antioxidant and radical-scavenging activities of guarana seed extracts were evaluated using the β-carotene–linoleic acid emulsion system and the stable free radical 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH·). All tested guarana seed extracts displayed strong antioxidant and radical-scavenging properties.   Results presented here may suggest that seed extracts of guarana possess strong antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and they can therefore be used as a natural additive in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Effect of Lyophilized Extracts from Guaraná seeds
[Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis (Mart.) Ducke] on
Behavioral Profiles in Rats

Phytother Res. 2007 (Jun); 21 (6): 531–535

The EPB extract did not induce any effect after acute or chronic treatment in the different models used. The present results suggest that the crude EBPC extract and EPA extract produced an antidepressant-like effect after long-term administration.

A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Multi-dose Evaluation of
the Acute Behavioural Effects of Guaraná in Humans

J Psychopharmacol 2007 (Jan); 21 (1): 65–70

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.

Improved Cognitive Performance in Human Volunteers Following
Administration of Guarana (Paullinia cupana) Extract:
Comparison and Interaction with Panax Ginseng

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2004 (Nov); 79 (3): 401–411

These results provide the first demonstration in humans of the psychoactive effects of guarana, and confirmation of the psychoactive properties of ginseng. Given the low caffeine content (9 mg) of this dose of guarana extract, the effects are unlikely to be attributable to its caffeine content.


Other Memory Enhancers ~ The Nootropics

Bacopa monniera
Bacopa monniera, also referred to as Bacopa monnieri, Herpestis monniera, water hyssop, and “Brahmi,” has been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for centuries. Traditionally, it was used as a brain tonic to enhance memory development, learning, and concentration, [1] and to provide relief to patients with anxiety or epileptic disorders. [2]

Ginkgo biloba
Research performed during the past fifteen years suggests that ginkgo may be of value in the treatment of age-related physical and mental deterioration, dementia, peripheral vascular disease, and organic impotence. Ginkgo may also reduce the severity of depression in individuals with cerebral dysfunction. Preliminary or uncontrolled studies suggest that ginkgo may benefit some patients suffering from tinnitus, vertigo, acute cochlear deafness, macular degeneration, cyclic edema, and asthma.

Vinpocetine is a powerful memory enchancer. It facilitates cerebral metabolism by improving cerebral microcirculation (blood flow), stepping up brain cell ATP production (ATP is the cellular energy molecule), and increasing utilisation of glucose and oxygen. What all this means is that vinpocetine shares many of the effects of several other cognitive enchancers.

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