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Macadamia nut is the seed of the macadamia tree. Macadamia nuts are native to Australia. They are grown commercially in Hawaii and, to a much smaller extent, in California and Florida.
Roasted macadamia nuts are a popular snack. But some people also use macadamia nuts as medicine to lower high cholesterol.
How does it work?
Macadamia nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and plant substances that might lower cholesterol.
Possibly Effective for...
- Lowering cholesterol. Eating macadamia nuts as part of a healthy diet seems to lower total and “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and to raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. But the changes aren’t huge. Men with high cholesterol who eat 17-37 nuts per day for four weeks can see their total cholesterol drop by about 3%, their LDL cholesterol drop by about 5%, and their HDL rise by about 8%.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
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Curb JD, Wergowske G, Dobbs JC, et al. Serum lipid effects of a high-monounsaturated fat diet based on macadamia nuts. Arch Intern Med 2000;160:1154-8. View abstract.
Garg ML, Blake RJ, Wills RB. Macadamia nut consumption lowers plasma total and LDL cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic men. J Nutr 2003;133:1060-3. View abstract.
Knight TE, Hausen BM. Dermatitis in a nutshell: occupational exposure to Macadamia integrifolia. J Am Acad Dermatol 1996;35:482-4.
Lerch M, Egger C, Bircher AJ. Allergic reactions to macadamia nut. Allergy 2005;60:130-1.
Pallares DE. Allergy to macadamia nut. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2000;85:385-6. View abstract.
Teuber SS, Brown RL, Haapanen LA. Allergenicity of gourmet nut oils processed by different methods. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1997;99:502-7. View abstract.