Acute and subchronic toxicological evaluation of the semipurified extract of seeds of guaraná (Paullinia cupana) in rodents

Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jul;48(7):1817-20. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2010.04.013. Epub 2010 Apr 14.


We evaluated the toxicity of a semipurified extract (EPA fraction, containing caffeine and several flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins) of seeds of the native Amazon plant Paullinia cupana (guaraná) in rodents. Acute toxicity was tested in male Swiss mice, which received different doses orally (OR) and intraperitoneally (ip); control groups received water. These tests produced acute mortality, with LD(50) of 1.825 g/kg (OR) and 0.827 g/kg (ip), and a significant weight decrease in lungs of mice receiving a dose of 0.1g/kg. In the repeated-dose toxicity test, the EPA was administered OR daily to male and female Wistar rats at doses of 30, 150, and 300 mg/kg/day/90 days. Their behavior, mortality, weight changes, laboratory tests, and the weights and histopathology of organs were evaluated. No rats died during the tests. Males dosed at 150 or 300 mg/kg gained weight more slowly and lost kidney weight (absolute and relative weights, compared to the control group). Hematological and biochemical tests showed few changes, differing somewhat between males and females; the histopathological evaluation indicated no significant changes. These results indicate that the EPA fraction of guaraná caused no toxicity in rats at the smallest dose evaluated (30 mg/kg). No other species was evaluated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Female
  • Lethal Dose 50
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Paullinia / chemistry
  • Paullinia / toxicity*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seeds / chemistry
  • Seeds / toxicity
  • Sex Characteristics


  • Plant Extracts