Posted on

cons of chia seeds

Cons of chia seeds

When you hear “chia,” you may think of “Chia Pets.” These are clay figures sold in the US that support the growth of chia sprouts. But chia has a much longer history as a medicinal herb. It originated in Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs. Today, chia is grown commercially in Central America and South America. It is grown mainly for its seed, which is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

People use chia seed for diabetes, athletic performance, high blood pressure, heart disease, and itching, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work ?

Chia seeds contain a large amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. Researchers think omega-3 fatty acids and fiber help reduce risk factors for heart disease.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Obesity. Consuming chia seeds mixed with water twice daily before meals for 12 weeks does not seem to reduce body weight or blood pressure in people who are overweight or obese. Also, eating milled or whole chia seeds daily for 10 weeks does appear not improve body weight or blood pressure in overweight women.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Athletic performance. Early research suggests that trained athletes who drink a beverage containing 50% of calories from chia seeds (Green Plus Omega 3 Chia seeds) and 50% from Gatorade for 2 days before completing an endurance exercise perform similarly to athletes who drink just Gatorade alone.
  • Diabetes. People who have diabetes are more likely than other people to develop heart disease and stroke. Some early research shows that people with diabetes can lose weight and improve some “markers” of heart disease and stroke risk by eating a type of chia called Salba (Salba Smart Natural Products). However, eating Salba does not affect all heart disease and stroke risk factors and does not seem to reduce body fat or blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
  • High blood pressure. Early research suggests that taking 35 grams per day of chia flour for 12 weeks reduces blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. It seems to work best in people already taking medicine to lower their blood pressure.
  • Build up of fat in the liver in people who drink little or no alcohol (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD). Early research suggests that taking 25 grams per day of ground chia seeds for 8 weeks may reduce the amount of fat in the liver and slightly lower body mass index (BMI).
  • Itching. Early research shows that applying lotion containing chia seed oil to the skin for 8 weeks reduces itching.
  • A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome).
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of chia for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Chia is LIKELY SAFE when taken in the amounts found in foods. When consumed in larger amounts, chia is POSSIBLY SAFE when used for up to 6 months. Large doses might cause mild stomach discomfort in some people.

When applied to the skin: Chia is POSSIBLY SAFE Early research shows that applying lotion containing chia seed oil to the skin for 8 weeks reduces itching.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if chia is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Prostate cancer: Chia contains a lot of alpha-linolenic acid. Some research suggests that large amounts of alpha-linolenic acid in the diet might increase the chance of getting prostate cancer. If you have prostate cancer or have a high risk of getting it, avoid eating large amounts of chia.

Interactions ?

We currently have no information for CHIA overview .

Dosing

The appropriate dose of chia depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for chia. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Adams, J. D., Wall, M., and Garcia, C. Salvia columbariae contains tanshinones. Evid.Based.Complement Alternat.Med 2005;2(1):107-110. View abstract.

Adams, J. D., Wang, R., Yang, J., and Lien, E. J. Preclinical and clinical examinations of Salvia miltiorrhiza and its tanshinones in ischemic conditions. Chin Med 2006;1:3. View abstract.

Ayerza, R. and Coates, W. Dietary levels of chia: influence on yolk cholesterol, lipid content and fatty acid composition for two strains of hens. Poult.Sci 2000;79(5):724-739. View abstract.

Ayerza, R. Oil content and fatty acid composition of chia (

Ayerza, R., Jr. and Coates, W. Effect of dietary alpha-linolenic fatty acid derived from chia when fed as ground seed, whole seed and oil on lipid content and fatty acid composition of rat plasma. Ann Nutr Metab 2007;51(1):27-34. View abstract.

Bushway, A. A., Belyea, P. R., and Bushway, R. J. Chia seed as a source of oil, polysaccharide, and protein. Journal of Food Science 1981;46(5):1349-1350.

Espada, C. E., Berra, M. A., Martinez, M. J., Eynard, A. R., and Pasqualini, M. E. Effect of Chia oil (Salvia Hispanica) rich in omega-3 fatty acids on the eicosanoid release, apoptosis and T-lymphocyte tumor infiltration in a murine mammary gland adenocarcinoma. Prostaglandins Leukot.Essent.Fatty Acids 2007;77(1):21-28. View abstract.

Justo, M. B., Alfaro, A. D., Aguilar, E. C., Wrobel, K., Wrobel, K., Guzman, G. A., Sierra, Z. G., and Zanella, Vda M. [Integral bread development with soybean, chia, linseed, and folic acid as a functional food for women]. Arch Latinoam.Nutr 2007;57(1):78-84. View abstract.

Reyes-Caudillo, E., Tecante, A., and Valdivia-LГіpez, M. A. Dietary fibre content and antioxidant activity of phenolic compounds present in Mexican chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds. Food Chemistry 2008;107(2):656-663.

Wang, X., Morris-Natschke, S. L., and Lee, K. H. New developments in the chemistry and biology of the bioactive constituents of Tanshen. Med Res Rev 2007;27(1):133-148. View abstract.

