Friday, February 26, 2010

Chia Seed

We've recently had several questions about Chia seed.

Chia is a member of the mint family and was historically used as a staple food in the ancient Aztec diet. In the popular book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, author Christopher McDougall describes a fermented energy drink that includes chia.

Chia ads promote the product as being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and a good source of fiber, protein, minerals and antioxidants. Unfortunately, market interest is far ahead of published research on the product.

While there's a study in animals suggesting that chia may lower LDL (the lousy) blood cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL (the healthy) cholesterol, the study hasn't been replicated in humans.

However, Chia is a good source of fiber, so adding it to smoothies or breakfast cereal might be a good way to increase your fiber intake. If you elect to go this route, our recommendation would be to price various Chia products in your grocery store.

Here’s a nice write-up on Chia from the American Dietetic Organization - You can search for "chia" within the article, or simply go to page 13.

Email us with your supplement questions at