My Daily Dozen recommends a minimum of ¼ cup of nuts a day. What about Brazil nuts? Can a single serving of Brazil nuts bring down our cholesterol levels faster than statin drugs and keep them down even a month after that single ingestion?

This is one of the wildest studies I’ve ever read. Researchers from Brazil (where else?) gave ten men and women a single meal containing between one and eight Brazil nuts. Amazingly, compared to the control group who ate no nuts at all, just a single serving of four Brazil nuts almost immediately improved cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol levels were a staggering 20 points lower just nine hours after eating the Brazil nuts. Even drugs don’t work nearly that fast. Then, the researchers went back and measured the study participants’ cholesterol 30 days later. Even a month after ingesting a single serving of Brazil nuts, their cholesterol levels stayed down.

Normally, when a study comes out in the medical literature showing some too-good-to-be-true result like this, doctors wait to see the results replicated before they change their clinical practice and begin recommending something new to their patients, particularly when the study is done on only ten subjects, and especially when the findings seem too incredible to believe. But when the intervention is cheap, easy, harmless, and healthy—we’re talking just four Brazil nuts per month—then in my opinion, the burden of proof is somewhat reversed. I think the reasonable default position is to do it until proven otherwise.

More is not better, however. Brazil nuts are so high in the mineral selenium that eating four every day may actually bump you up against the tolerable daily limit for selenium. Nevertheless, this is not something you have to worry about as long as you’re only eating four Brazil nuts once a month.

For substantiation of any statements of fact from the peer-reviewed medical literature, please see the associated videos below.

Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.

4 videos

Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive the preface of Dr. Greger’s upcoming book How Not to Age.

Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive the preface of Dr. Greger’s upcoming book How Not to Age.

Pin It on Pinterest