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Cardiovascular risk factors (decreasing blood pressure, c-reactive protein, and inflammation)
+1 (Slight Evidence)
- Chia (of “chia pet” fame) appears to have originated in Mexico, and comes from Salvia hispanica, an herbaceous plant in the mint family. Chia literally means "oily." It is thought to have been a staple in the diet of the ancient Aztecs. Chia seeds are also good sources of fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, antioxidants, and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid.
- Chia seeds have been shown to decrease blood pressure and c-reactive protein (a sign of inflammation) in type 2 diabetics.
- Chia seeds may lower total, LDL, and triglyceride cholesterol, and raise good HDL cholesterol.
- Chia seeds, when mixed with water, become gluey, or "mucilaginous,” and may help curb appetite. They absorb up to 10x their weight in water, so they are sometimes employed by bakers to keep baked goods more moist. You can mix the seed or ground flour into foods such as muffins, or sprinkle chia on yogurt or salad.
- Chia seeds are quite safe, and certainly worth trying.
- Though it would be somewhat unusual, some people may be allergic to chia seeds.
- Future studies are needed to better define the cardiovascular benefits of chia seeds. As a food source, however, chia seeds are quite safe.
* *ADVISORY* *
Chia seeds can interact with the medication warfarin/coumadin. Patients on blood pressure medication should take chia seeds cautiously. Patients on blood thinners should not take chia seeds.
DOSAGE:Follow the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. A dose of 2 tablespoons, equivalent to 15 grams, contains 3000 mg omega-3 fatty acids and 5 grams fiber. A dose of 1 tablespoon daily is recommended for children between the ages of 4 1/2 and 18.
CONCLUSION:We conclude that chia seeds are a safe and effective product for the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors. Remember to include them in your list of medications when you visit your doctor and other health care providers.
“Chia.” Natural Standard –The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Natural Standard, 2013.
“Chia.” Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Therapeutic Research Faculty, 2013. 8 November 2013.
Vuksan, V. et al. Supplementation of Conventional Therapy With the Novel Grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) Improves Major and Emerging Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care (2007) 30, 2804-2810
Nieman, D.C. et al. Chia seed does not promote weight loss or alter disease risk factors in overweight adults. Nutrition Research (2009) 29, 414-418