Yang, X. F., Wang, N. P., and Zeng, F. D. [Effects of the active components of some Chinese herbs on drug metabolizing-enzymes]. Zhongguo Zhong.Yao Za Zhi. 2002;27(5):325-328. View abstract.

Zhou, L., Zuo, Z., and Chow, M. S. Danshen: an overview of its chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and clinical use. J Clin Pharmacol 2005;45(12):1345-1359. View abstract.

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. View abstract.

Chicco AG, D’Alessandro ME, Hein GJ, Oliva ME, Lombardo YB. Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats. Br J Nutr. 2009;101(1):41-50. View abstract.

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. View abstract.

Guevara-Cruz M, Tovar AR, Aguilar-Salinas CA, et al. A dietary pattern including nopal, chia seed, soy protein, and oat reduces serum triglycerides and glucose intolerance in patients with metabolic syndrome. J Nutr. 2012;142(1):64-9. View abstract.

Ho H, Lee AS, Jovanovski E, et al. Effect of whole and ground Salba seeds (Salvia Hispanica L.) on postprandial glycemia in healthy volunteers: a randomized controlled, dose-response trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013;67(7):786-8. View abstract.

Illian TG, Casey JC, Bishop PA. Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(1):61-5. View abstract.

Jeong SK, Park HJ, Park BD, Kim IH. Effectiveness of Topical Chia Seed Oil on Pruritus of End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Patients and Healthy Volunteers. Ann Dermatol. 2010;22(2):143-8. View abstract.

Nieman DC, Cayea EJ, Austin MD, et al. Chia seed does not promote weight loss or alter disease risk factors in overweight adults. Nutr Res. 2009;29(6):414-8. View abstract.

Nieman DC, Gillitt N, Jin F, et al. Chia seed supplementation and disease risk factors in overweight women: a metabolomics investigation. J Altern Complement Med. 2012;18(7):700-8. View abstract.

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. View abstract.

Ayerza, R., Jr. and Coates, W. Effect of dietary alpha-linolenic fatty acid derived from chia when fed as ground seed, whole seed and oil on lipid content and fatty acid composition of rat plasma. Ann Nutr Metab 2007;51(1):27-34. View abstract.

Espada, C. E., Berra, M. A., Martinez, M. J., Eynard, A. R., and Pasqualini, M. E. Effect of Chia oil (Salvia Hispanica) rich in omega-3 fatty acids on the eicosanoid release, apoptosis and T-lymphocyte tumor infiltration in a murine mammary gland adenocarcinoma. Prostaglandins Leukot.Essent.Fatty Acids 2007;77(1):21-28. View abstract.

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. View abstract.

Chicco AG, D’Alessandro ME, Hein GJ, Oliva ME, Lombardo YB. Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats. Br J Nutr. 2009;101(1):41-50. View abstract.

EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (EFSA NDA Panel), Turck D, Castenmiller J, de Henauw S, et al. Safety of chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) as a novel food for extended uses pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. EFSA J. 2019 Apr 17;17(4):e05657. View abstract.

EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA), Turck D, Castenmiller J, et al. Safety of chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) powders, as novel foods, pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. EFSA J. 2019 Jun 12;17(6):e05716. View abstract.

Estilai A, Hashemi A. Chromosome number and meiotic behavior of cultivated chia, Salvia hispanica (Lamiaceae). Hort Sci 1990;25(12):1646-1647.

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. View abstract.

GarcГ­a JimГ©nez S, Pastor Vargas C, de las Heras M, Sanz Maroto A, Vivanco F, Sastre J. Allergen characterization of chia seeds (Salvia hispanica), a new allergenic food. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2015;25(1):55-6.

Guevara-Cruz M, Tovar AR, Aguilar-Salinas CA, et al. A dietary pattern including nopal, chia seed, soy protein, and oat reduces serum triglycerides and glucose intolerance in patients with metabolic syndrome. J Nutr. 2012;142(1):64-9. View abstract.

Ho H, Lee AS, Jovanovski E, et al. Effect of whole and ground Salba seeds (Salvia Hispanica L.) on postprandial glycemia in healthy volunteers: a randomized controlled, dose-response trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2013;67(7):786-8. View abstract.

Illian TG, Casey JC, Bishop PA. Omega 3 Chia seed loading as a means of carbohydrate loading. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(1):61-5. View abstract.

Ixtaina VY, Nolasco SM, Tomas MC. Physical properties of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds. Ind Crops Prod 2008;28(3):286-293.

Jeong SK, Park HJ, Park BD, Kim IH. Effectiveness of Topical Chia Seed Oil on Pruritus of End-stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Patients and Healthy Volunteers. Ann Dermatol. 2010;22(2):143-8. View abstract.

Medina-Urrutia A, Lopez-Uribe AR, El Hafidi M, et al. Chia (Salvia hispanica)-supplemented diet ameliorates non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and its metabolic abnormalities in humans. Lipids Health Dis. 2020 May 19;19(1):96. View abstract.

