Chia Seeds

Akasha Naturals Support -

  1. Poudyal H, Panchal SK, Waanders J, Ward L, Brown L. Lipid redistribution by α-linolenic acid-rich chia seed inhibits stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 and induces cardiac and hepatic protection in diet-induced obese rats. J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Mar 22.

*Quick Summary of Study: This study clarifies the role that active omega fatty acids have on improving cardiovascular and liver function. The study concludes that the omega fatty acid ALA does have great benefit for heart and liver health in the animal model.
“Chia seeds contain the essential fatty acid, α-linolenic acid (ALA). This study has assessed whether chia seeds attenuated the metabolic, cardiovascular and hepatic signs of a high-carbohydrate, high-fat (H) diet [carbohydrates, 52% (wt/wt); fat, 24% (wt/wt) with 25% (wt/vol) fructose in drinking water] in rats. Diets of the treatment groups were supplemented with 5% chia seeds after 8 weeks on H diet for a further 8 weeks. Compared with the H rats, chia seed-supplemented rats had improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, reduced visceral adiposity, decreased hepatic steatosis and reduced cardiac and hepatic inflammation and fibrosis without changes in plasma lipids or blood pressure. Chia seeds induced lipid redistribution with lipid trafficking away from the visceral fat and liver with an increased accumulation in the heart. The stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 products were depleted in the heart, liver and the adipose tissue of chia seed-supplemented rats together with an increase in the substrate concentrations. The C18:1trans-7 was preferentially stored in the adipose tissue; the relatively inert C18:1n-9 was stored in sensitive organs such as liver and heart and C18:2n-6, the parent fatty acid of the n-6 pathway, was preferentially metabolized. Thus, chia seeds as a source of ALA induce lipid redistribution associated with cardioprotection and hepatoprotection.” (1)
PMID: 21429727

  1. Ulbricht C, Chao W, Nummy K, Rusie E, Tanguay-Colucci S, Iannuzzi CM, Plammoottil JB, Varghese M,Weissner W. Chia (Salvia hispanica): a systematic review by the natural standard research collaboration. Rev Recent Clin Trials. 2009 Sep;4(3):168-74.

*Quick Summary of Study: This review aimed to gain a cumulative understanding of the potential benefit chia seed has as a therapeutic agent. The review concludes that chia seed has a benefit for a myriad of common ailments.


“OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the scientific evidence on chia (Salvia hispanica) including history, folkloric precedent, expert opinion, pharmacology, dosing, interactions, adverse effects, and toxicology. This review serves as a clinical support tool.

METHODS: Electronic searches were conducted in ten databases, 20 additional journals (not indexed in common databases), and bibliographies from 50 selected secondary references. No restrictions were placed on language or quality of publications. All literature collected pertained to efficacy in humans, dosing, precautions, adverse effects, use in pregnancy/lactation, interactions, alteration of laboratory assays, and mechanisms of action. Standardized inclusion/exclusion criteria are utilized for selection. Grades were assigned using an evidence-based grading rationale.

RESULTS: The available human and non-human studies show possible effectiveness for allergies, angina, athletic performance enhancement, cancer, coronary heart disease (CHD), heart attack, hormonal/endocrine disorders, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, stroke, and vasodilatation. Some evidence also suggests possible anticoagulant, antioxidant, and antiviral effects of Salvia hispanica.

CONCLUSION: There is limited evidence supporting the efficacy of Salvia hispanica for any indication; thus far, only two clinical studies have examined the effects of Salvia hispanica on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors (including body weight). One study showed some effects on some CVD risk factors, while the other did not. Neither study showed any effects of Salvia hispanica on weight loss. However, the historical use of Salvia hispanica suggests that it is safe for consumption by nonallergic individuals. Further rigorous examination is warranted pertaining to the use of Salvia hispanica as a dietary supplement, as well as in the treatment or prevention of human disease.” (2)

PMID: 20028328

Expand+The American Journal of Clinical

  1. Denis Lairon, Nathalie Arnault, Sandrine Bertrais, Richard Planells, Enora Clero, Serge Hercberg and Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault . Dietary fiber intake and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in French adults. Am J Clin Nutr. December 2005 vol. 82 no. 6 1185-1194

*Quick Summary of Study: This study aims to show the correlation between a high fiber diet and a reduction in cardiovascular ailments. The study shows that there is great benefit to a high fiber diet.

“Background: Increased consumption of dietary fiber is widely recommended to maintain or improve health, but knowledge of the relation between dietary fiber sources and cardiovascular disease risk factors is limited.
Objective: We examined the relation between the source or type of dietary fiber intake and cardiovascular disease risk factors in a cohort of adult men and women.
Design: In a cross-sectional study, quintiles of fiber intake were determined from dietary records, separately for 2532 men and 3429 women. Age- and multivariate-controlled logistic models investigated the odds ratios of abnormal markers for quintiles 2-5 of fiber intake compared with the lowest quintile.
Results: The highest total dietary fiber and nonsoluble dietary fiber intakes were associated with a significantly (P < 0.05) lower risk of overweight and elevated waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, plasma apolipoprotein (apo) B, apo B:apo A-I, cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and homocysteine. Soluble dietary fiber was less effective. Fiber from cereals was associated with a lower body mass index, blood pressure, and homocysteine concentration; fiber from vegetables with a lower blood pressure and homocysteine concentration; and fiber from fruit with a lower waist-to-hip ratio and blood pressure. Fiber from dried fruit or nuts and seeds was associated with a lower body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and fasting apo B and glucose concentrations. Fiber from pulses had no specific effect.
Conclusion: Dietary fiber intake is inversely correlated with several cardiovascular disease risk factors in both sexes, which supports its protective role against cardiovascular disease and recommendations for its increased consumption.” (3)

  1. Anderson JW, Major AW. Pulses and lipaemia, short- and long-term effect: potential in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Br J Nutr. 2002 Dec;88 Suppl 3:S263-71.

*Quick Summary of Study: This study shows the relation between a high fiber diet and a significant reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease.  

“Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in most developed countries. Most CVD deaths are preventable through life-style measures such as diet, exercise and avoidance of cigarette smoking. Decreased intake of saturated fat and cholesterol and increased intake of cholesterol-reducing foods, such as pulses, deserve a high priority for activities designed to prevent CVD. Epidemiological and observational studies indicate that habitual intakes of large amounts of dietary fibre or of vegetables are associated with significantly lower rates of CVD. Studies over four decades document the hypocholesterolaemic effect of pulses and soyabeans. We performed a meta-analysis of eleven clinical trials that examined the effects of pulses (not including soyabeans) on serum lipoproteins. Intake of non-soya pulses was associated with these changes: fasting serum cholesterol, -7.2 %, 95 % CI -5.8, -8.6 %; LDL-cholesterol, -6.2 %, 95 % CI -2.8, -9.5 %; HDL-cholesterol, +2.6 %, 95 % CI +6.3, -1.0 %; triacylglycerols, -16.6 %, 95 % CI -11.8 %, -21.5 %; and body weight, -0.9 %, 95 % CI +2.2 %, -4.1 %. The hypocholesterolaemic effects of pulses appear related, in estimated order of importance, to these factors: soluble dietary fibre, vegetable protein, oligosaccharides, isoflavones, phospholipids and fatty acids, saponins and other factors. Intake of pulses may also reduce risk for CVD by favourable effects on blood pressure, glycaemia and risk for diabetes, and risk for obesity. Overall, the available evidence indicates that regular consumption of pulses may have important protective effects on risk for CVD.” (4)

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