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Caffeine and the closely related alkaloids theobromine and theophylline make up the primary active constituents in guaraná. Caffeine’s effects are well known and include stimulating the central nervous system, increasing metabolic rate, and having a mild diuretic effect.5 One preliminary trial found no significant actions on thinking or mental function in humans taking guaraná.6 Guaraná also contains tannins, which act as astringents and may prevent diarrhea. However, this action has not been studied in human clinical trials.
A cup of guaraná, prepared by adding 1/4–1/2 teaspoon (1–2 grams) of crushed seed or resin to 1 cup (250 ml) of water and boiling for ten minutes, can be consumed three times per day.7 Each cup may provide up to 50 mg of caffeine.
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.