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Bioactive Compounds of the Brazil Nut (Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl.): Nutritional and Health Aspects

  • Katiuchia Pereira TakeuchiEmail author
  • Mariana Buranelo Egea
Living reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)

Abstract

The Bertholletia excelsa Bonpl. seed, Brazil nut, is one of the most important non-timber forest products in the Amazon forest. The commercialization of this nut provides one of the significant sources of income for many indigenous and riverine communities. B. excelsa production is considered organic and environmentally correct. The kernel is an excellent source of protein, energy, and minerals such as selenium (Se), calcium, and magnesium. Selenium is the predominant mineral in B. excelsa, essential in numerous physiological functions. B. excelsa seed has a valuable bioactive composition, including phenolics, flavonoids, tocopherol, and phytosterols, unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, amino acids, and dietary fiber. Intake of phenolic compounds has been associated with potential beneficial health effects related to anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, and anticarcinogenic activities. Lipids from B. excelsa are considered as beneficial for health due to the high content of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and low concentration of saturated fatty acids (SFAs).

Keywords

Amazonian nut Antioxidants Fatty acids Health effects Tocopherols Phytochemicals Selenium 

Abbreviations

GAE

Gallic acid equivalent

GPx

Glutathione peroxidases

IDI

Iodothyronine deiodinases

MUFAs

Monounsaturated fatty acids

PUFAs

Polyunsaturated fatty acids

RDA

Recommended Daily Allowance

Se

Selenium

SFAs

Saturated fatty acids

TEAC

Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge the financial support of MCTI/CNPQ/Universal 14/2014 (Process 445648/2014-7), Universal FAPEMAT N° 005-2015 (Process N°. 222927/2015), and CNPq (Process 426479/2016-5).

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katiuchia Pereira Takeuchi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mariana Buranelo Egea
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Food and NutritionFederal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT)CuiabáBrazil
  2. 2.Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology Goiano (IF Goiano)Rio VerdeBrazil

Section editors and affiliations

  • Hosakatte Niranjana Murthy
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BotanyKarnatak UniversityDharwadIndia
  2. 2.Research Center for the Development of Advanced Horticultural TechnologyChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea

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