Original Paper

Plant Foods for Human Nutrition

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 105-110

First online:

Supplementation of Milled Chia Seeds Increases Plasma ALA and EPA in Postmenopausal Women

  • Fuxia JinAffiliated withHuman Performance Lab, North Carolina Research Campus, Plants for Human Health Institute, Appalachian State University
  • , David C. NiemanAffiliated withHuman Performance Lab, North Carolina Research Campus, Plants for Human Health Institute, Appalachian State University Email author 
  • , Wei ShaAffiliated withBioinformatics Services Division, North Carolina Research Campus, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • , Guoxiang XieAffiliated withDepartment of Nutrition, Center for Research Excellence in Bioactive Food Components, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • , Yunping QiuAffiliated withDepartment of Nutrition, Center for Research Excellence in Bioactive Food Components, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • , Wei JiaAffiliated withDepartment of Nutrition, Center for Research Excellence in Bioactive Food Components, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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Abstract

Ten postmenopausal women (age 55.6 ± 0.8 years, BMI 24.6 ± 1.1 kg/m2) ingested 25 g/day milled chia seed during a 7-week period, with six plasma samples collected for measurement of α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Subjects operated as their own controls with overnight fasted blood samples taken at baseline (average of two samples), and then after 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 weeks supplementation. Plasma ALA increased significantly after one week supplementation and was 138 % above baseline levels by the end of the study (overall time effect, P < 0.001). EPA increased 30 % above baseline (overall time effect, P = 0.019) and was correlated across time with ALA (r = 0.84, P = 0.02). No significant change in plasma DPA levels was measured (overall time effect, P = 0.067). Plasma DHA decreased slightly by the end of the study (overall time effect, P = 0.030) and was not correlated with change in ALA. In conclusion, ingestion of 25 g/day milled chia seeds for seven weeks by postmenopausal women resulted in significant increases in plasma ALA and EPA but not DPA and DHA.

Keywords

Fatty acids Chia seed Women Postmenopausal