The herbal supplement industry represents a multi-billion dollar business in the United States and around the world. The seeds of guarana, originating from the Amazon Basin (Erickson eta!., 1984) represents one of the most commonly used herbal products. Guarana is approved as a food additive in the US and is widely consumed as a high-caffeine stimulant mixed with soft drinks, energy drinks, and, more recently, beer (Houghton, 1995). Despite its wide use, relatively little is known with regard to other active components of guarana seeds and their specific use for a given metabolic effect (Subbiah, 2005). In this chapter we will briefly review the metabolic and cellular effects of guarana seed extract, with particular focus on its ability to inhibit platelet aggregation, which has considerable clinical potential for use as a nutraceutical.
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