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J Negat Results Biomed. 2013 May 25;12:9. doi: 10.1186/1477-5751-12-9.

Effects of a commercial product containing guaraná on psychological well-being, anxiety and mood: a single-blind, placebo-controlled study in healthy subjects.

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Center for Research in Medical Pharmacology, University of Insubria, Via Ottorino Rossi n, 9, Varese, VA 21100, Italy.



Guaranà (Paulinia cupana) seed extracts are increasingly popular worldwide for their stimulant, cognitive and behavioral effects. To assess the effects on psychological well-being, anxiety and mood of a commercially available guaranà preparation taken regularly over several days according to the labelled dosages and instructions, 27 healthy volunteers were enrolled in a prospective, randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.


Guaranà 350 mg × 3 daily just after breakfast or placebo were given for 5 consecutive days. Assessment was performed one day after the last intake and included the psychological well-being (PWB) scales, the self-rating anxiety state scale (SAS), and the Bond-Lader mood scales. There were no significant differences between guaranà and placebo in any of the 6 areas of PWB, in SAS, as well as in any of the 16 mood scales.


In healthy subjects a 5-day treatment with a commercial preparation of guaranà used according to labelled instructions provided no evidence for any major effects on psychological well-being, anxiety and mood. Considering the increasing popularity of guaranà-containing products sold as dietary supplements for fitness purposes, controlled studies are strongly warranted to assess their benefits in comparison to the labelled claims.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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