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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2014 Apr;158(1):105-12. doi: 10.1007/s12011-014-9904-z. Epub 2014 Feb 8.

Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa, H.B.K.) improves oxidative stress and inflammation biomarkers in hemodialysis patients.

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Carlos Chagas Filho Biophysics Institute, Health Sciences Centre, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,


Cumulative evidence indicates that oxidative stress and inflammation frequently occurs in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis (HD) and as a result of overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a decrease of antioxidant defenses such as selenium (Se). Previous studies in our laboratory showed that the supplementation of 1 unit of Brazil nut (the richest known food source of Se) a day during 3 months is effective to improve Se status and increase glutathione peroxidase (GPx) levels in HD patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of Brazil nut supplementation on oxidative stress and inflammation markers in HD patients. Forty HD patients from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were studied. All patients received one nut per day for 3 months. The Se plasma levels and GPx, 8-isoprostane, 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and cytokine (TNF-α and IL-6) levels and lipid profile were determined before and after 3 months of supplementation. The plasma Se and GPx activity increased, while cytokines, 8-OHdG, and 8-isoprostane plasma levels decreased significantly after 3 months supplementation. HDL-c levels increased and LDL-c levels decreased significantly. These data suggest that the consumption of only one Brazil nut per day during 3 months was effective to reduce the inflammation, oxidative stress markers, and the atherogenic risk, thereby increasing the antioxidant defenses in HD patients. Our results indicate that Brazil nut as Se source plays an important role as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent in HD patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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