Weight-loss products often contain guarana, in the belief that it suppresses appetite and may have thermogenic and diuretic activities. An animal study designed to evaluate the effects of guarana and decaffeinated guarana found that only the caffeinated herb was effective for weight loss (Lima et al 2005). To date, most clinical studies have investigated the effects of guarana in combination with other herbs. A double-blind, RCT testing a combination of yerbe mate (leaves of Ilex paraguayenls), guarana (seeds of Paulllnla cupana) and damiana (leaves of Turnera dlffusavar. aphrodlslaca) found that the preparation significantly delayed gastric emptying, reduced the time to perceived gastric fullness and induced significant weight loss over 45 days in overweight patients (Andersen & Fogh 2001). Another randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial evaluated the effects of guarana in combination with Ma Huang (Ephedra spp.) and concluded that the formula was effective for weight-loss in overweight men after 8 weeks of treatment (Boozer et al 2001). Although encouraging, the effects of guarana as a stand-alone treatment need to be confirmed.
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