Guarana may help with pain relief
Amazonian tribes have also found use in the guarana plant as a pain reliever. These pain-relieving properties are because of the oft-mentioned high content of caffeine. Caffeine has its role in managing pain, as it binds to and blocks adenosine receptors.
Two of these, A1 and A2a, are crucial in stimulating a feeling of pain. When caffeine binds to them, it has the ability to decrease these pain sensations. This is one of the reasons why caffeine is a common compound found in many over-the-counter pain relief meds.
Whenever you’re feeling some kind of a pain in some area of your body, try drinking some guarana and see if it goes away.
Guarana may improve and cleanse your skin
Because of its potent antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which we talked about in the earlier entries on our list, guarana is also popular in the cosmetics industry as an essential ingredient in all kinds of lotions, anti-aging creams, hair products, and soaps.
Additionally, its high caffeine content aids blood flow to the small blood vessels in the skin. Studies have shown that the antioxidants present in guarana have the ability to significantly reduce skin damage related to aging.
Animal studies have shown that cosmetics that contain guarana can decrease sagging in the cheeks, minimize the formation of wrinkles around the eyes and increase skin tightness.(8)
As women form a much higher percentage of the consumers in the cosmetic industry, they would find it really beneficial if they started consuming guarana in addition to their regular cosmetic routine. The benefits are truly numerous.
Guarana may have anti-cancer properties
Cancer is basically a disease where a certain type of cells starts growing in an uncontrolled and abnormal manner. Test-tube and animal studies have found that guarana consumption may possess the ability to protect against DNA damage, suppress the growth of cancerous cells and even eliminate them altogether.(9,10,11)
A study done on mice found that those who were fed guarana had 60% fewer cancer cells and almost a five-times increase in cancer cell death, compared to the mice that weren’t fed guarana.
A different test-tube study found that guarana suppressed cancer cells growth in the colon, and also stimulated their extermination. Scientists believe that the main reason behind these potential anti-cancer properties of guarana is its high content of xanthines, compounds which are similar to theobromine and caffeine.
Having said all of that, even though these results may look promising, it is still not enough until more thorough human-based studies are made. In any case, it is possible that guarana consumption may lessen the symptoms and provide the body with vital compounds which will help it combat the spread of cancer.
Guarana has antibacterial properties
Guarana is filled with compounds which may inhibit or altogether eliminate dangerous bacteria. One of them is Escherichia coli, whose natural habitat is the intestines of animals and humans. The majority of these bacteria are harmless, however, some of them can cause diarrhea and various other illnesses.(12)
Research has also shown that guarana consumption can inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria which can cause the formation of dental plaques and trigger tooth decay. It is believed that the caffeine and compounds such as tannins or catechins found in guarana are responsible for its antibacterial properties.
So, making sure your intestines remain healthy is another reason why you should drink guarana.
Guarana may protect against eye disorders related to aging
It is quite common for eyesight to deteriorate progressively as we age. Lots of factors are involved such as sunlight, bad diet, smoking, and other lifestyle choices. They can put a severe burden on your eyes over a span of decades and increase the risk of developing eye-related disorders.
Guarana is filled with compounds which combat oxidative stress, which is a big risk factor for age-related eye disorders such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. One study, in particular, found that subjects who consumed guarana on a regular basis reported that they had much better vision than those who consumed it irregularly or not at all.
In that same study, scientists did test-tube experiments to find out whether guarana could protect the eye cells against compound which cause oxidative stress. It was found that guarana significantly decreased the amount of DNA damage and cell death, compared to those who took a placebo.
Having said that, not too many studies have been made to firmly confirm the positive relationship between guarana consumption and age-related eye disorders. More human-based research needs to be made before any concrete recommendations can be made. It wouldn’t hurt however to try it out for yourself if you happen to be suffering from some of the aforementioned disorders.
It is relatively safe with very few side effects
Numerous studies have confirmed the safety of guarana consumption and the general lack of side effects. It only has minor levels of toxicity when consumed in low-to-moderate doses.
When taken in high doses, it may cause similar side effects to the ones of excessive caffeine consumption. Some of them include heart palpitations, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, seizures, shakiness, stomach problems, etc.
It should also be noted that when consumed in high doses caffeine can be quite addictive and lead to dependency very fast. Women in pregnancy should avoid or eliminate guarana consumption, as caffeine can cross the placenta. A high amount of caffeine may cause growth abnormalities in the embryo or increase the risk of miscarriage.
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So, though no generally recommended dose can be given, the majority of human-based studies have found that doses as low as 50mg can provide all the health benefits related to guarana.