Macadamia Nut

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Australian Nut, Bopple Nut, Bush Nut, Huile de Macadamia, Macadamia integrifolia, Macadamia Oil, Macadamia tetraphylla, Noix d’Australie, Noix Macadamia, Noix de Macadam, Noix de Macadamia, Noix de Queensland, Noyer du Queensland, Nuez de Macadamia, Queensland Nut.

Overview

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.

SLIDESHOW

How to Lower Your Cholesterol & Save Your Heart See Slideshow

Uses & Effectiveness

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).

Side Effects

Macadamia nuts are safe as food, and they seem to be safe as medicine for most people. They can cause an allergy, but this is rare.

QUESTION

What is cholesterol? See Answer

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Macadamia nuts are safe when eaten as food. But it’s not known whether it’s safe to take them in larger medicinal amounts during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Play it safe and stick to food amounts.

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For lowering cholesterol: 40 to 90 grams (about 17 to 37 macadamia nuts) per day.

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References

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.

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