Can Eating Brazil Nuts Reverse Gray Hair?

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July 19, 2017
By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist  

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and
Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members of our
Editorial Board.]

As Alice in Wonderland might say, science just keep getting
"curiouser and curiouser" Scientists studying teenagers
who have gone prematurely gray have made a surprising
discovery, your diet has a lot to do with when and how
much you go gray.  And moreover, common Brazil nuts
play a critical role in your diet in preventing gray hair or to
put it more accurately, in keeping your hair its natural
color. What do Brazil nuts add to your diet that keeps you
from going gray? And how do Brazil nuts help to reverse
gray hair? Do the giant companies that own Clairol and
L'Oreal hair dyes need to shiver under their beds in fear of
the lowly Brazil nut?

Let's look at the evidence. Where are those teenagers?

The Study on Teenagers Who Went Prematurely Gray

In 2012, three scientists from Isfahan University of Medical
Sciences in Iran, set out to try to find out why some
teenagers in a high school had gone prematurely gray.

The premature graying of your hair is called "premature
canities" and the mystery of why some people go gray
while others, sometimes in the same family, keep their
natural color for decades longer. The scientists suspected
that the premature graying was somehow connected to
levels of certain minerals in the blood, specifically iron, zinc
and copper.

The team identified 66 teenagers with significant premature
graying of their hair and 66 teenagers whose hair had no
gray. They then analyzed the profiles of the blood of both

In the bloodstreams of the 66 prematurely gray students,
they found that iron levels were higher than the students in
the other non-gray haired group (108 versus 88 μg/dL on
average).  The zinc levels of both groups did not vary

But the most significant difference was in the levels of
copper. The gray haired teenagers had much lower levels
of copper than the students who had kept their natural
color. The levels of copper in the gray haired group was
90.7 μg/dL, compared to in the natural colored hair group
which had levels of 105.3 μg/dLon average. In other
words, the group that kept their natural hair color had
16% higher levels of  copper in their blood.

As the scientists concluded:"According to these results,
among copper, zinc, and iron, a low serum copper
concentration may play a role in premature graying of hairs
in our society."

Another strange case confirmed copper's critical role in
keeping hair its natural color.

The Mysterious Case of the Gray-Haired Baby

In a rare disease, babies can actually have gray hair. The
disease is called "Menkes' disease' and doctors from Japan
have chronicled an un
usual case where they reversed the
gray hair in a 3 month-old baby.

In 1992, doctors at Tohoku University School of Medicine,
in Sendai, Japan reported the case of a 3 month old baby
with completely white hair. Menkes' disease have given the
infant white hair, slow growth and other abnormalities.
When the doctors analyzed the baby's blood, they found
that he had only half the normal levels of eumelanin and
pheomelanin, the coloring compounds in your body that
give hair its natural color.

The doctors decided to attack the disease with nutrition,
and gave the baby injections of copper in the form of
copper histidinate.

After just 2 months of copper supplementation, the baby's
hair changed from white to dark brown.

The copper has restored the amounts of eumelanin and
pheomelanin to normal levels.

Think of it this way: copper helps your body create the
"paint" it needs to color your hair.

This is where Brazil nuts come in.

Brazil Nuts Are One of Nature's Best Sources of Copper

A single cup of Brazil nuts contain 2.3 milligrams of copper,
about 116% of the daily recommended value.

Most nutritionists recommend that you eat only one or two
Brazil nuts per day. The reason is that Brazil nuts are the
world's richest food source of selenium, and too much
selenium can cause health problems, including
This condition can make you lose your nails and cause

Eating too many Brazil nuts raises your selenium levels too
high which in turn can raise your cholesterol and increase
your risk for heart disease by 10%, according to a study
from the University of Warwick in the UK.  The
2009 study
examined the dietary records of 1,042 people between the
ages of 19 and 64 and found that those with blood levels
of selenium above 1.20 micromols per liter were at an
elevated risk for heart disease.  By way of comparison, a
handful (one ounce) of Bra
zil nuts can raise your selenium
levels by 544 micromols per liter

Brazil nuts also are one of the foods which is naturally high
in radiation. The nuts do not have enough radiation to
cause harm at normal amounts are eaten but Brazil nuts are
not one of those nuts you should ever binge on.

After you start eating Brazil nuts, how long will it take  
before you see a change in your hair color? There are no
hard and fast rules, here, but judging from the experiences
of others and my own, you should see change after
consistently eating Brazil nuts for six months.  

How fast you will see change also depends on how fast
your hair grows. What I noticed was that the roots of some
of the hairs on the crown of my head began to return to a
natural brown. You could clearly see that the inches of
growth closest to the scalp were brown and that the old
growth was gray.

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Brazil nuts, rich in copper, help reverse
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