Last update Sept. 2, 2017

Brazil Nut

Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

Seed from the tree of the same name originating in South America.
High caloric food, very rich in fats, with a high percentage of unsaturated fats, proteins and fibre.

It is one of the foods with the highest concentrations of selenium; one to two nuts contain the recommended daily intake for selenium (Thomson CD 2008). Its regular consumption makes it exceed the recommended daily dose (Martens IB 2015), causing excessive levels of this element in plasma (Huguenin GV 2015) and in hair between 3 and 16 times greater than normal (Momčilović B 2016).

Its lipid-lowering properties are highly contentious, as while some authors have found cholesterol reducing properties (Carvalho RF 2015), others have not (Huguenin GV 2015).

There are very few reports on the excess of radioactive elements accumulated in these seeds (Garay JJ 1969, Frindik O 1989, Bull RK 2006).

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Since there is doubt about whether excessive consumption of selenium increases the amount of selenium in breast milk, only occasional or very moderate consumption of Brazil nuts during breastfeeding would be prudent.

See below the information of this related product:

  • Selenium (Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Brazil Nut is also known as

Brazil Nut in other languages or writings:


  1. Momčilović B, Prejac J, Višnjević V, Brundić S, Skalny AA, Mimica N. High hair selenium mother to fetus transfer after the Brazil nuts consumption. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2016 Abstract
  2. Carvalho RF, Huguenin GV, Luiz RR, Moreira AS, Oliveira GM, Rosa G. Intake of partially defatted Brazil nut flour reduces serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic patients--a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J. 2015 Abstract
  3. Huguenin GV, Moreira AS, Siant'Pierre TD, Gonçalves RA, Rosa G, Oliveira GM, Luiz RR, Tibirica E. Effects of Dietary Supplementation with Brazil Nuts on Microvascular Endothelial Function in Hypertensive and Dyslipidemic Patients: A Randomized Crossover Placebo-Controlled Trial. Microcirculation. 2015 Abstract
  4. Martens IB, Cardoso BR, Hare DJ, Niedzwiecki MM, Lajolo FM, Martens A, Cozzolino SM. Selenium status in preschool children receiving a Brazil nut-enriched diet. Nutrition. 2015 Abstract
  5. Thomson CD, Chisholm A, McLachlan SK, Campbell JM. Brazil nuts: an effective way to improve selenium status. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Abstract
  6. Bull RK, Smith TJ, Phipps AW. Unexpectedly high activity of 228Th in excretion samples following consumption of Brazil nuts. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 2006 Abstract
  7. Frindik O. [Thorium in soil, vegetables, cereals and fruit]. Z Lebensm Unters Forsch. 1989 Abstract
  8. Gabay JJ, Sax NI. Retention of radium due to ingestion of Brazil nuts. Health Phys. 1969 Abstract

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