• Denise Cristina Rodrigues Department of Food Technology and Medicine and Nursing, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
  • Kely de Paula Correa Department of Food Technology, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Hiasmyne Silva de Medeiros Department of Food Technology, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Sylvia do Carmo Castro Franceschini Department of Nutrition and Health, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Paulo Cesar Stringheta Department of Food Technology, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Jane Sélia dos Reis Coimbra Department of Food Technology, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil




Selenium, Lipid Profile, Oxidative Stress, Supplementation


Previous studies suggest that Brazil nut can improve the nutritional status of selenium, reduce oxidative stress, modify lipid profile, and alter inflammatory markers. A systematic review was performed to evaluate and synthesize the results of studies on the effect of Brazil nut supplementation on human health. The review was conducted according to the recommendations of the Preferred Reporting Items for reviews and was based on searches of the databases BIREME, BMC Proceedings, The British Library, The Cochrane Library, and PubMed up to December 2019. The searches also included at the databases Google Scholar and Web of Sciences. The descriptors were identified using the Health Science Descriptors system and the search strategy included the following combination of keywords: Bertholletia, protein, lipid, nutritive value, and selenium; in English and Portuguese. A total of 510 potential studies were screened, of which 25 studies were considered for this review. All studies showed that supplementation with Brazil nut in the amounts evaluated improved the selenium status in the body and had positive effects without reports of adverse effects. This systematic review indicates that Brazil nut has a beneficial effect on human health, but further studies with double-blind controlled clinical trials and larger sample sizes are needed for the validation of these effects.


Download data is not yet available.


Ariane, M. K., Maristela, M., Silmara, M. M., Renata, H. S., Karine, S. N., Helyde, A. M. & Augusto, K. J. (2015). Properties of Brazil nuts: A review. African Journal of Biotechnology 14(8), 642–648. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.5897/ajb2014.14184 10.5897/ajb2014.14184 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5897/AJB2014.14184

Cardoso, B. R., Busse, A. L., Hare, D. J., Cominetti, C., Horst, M. A., McColl, G., Magaldi, R. M., Jacob-Filho, W. & Cozzolino, S. M. F. (2016). Pro198Leu polymorphism affects the selenium status and GPx activity in response to Brazil nut intake. Food & Function 7(2), 825–833. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5fo01270h 10.1039/c5fo01270h DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/C5FO01270H

Cardoso, B. R., Duarte, G. B. S., Reis, B. Z. & Cozzolino, S. M.F. (2017). Brazil nuts: Nutritional composition, health benefits and safety aspects. Food Research International. Elsevier BV 100, 9–18 Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2017.08.036 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2017.08.036

Cardozo, L. F. M. F., Stockler-Pinto, M. B. & Mafra, D. (2016). Brazil nut consumption modulates Nrf2 expression in hemodialysis patients: A pilot study. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 60(7), 1719–1724. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201500658 10.1002/mnfr.201500658 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201500658

Carvalho, R. F., Huguenin, G. V. B., Luiz, R. R., Moreira, A. S. B., Oliveira, G. M. M. & Rosa, G. (2015). Intake of partially defatted Brazil nut flour reduces serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic patients- a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal 14(1), 14. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12937-015-0036-x 10.1186/s12937-015-0036-x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-015-0036-x

Colpo, E., Dalton D.A. Vilanova, C., Reetz, L. G. B., Duarte, M. M.M.F., Farias, I. L. G., Meinerz, D. F., Mariano, D. O.C., Vendrusculo, R. G., Boligon, A. A., Dalla Corte, C. L., Wagner, R., Athayde, M. L. & da Rocha, J. B. T. (2014). Brazilian nut consumption by healthy volunteers improves inflammatory parameters. Nutrition 30(4), 459–465. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2013.10.005 10.1016/j.nut.2013.10.005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2013.10.005

Colpo, E., Vilanova, C. D. de A., Brenner Reetz, L. G., Medeiros Frescura Duarte, M. M., Farias, I. L. G., Irineu Muller, E., Muller, A. L. H., Moraes Flores, E. M., Wagner, R. & da Rocha, J. B. T. (2013). A Single Consumption of High Amounts of the Brazil Nuts Improves Lipid Profile of Healthy Volunteers. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism 2013, 1–7. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/653185 10.1155/2013/653185 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/653185

Cominetti, C., de Bortoli, M. C., Garrido, A. B. & Cozzolino, S. M.F. (2012). Brazilian nut consumption improves selenium status and glutathione peroxidase activity and reduces atherogenic risk in obese women. Nutrition Research 32(6), 403–407. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2012.05.005 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.05.005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2012.05.005

Cominetti, C., de Bortoli, M. C., Purgatto, E., Ong, T. P., Moreno, F. S., Garrido, A. B. & Cozzolino, S. M. F. (2011). Associations between glutathione peroxidase-1 Pro198Leu polymorphism, selenium status, and DNA damage levels in obese women after consumption of Brazil nuts. Nutrition 27(9), 891–896. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2010.09.003 10.1016/j.nut.2010.09.003 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2010.09.003

