March 29th, 2012 3:18pm - Posted By: Kathleen Farrell, MS, RD
Cheers to the CHIA PET!!! I must admit I didn’t think I would ever be writing a blog on the infamous CHIA PET, clay figure which has been sold in the US, however, the CHIA SEEDS are making some headlines in the world of nutrition.
Here is information from the Natural Medicine Comprehensive Database - http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/home.aspx?cs=CEPDA~MBR&s=ND
Chia is an annual herb which originated in Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs. Chia literally means "oily." Chia is grown commercially in Central America and South America. It is primarily used for its seed, which is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Diabetes. Preliminary clinical research shows that type 2 diabetes patients who consume bread containing a specific, selectively bred type of chia, called Salba (Salba Nutritional Solutions), for approximately 37 grams/day for 12 weeks, have significantly reduced cardiovascular risk factors such as systolic blood pressure, C-reactive protein, and vonWillebrand factor compared to those consuming bread containing wheat bran. Consuming this form of chia also significantly reduced HbA1C compared to baseline, but not compared to wheat bran. Consuming this form of chia did not significantly affect lipid levels (16124). More evidence is needed to rate chia for this use.
Mechanism of Action:
The applicable parts of chia are the seed and the sprout. Chia seed contains a high concentration of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. It also contains a significant concentration of dietary fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, iron, and antioxidants (16124).
Interactions with Lab Tests:
TRIGLYCERIDES: Chia contains a high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid. Some evidence shows that taking alpha-linolenic acid might increase triglyceride levels and lab tests (12918); however, clinical research with a specific variety of chia called salba shows that it does not significantly increase triglyceride levels (16124).
HYPERTRIGLYCERIDEMIA: Chia contains a high concentration of alpha-linolenic acid. Some evidence shows that taking alpha-linolenic acid might increase triglyceride levels and potentially worsen hypertriglyceridemia (12918); however, clinical research with a specific variety of chia called salba shows that it does not significantly increase triglyceride levels (16124).
ORAL: For type 2 diabetes, bread containing a specific, selectively bred type of chia, called salba (Salba Nutritional Solutions), approximately 37 grams/day, has been used (16124).
Finnegan YE, Minihane AM, Leigh-Firbank EC, et al. Plant- and marine-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have differential effects on fasting and postprandial blood lipid concentrations and on the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative modification in moderately hyperlipidemic subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77:783-95.
Brouwer IA, Katan MB, Zock PL. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid is associated with reduced risk of fatal coronary heart disease, but increased prostate cancer risk: a meta-analysis. J Nutr 2004;134:919-22.
Vuksan V, Whitham D, Sievenpiper JL, 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: results of a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care 2007;30:2804-10.
Below are 2 recipes from Bauman College Web Site – Boulder, Colorado - http://www.baumancollege.org/
Raw Tapioca Pudding
Recipe - Holiday Chia Pudding
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