Guarana (Paullinia cupana) Stimulates Mitochondrial Biogenesis in Mice Fed High-Fat Diet

Nutrients. 2018 Jan 31;10(2):165. doi: 10.3390/nu10020165.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of guarana on mitochondrial biogenesis in a high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice. C57BL6J mice were divided in two groups: high-fat diet HFD and high-fat diet + guarana (HFD-GUA). Both groups received HFD and water ad libitum and the HFD-GUA group also received a daily gavage of guarana (1 g/kg weight). Body weight and food intake was measured weekly. Glycemic, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels were determined. VO₂ and energy expenditure (EE) were determined by indirect calorimetry. Gene expression was evaluated by real-time PCR and protein content by western blotting. The HFD-GUA group presented lower body weight, subcutaneous, retroperitoneal, visceral, and epididyimal adipose tissue depots, and glycemic and triglyceride levels, with no change in food intake and cholesterol levels. Furthermore, the HFD-GUA group presented an increase in VO₂ and basal energy expenditure (EE), as well as Pgc1α, Creb1, Ampka1, Nrf1, Nrf2, and Sirt1 expression in the muscle and brown adipose tissue. In addition, the HFD-GUA group presented an increase in mtDNA (mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid) content in the muscle when compared to the HFD group. Thus, our data showed that guarana leads to an increase in energetic metabolism and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, contributing to control of weight gain, even when associated with high-fat diet.

Keywords: energy expenditure; guarana (Paullinia cupana Kunth); mitochondrial biogenesis; obesity.

MeSH terms

  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / pathology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / genetics
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / metabolism
  • Diet, High-Fat*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / drug effects*
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / metabolism
  • Mitochondria, Muscle / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 1 / genetics
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 1 / metabolism
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / genetics
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2 / metabolism
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Organelle Biogenesis*
  • Paullinia* / chemistry
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha / genetics
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Sirtuin 1 / genetics
  • Sirtuin 1 / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Loss / drug effects*


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Creb1 protein, mouse
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 1
  • NF-E2-Related Factor 2
  • Nfe2L1 protein, mouse
  • Nfe2l2 protein, mouse
  • Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Coactivator 1-alpha
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ppargc1a protein, mouse
  • AMPK alpha1 subunit, mouse
  • AMP-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Sirt1 protein, mouse
  • Sirtuin 1