Donadio, J. L.S., Rogero, M. M., Guerra-Shinohara, E. M., Barbosa, F., Desmarchelier, C., Borel, P., Sneddon, A. A., Hesketh, J. E. & Cozzolino, S. M.F. (2019). Genetic variants in selenoprotein genes modulate biomarkers of selenium status in response to Brazil nut supplementation (the SU.BRA.NUT study) Clinical Nutrition 38(2), 539–548. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2018.03.011 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.03.011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2018.03.011

Donadio, J. L. S., Rogero, M. M., Guerra-Shinohara, E. M., Desmarchelier, C., Borel, P. & Cozzolino, S. M. F. (2018). SEPP1 polymorphisms modulate serum glucose and lipid response to Brazil nut supplementation. European Journal of Nutrition 57(5), 1873–1882. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-017-1470-7 10.1007/s00394-017-1470-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-017-1470-7

Donadio, J., Rogero, M., Cockell, S., Hesketh, J. & Cozzolino, S. (2017). Influence of Genetic Variations in Selenoprotein Genes on the Pattern of Gene Expression after Supplementation with Brazil Nuts. Nutrients 9(7), 739. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu9070739 10.3390/nu9070739 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9070739

Downs, S. H. & Black, N. (1998). The feasibility of creating a checklist for the assessment of the methodological quality both of randomised and non-randomised studies of health care interventions. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 52(6), 377–384. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech.52.6.377 10.1136/jech.52.6.377 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1136/jech.52.6.377

Duarte, G. B. S., Reis, B. Z., Rogero, M. M., Vargas-Mendez, E., Júnior, F. B., Cercato, C. & Cozzolino, S. M. F. (2019). Consumption of Brazil nuts with high selenium levels increased inflammation biomarkers in obese women: A randomized controlled trial. Nutrition 63-64, 162–168. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2019.02.009 10.1016/j.nut.2019.02.009 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2019.02.009

Huguenin, G. V.B., Moreira, A. S.B., Siant'Pierre, T. D., Gonçalves, R. A., Rosa, G., Oliveira, G. M.M., Luiz, R. R. & Tibirica, E. (2015). Effects of Dietary Supplementation with Brazil Nuts on Microvascular Endothelial Function in Hypertensive and Dyslipidemic Patients: A Randomized Crossover Placebo-Controlled Trial. Microcirculation 22(8), 687–699. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/micc.12225 10.1111/micc.12225 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/micc.12225

Huguenin, G. V. B., Oliveira, G. M. M., Moreira, A. S. B., Saint’Pierre, T. D., Gonçalves, R. A., Pinheiro-Mulder, A. R., Teodoro, A. J., Luiz, R. R. & Rosa, G. (2015). Improvement of antioxidant status after Brazil nut intake in hypertensive and dyslipidemic subjects. Nutrition Journal 14(1). Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12937-015-0043-y 10.1186/s12937-015-0043-y DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-015-0043-y

Hu, Y., McIntosh, G. H., Le Leu, R. K., Somashekar, R., Meng, X. Q., Gopalsamy, G., Bambaca, L., McKinnon, R. A. & Young, G. P. (2016). Supplementation with Brazil nuts and green tea extract regulates targeted biomarkers related to colorectal cancer risk in humans. British Journal of Nutrition 116(11), 1901–1911. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0007114516003937 10.1017/s0007114516003937 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114516003937

Liberati, A., Altman, , Dg, , Tetzlaff, J., Mulrow, C., Gøtzsche, P. C., Ioannidis, , Jpa, , Clarke, M., Devereaux, , Pj, , Kleijnen, & Moher, D. (2009). The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: expanation and elaboration. Ann Intern Med 151(4), 65–93. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-151-4-200908180-00136

Maranhão, P. A., Kraemer-Aguiar, L. G., de Oliveira, C. L., Kuschnir, M. C., Vieira, Y. R., Souza, M. G., Koury, J. C. & Bouskela, E. (2011). Brazil nuts intake improves lipid profile, oxidative stress and microvascular function in obese adolescents: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition & Metabolism 8(1), 32. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-8-32 10.1186/1743-7075-8-32 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-8-32

Martens, I. B.G., Cardoso, B. R., Hare, D. J., Niedzwiecki, M. M., Lajolo, F. M., Martens, A. & Cozzolino, S. M.F. (2015). Selenium status in preschool children receiving a Brazil nut–enriched diet. Nutrition 31(11-12), 1339–1343. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2015.05.005 10.1016/j.nut.2015.05.005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2015.05.005

Martins, M., Pacheco, A. M., Lucas, A. C. S., Andrello, A. C., Appoloni, C. R. & Xavier, J. J. M. (2012). Brazil nuts: determination of natural elements and aflatoxin. Acta Amazonica 42(1), 157–164. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1590/s0044-59672012000100018 10.1590/s0044-59672012000100018 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/S0044-59672012000100018

Otten, J., Hellwig, J., Meyers, L. & Dri, (2006). Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrients Requirements. Washington DC: National Academy Press

