Monday, May 30, 2011

Going Nuts! Brazil Nuts Improve HDL to LDL Count, Reduce Triglycerides and Increase Red Blood Cell Velocity

Have you ever wondered about the "pill-form" Brazil nuts naturally exhibit? Well, I guess nature wanted you to recognize Bertholletia excelsa as natural medicine. Brazil nuts which come from the Amazon have a "complex matrix, composed of bioactive substances, such as selenium, α- e γ-tocopherol, phenolic compounds, folate, magnesium, potassium, calcium, proteins and mono (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids" and can thus be far more than mere selenium suppliers in your diet.
Figure 1: Changes in blood parameters after 16 weeks (t1) of Brazil nut consumption @ 3-5 Brazil nuts a day.
(data adapted from Maranhao. 2011)

As a randomized placebo-controlled study published in Nutrition & Metabolism shows (Maranhao. 2011), the consumption of 3-5 Brazil nuts per day for 16 weeks led to significant improvements in
selenium levels (p=0.02), RBCV (p=0.03) and RBCVmax [Red Blood Cell maximal Velocity] (p=0.03) and reduced total (TC) (p=0.02) and LDL-cholesterol (p=0.02).
in 17 obese female adolescents. Even more importantly, it also decreased triglycerides and the amount of oxidized LDL in the blood of the subjects. The waist circumference of the participants, on the other hand did not benefit - in fact, it increased in both the placebo, as well as the treatment group by a few centimeters. In combination with a sound diet and exercise regimen, however, Brazil nuts would certainly be a candidate for the "natural anti-obesity supplement of the day"-award. And, what's more, they are really tasty (well, at least I like them ;-)