Major in Biology

Ahmed Rezk, Philip Cox, Jennifer Szempruch, Teri Bikowsky, Eduard V. Mokhor, Dr. Terri Provost

The effects of chromium picolinate and guarana on endocrine function, neurochemical status and learning and memory in Swiss-Webster mice.

Many dietary supplements not approved by the Food and Drug Administration contain materials such as guarana (G) and chromium picolinate (CP). These substances are thought to enhance weight loss by up-regulating cellular metabolism. However, the affects of this supplementation have not been investigated. The possibility of additive or synergistic affects when these chemicals are consumed simultaneously could be a detriment to physiological processes. In the present study, we investigated the effects of these chemicals on adipose leptin and serum thyroxine and triiodothyronine concentrations as indicated by radioimmunoassay, neurochemical status as indicated by radiometrically determined choline acetyltransferase activity, learning and memory determined in a Morris water maze, and melatonin production as indicated by radiometrically determine N-acetyltransferase activity. Forty Swiss-Webster Mice received once of four treatments including standard rodent chow, standard rodent chow with 0.5 mg/kg of CP, standard rodent chow with 0.5 mg/kg guarana, or 0.5 mg/kg of both guarana and chromium picolinate for 45 days. Mice were euthanized under red lights and tissues were collected. After analysis of the data no significant difference was found in N-acetyltransferase activity (p=0.079), choline acetyltransferase activity, triiodothyronine, or learning and memory. Serum thyroxine concentrations appear to be depressed by the presence of G and CP and elevated by either of the substances administered individually. Further research is required to investigate the mechanism of action by which G and CP alter cellular metabolism while decreasing thyroxine, since the presence of this hormone up-regulates cellular metabolism.


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