Brazilian nut consumption by healthy volunteers improves inflammatory parameters

Nutrition. 2014 Apr;30(4):459-65. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2013.10.005. Epub 2013 Oct 14.


Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a single dose of Brazil nuts on the inflammatory markers of healthy individuals.

Method: A randomized crossover study was conducted with 10 healthy individuals (mean age 24.7 ± 3.4 y). Each individual was tested four times regarding intake of different portions of Brazil nuts: 0, 5, 20 and 50 g. At each testing period, peripheral blood was collected before and at 1, 3, 6, 9, 24, and 48 h after intake of nuts, as well as at 5 and 30 d after intake of various Brazil nut portions. Blood samples were tested for high-sensitivity to C-reactive protein, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interferon (IFN)-γ, aspartate and alanine aminotransferases, albumin, total protein, alkaline phosphatase, gamma-glutamyltransferase, urea, and creatinine.

Results: Consumption of nuts did not affect biochemical parameters for liver and kidney function, indicating absence of hepatic and renal toxicity. A single intake of Brazil nuts (20 or 50 g) caused a significant decrease in serum IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ levels (P < 0.05), whereas serum levels of IL-10 were significantly increased (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: The results indicate a long-term decrease in inflammatory markers after a single intake of large portions of Brazil nuts in healthy volunteers. Therefore, the long-term effect of regular Brazil nut consumption on inflammatory markers should be better investigated.

Keywords: C-reactive protein; Human; Interleukin; Nutrition; Oxidative stress; Selenium; Unsaturated fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bertholletia*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood
  • Inflammation / diet therapy*
  • Male
  • Nuts*
  • Reference Values
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines