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BTD Forums  /  SWAMI Xpress  /  Brazil nuts and selenium for O+ Hunters
Posted by: BHealthy, Saturday, September 8, 2012, 7:54pm
According to Dr. D: "Type O’s tend to have low levels of thyroid hormone and often exhibit insufficient levels of iodine, a chemical element whose sole purpose is thyroid hormone regulation. This causes many side effects such as weight gain, fluid retention and fatigue. Dr. D’Adamo does not recommend iodine supplements, rather a diet rich in saltwater fish and kelp to help regulate the thyroid gland."

According to this page on the Whole Foods website,, "...since the mineral selenium is required for certain activities within the thyroid gland, selenium deficiency can combine with borderline iodine deficiency to produce goiter."

I addressed iodine in my other thread.  In this thread, I am sharing the research I've done on selenium for others who might want to increase their consumption.

This Whole Foods article,, indicates that "Brazil nuts are one of the most concentrated food sources of selenium, featuring about 70-90 micrograms per nut".

Unfortunately, brazil nuts are an avoid for me.  I suspect it is a mold problem (they frequently taste moldy to me) so that is what I started researching.

According to this website on avoiding hidden mold,, "Peanuts, soybeans, Brazil nuts, and pistachios are prone to carry an aflatoxin that has been linked to liver cancer in mice, rats, monkeys, shrews, chickens, and even humans.  The relationship between aflatoxins and liver cancer is well established."

Liver cancer?  My grandfather died of liver cancer.  

This article,, reports on the discovery of a new aspergillus mold (aspergillus produces aflatoxins) recently found growing on brazil nuts in the Amazon Basin.

Some countries ban the importation of brazil nuts in the shell because of mold.

So, I have found some really good reasons to avoid brazil nuts!

I wondered whether I could include them in my diet if I can eliminate the mold problem.  How do I determine whether the brands I buy are safe or not?  I have read that irradiating nuts can eliminate the aflatoxins but I'd rather not eat irradiated food.

I buy all my nuts raw, soak them in salt water to remove phytic acid, and then dehydrate them.  One website recommended that I "scald them for 10-15 seconds in boiling water, immediately transfer to ice bath to stop heat, then dry/dehydrate them."  The brand of brazil nuts I buy, Lydia's Organics, are prepared this way and they never taste moldy to me.  

Other food sources of selenium are button mushrooms, cod, shrimp, tuna, halibut, salmon, and mustard seeds.  All but the mushrooms are either superfoods or neutral for me.

Bottom line for me:

Given the very negative consequences of consuming tainted brazil nuts, and the fact that there are other food sources of selenium, I will avoid them
until I find a way to eliminate the mold problem, and will ramp up my consumption of cod, halibut and mustard seeds.  I don't care for shrimp, tuna has mercury problems, and salmon gives me a migraine.

Thank you, Dr. D, for alerting me to this problem!
Posted by: Lloyd, Saturday, September 8, 2012, 8:27pm; Reply: 1
You should also consider that the fatty acid profile of Brazil nuts is likely less favorable than those you probably have on your superfood list.

While for some foods there may be a single factor that tends to outwiegh most or all others, keep in mind that a food rating is based on the total value of the food. Every food has good and bad features.
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