Nieman DC, Cayea EJ, Austin MD, et al. Chia seed does not promote weight loss or alter disease risk factors in overweight adults. Nutr Res. 2009;29(6):414-8. View abstract.

Nieman DC, Gillitt N, Jin F, et al. Chia seed supplementation and disease risk factors in overweight women: a metabolomics investigation. J Altern Complement Med. 2012;18(7):700-8. View abstract.

Svec I, HruskovГЎ M. Hydrated chia seed effect on wheat flour and bread technological quality. Agric Eng Int 2015;23(4):259-263.

Toscano LT, da Silva CS, Toscano LT, de Almeida AE, Santos AC, Silva AS. Chia flour supplementation reduces blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2014 Dec;69(4):392-8.

Vuksan V, Choleva L, Jovanovski E, et al. Comparison of flax (Linum usitatissimum) and Salba-chia (Salvia hispanica L.) seeds on postprandial glycemia and satiety in healthy individuals: a randomized, controlled, crossover study. Eur J Clin Nutr 2017;71(2):234-8. View abstract.

Vuksan V, Jenkins AL, Brissette C, et al. Salba-chia (Salvia hispanica L.) in the treatment of overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2017;27(2):138-46. View abstract.

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. View abstract.

Learn more about CHIA uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain CHIA.

5 Chia Seed Side Effects You Didn’t Know About

There can be too much of a good thing.

Two cups of chia pudding with pomegranate seeds. Here

It’s probably safe to assume that at least one person in your friend circle puts chia seeds in absolutely everything (and that friend might actually be you). From smoothies and puddings to crackers and salads, these little seeds can go into whatever you please. And while sprinkling them into a handful of your snacks might be a pretty nutritious touch, you might want to also consider the side effects chia seeds may have before you put them on everything that goes in your stomach.

“Chia seeds are a power-house of nutrition,” says Erica Zellner, a certified nutrition specialist and health coach at Parsley Health. “They’re a great source of fiber, protein, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and omega 3’s.” Since the little seeds are also full of antioxidants, they help fight off damage to the body’s cells, she adds.

You don’t need a lot to give yourself a whole host of benefits, says certified intuitive eating coach Carolina GuГ­zar, MS, RDN, CDN. “Just two tablespoons contain five grams of the recommended 25-38 grams of fiber needed per day,” she tells Bustle, so don’t feel the need to load up. As with everything, though, chia seeds can have drawbacks. You may want to moderate your intake because of these five chia seed side effects.

1. Gastrointestinal Issues

In general, chia seeds are good for your digestive system because they’ve got so much fiber, Zellner says — but too much might upset your stomach. “Excessive fiber intake or concentrated fiber intake can for some cause symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, or gas,” she explains. If you have Crohn’s disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, you might want to take extra care to moderate your chia seed intake, Zellner adds, especially during a flare-up.

“If you are looking to treat or prevent constipation, start with a half-tablespoon and work your way to a well-tolerated amount that helps with your bowel movements,” GuГ­zar advises. “Try to be thoughtful about your fluid intake because fibers need to be hydrated so they can pass easily through the gut.”

2. Low Blood Pressure/Bleeding

Chia seeds have a load of omega 3’s, which are fatty acids that can lower your risk of developing certain cancers or heart problems. A very excessive amount of omega-3’s might cause your blood to thin out a bit, but Zellner says this is only likely to present an issue if you’re already on blood thinning medication or experience low blood pressure.

3. Effect On Blood Sugar

“Fiber [in chia seeds] can slow digestion of food and absorption of macronutrients, including sugars (AKA glucose) contained in food,” GuГ­zar explains. “This can encourage gentler increases and decreases in blood sugars when it is paired alongside other proteins and fats.”

This might usually be a good thing, but if you’re on medication to control your blood sugar, Zellner advises talking with your doctor before adding these seeds to your next smoothie.

4. Allergies

“Chia seeds are in the mint family, so people with known allergies to mint, sesame, or mustard seeds should be cautious about trying chia seeds,” Zellner says. “Food allergy symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, itching of the lips or tongue, or anaphylaxis.”

5. Potential Effects On Pregnant People

GuГ­zar tells Bustle that chia seeds are considered safe for pregnancy, especially because (in moderation) they can relieve constipation. But if you’re not used to consuming foods that are super rich in fiber, Zellner says to remember that being pregnant can come with some digestive system changes — so pregnancy may not be the best time to start experimenting with chia-powered smoothies.

If you’re concerned about any of these side effects, Zellner advises chatting with your doctor and starting small. “One serving of chia seeds is approximately two tablespoons,” she says, “but if you’re unsure about how your body will respond, I’d recommend starting with a scant half tablespoon or less.”

Erica Zellner, certified nutrition specialist, health coach at Parsley Health

Carolina GuГ­zar, MS, RDN, CDN, certified intuitive eating coach, founder of Eathority

This article was originally published on June 9, 2015

Nutrition experts reveal what too much chia pudding can do to your body.