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SEPP1 polymorphisms modulate serum glucose and lipid response to Brazil nut supplementation

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The consumption of Brazil nuts has been associated with benefits to lipid metabolism and reductions in total cholesterol and LDL concentrations. They are the richest natural source of selenium which has essential functions in human physiology. Genetic polymorphisms in Selenoprotein P could impair lipid and glucose metabolisms. The aim of this work was to verify the influence of polymorphisms in genes for selenoproteins on blood lipid levels after dietary supplementation with Brazil nuts in healthy adults.


The study included 130 healthy volunteers selected at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. They were supplemented with one nut a day for 8 weeks, followed by 8 weeks without intervention. The following analyses were performed: anthropometric measurements, serum fasting glucose, lipid profile, C-reactive protein and plasma MDA levels. The volunteers were genotyped for SNPs rs1050450, rs3811699, rs1800699, rs713041, rs3877899, rs7579, rs34713741, and rs5845 in genes for selenoproteins.


The concentrations of total cholesterol and fasting glucose levels decreased after 8 weeks of supplementation (p < 0.05). Glucose levels were modulated by rs3877899 in SEPP1, with significantly lower levels observed for individuals with the GA + AA genotype (p = 0.025). In addition, rs7579 was associated with cholesterol concentrations, which were significantly lower for individuals with the GG genotype (p = 0.053).


Supplementation with one Brazil nut a day for 8 weeks reduced total cholesterol and glucose levels. Furthermore, our results suggest that rs3877899 might be associated with glucose concentrations and rs7579 with cholesterol concentrations. Therefore, the effect of genetic variations should be considered in future nutritional interventions evaluating the response to Brazil nut supplementation.

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The authors are grateful to the Sao Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP process: 2011/17720-0) for the scholarship and the financial support provided for this study. The authors are also very grateful to all volunteers who took part in this study. J.L.S.D., M.M.R. and S.M.F.C. conceived and designed the study; J.L.S.D. was responsible for generation, collection, assembly, analysis and interpretation of data; J.L.S.D, C.D. and E.M.G.S. performed the statistical analysis. J.L.S.D. wrote the manuscript, and P.B., S.M.F.C and M.M.R. revised the manuscript. All the authors approved the final version of the manuscript before submission.

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Correspondence to Janaina L. S. Donadio.

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Donadio, J.L.S., Rogero, M.M., Guerra-Shinohara, E.M. et al. SEPP1 polymorphisms modulate serum glucose and lipid response to Brazil nut supplementation. Eur J Nutr 57, 1873–1882 (2018).

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