Guarana has been included in many weight loss supplements and has in some cases been included in weight loss herbs. But what is guarana? It is a local creeping shrub in Venezuela and northern Brazil in the Amazon rain forest. It produces small bright red fruits with black seeds.It is also called Brazilian Cocoa.
Seeds of Brazilian Cocoa contain a stimulant that increases mental alertness, fights fatigue, increase stamina and physical endurance. The stimulant effects of guaranine are identical to those of caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. Guaranine constitute the primary active agent in Brazilian Cocoa.
Caffeine is also called guaranine when found in Brazilian Cocoa. In fact the chemical structures of guaranine and caffeine are identical. This is perhaps one of the reasons why it is included in weight loss pills or herbal weight loss supplements. Like caffeine, Brazilian Cocoa stimulates the adrenal glands to release the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine, which have been shown to enhance fat loss. Scientists have found that seeds of Brazilian Cocoa have a lot of caffeine in the range of 4-8%. This is more than you will find in coffee beans, which contain approximately 1–2.5% .The seeds are also loaded with tannins, theophylline and theobromine. Theophylline and theobromine are also stimulants making Brazilian Cocoa very rich in stimulants.
Business people are exploiting the properties of Brazilian Cocoa. Some have made “guarana drinks” such as sodas and teas. In addition to its stimulant properties, Brazilian Cocoa is also a popular ingredient in herbal weight loss pills. Some evidence indicates that Brazilian Cocoa may suppress appetite and increase fat burning. Results from animal studies have shown that Brazilian Cocoa’s fat-burning effect is due to the caffeine content.
If you are sensitive to caffeine or xanthines, and are thinking of using Brazilian Cocoa or a product containing it for weight loss or for any other reason you should change your mind after reading this as it may cause you bodily harm. In addition you should not use Brazilian Cocoa if you have a heart condition, diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, overactive thyroid, anxiety, insomnia, and kidney disease unless under the supervision of your doctor.
Guarana sodas, weight loss supplements or weight loss herbs containing guarana should be avoided by pregnant or nursing women because the caffeine content is variable and it isn’t possible to accurately estimate how much caffeine you are consuming through taking this product. Excessive amounts of caffeine can harm the unborn baby.
Just like caffeine, Brazilian Cocoa should not be taken with any weight loss pills or drinks containing ephedra. Serious adverse effects have been reported with this combination. Sudden death has been associated with increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and potentially harmful changes in glucose and potassium levels.
If you want to take Brazilian Cocoa for weight loss you are taking a risk. Remember that there is no miracle pill in the market. There are many safer ways to lose weight, including eating a proper diet and regular exercise.
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