Rayman, M. P. (2008). Food-chain selenium and human health: emphasis on intake. British Journal of Nutrition 100(2), 254–268. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0007114508939830 10.1017/s0007114508939830 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114508939830

Rayman, M. P. (2020). Selenium intake, status, and health: a complex relationship. Hormones 19(1), 9–14. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s42000-019-00125-5 10.1007/s42000-019-00125-5 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42000-019-00125-5

Reis, B. Z., Duarte, G. B. S., Vargas-Mendez, E., Ferreira, L. R. P., Barbosa, F., Cercato, C., Rogero, M. M. & Cozzolino, S. M. F. (2019). Brazil nut intake increases circulating miR-454-3p and miR-584-5p in obese women. Nutrition Research 67, 40–52. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2019.05.004 10.1016/j.nutres.2019.05.004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2019.05.004

Rita Cardoso, B., Apolinário, D., da Silva Bandeira, V., Busse, A. L., Magaldi, R. M., Jacob-Filho, W. & Cozzolino, S. M. F. (2016). Effects of Brazil nut consumption on selenium status and cognitive performance in older adults with mild cognitive impairment: a randomized controlled pilot trial. European Journal of Nutrition 55(1), 107–116. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-014-0829-2 10.1007/s00394-014-0829-2 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-014-0829-2

Ryan, E., Galvin, K., O'Connor, T. P., Maguire, A. R. & O'Brien, N. M. (2006). Fatty acid profile, tocopherol, squalene and phytosterol content of brazil, pecan, pine, pistachio and cashew nuts. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 57(3-4), 219–228. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09637480600768077 10.1080/09637480600768077 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09637480600768077

Stockler-Pinto, M.B., Mafra, D., Farage, N.E., Boaventura, G.T. & Cozzolino, S.M.F. (2010). Effect of Brazil nut supplementation on the blood levels of selenium and glutathione peroxidase in hemodialysis patients. Nutrition 26(11-12), 1065–1069. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2009.08.006 10.1016/j.nut.2009.08.006 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2009.08.006

Stockler-Pinto, M. B., Malm, O., Moraes, C., Farage, N. E., Silva, W. S., Cozzolino, S. M. F. & Mafra, D. (2015). A Follow-up Study of the Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Treated with Brazil Nut: Focus on Inflammation and Oxidative Stress. Biological Trace Element Research 163(1-2), 67–72. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-014-0167-5 10.1007/s12011-014-0167-5 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-014-0167-5

Stockler-Pinto, , Mb, , Carrero, , Jj, , Weide, , Lcc, , Cozzolino, & Mafra, D. Effect of selenium supplementation via Brazil nut (Bertholletia Excelsa, Hbk) on thyroid hormones levels in hemodialysis patients: a pilot study. Nutr Hosp. 2015 32(4).

Stockler-Pinto, M. B., Lobo, J., Moraes, C., Leal, V. O., Farage, N. E., Rocha, A. V., Boaventura, G. T., Cozzolino, S. M.F., Malm, O. & Mafra, D. (2012). Effect of Brazil Nut Supplementation on Plasma Levels of Selenium in Hemodialysis Patients: 12 Months of Follow-up. Journal of Renal Nutrition 22(4), 434–439. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.jrn.2011.08.011 10.1053/j.jrn.2011.08.011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1053/j.jrn.2011.08.011

Stockler-Pinto, M. B., Mafra, D., Moraes, C., Lobo, J., Boaventura, G. T., Farage, N. E., Silva, W. S., Cozzolino, S. F. & Malm, O. (2014). Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excelsa, H.B.K.) Improves Oxidative Stress and Inflammation Biomarkers in Hemodialysis Patients. Biological Trace Element Research 158(1), 105–112. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-014-9904-z 10.1007/s12011-014-9904-z DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-014-9904-z

Strunz, C. C., Oliveira, T. V., Vinagre, J. C.M., Lima, A., Cozzolino, S. & Maranhão, R. C. (2008). Brazil nut ingestion increased plasma selenium but had minimal effects on lipids, apolipoproteins, and high-density lipoprotein function in human subjects. Nutrition Research 28(3), 151–155. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2008.01.004 10.1016/j.nutres.2008.01.004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2008.01.004

Thomson, C. D., Chisholm, A., McLachlan, S. K. & Campbell, J. M. (2008). Brazil nuts: an effective way to improve selenium status. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 87(2), 379–384. Retrieved from https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.2.379 10.1093/ajcn/87.2.379 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/87.2.379



How to Cite

Rodrigues, D. C., Correa, K. de P., Medeiros, H. S. de, Franceschini, S. do C. C., Stringheta, P. C., & Coimbra, J. S. dos R. (2021). EFFECT OF BRAZIL NUT (BERTHOLLETIA EXCELSA) SUPPLEMENTATION ON HUMAN HEALTH: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW . International Journal of Research -GRANTHAALAYAH, 9(4), 324–342. https://doi.org/10.29121/granthaalayah.v9.i4.2021.3871

Most read articles by the same author(s)