Brazilian nut consumption improves selenium status and glutathione peroxidase activity and reduces atherogenic risk in obese women

Nutr Res. 2012 Jun;32(6):403-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.05.005. Epub 2012 Jun 12.


Studies have shown that there are inverse relationships between nut consumption and the reduction of cardiovascular risk. This study tested the hypothesis that daily consumption of Brazilian nuts would have a positive effect upon selenium (Se) status, erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity, lipid profile, and atherogenic risk in severely obese women. Thirty-seven severely obese women each consumed 1 Brazilian nut a day (290 μg of Se a day) for 8 weeks. Blood Se concentrations, total erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase activity, lipid profile, and Castelli I and II indexes were evaluated before and after the nuts consumption. All the patients were Se deficient at baseline; this deficiency was remedied by the consumption of the Brazilian nut (P < .0001). The intake of Brazilian nuts promoted a significant increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations (P < .00001), which then resulted in a significant improvement of the Castelli I (P < .0002) and II (P < .0004) indexes. This study shows that obese people who implement daily consumption of Brazilian nuts can improve both Se status and lipid profile, especially high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, thereby reducing cardiovascular risks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atherosclerosis / complications
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Bertholletia / chemistry*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood*
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Nuts*
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Selenium / blood*
  • Selenium / deficiency
  • Young Adult


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Selenium