Supplementation of Milled Chia Seeds Increases Plasma ALA and EPA in Postmenopausal Women
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.
KeywordsFatty acids Chia seed Women Postmenopausal
Analysis of variance
Association of Official Agricultural Chemists
Body mass index
Gas chromatography time of flight mass spectrometry
High performance liquid chromatography time of flight mass spectrometry
Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry
n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
We acknowledge the assistance of Dustin Dew of Appalachian State University and Tondra Blevins of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for their assistance in this project. We also acknowledge Raymond P. Glahn, Michael A. Rutzke, YongPei Chang, and Mary Bodis from the USDA/ARS at Cornell University for their assistance in the ICP-MS mineral analysis of the milled chia seed supplement. Financial support was provided in part by Chia Farms, Inc. (Orlando, FL, USA).
Conflict of Interest
All authors declare no conflict of interest.
- 2.Harper CR, Edwards MJ, Defilipis AP, Jacobson TA (2006) Flaxseed oil increases the plasma concentrations of cardioprotective (n-3) fatty acids in humans. J Nutr 136:83–87Google Scholar
- 4.Burdge GC, Finnegan YE, Minihane AM, Williams CM, Wootton SA (2003) Effect of altered dietary n-3 fatty acid intake upon plasma lipid fatty acid composition, conversion of C-13 alpha-linolenic acid to longer-chain fatty acids and partitioning towards beta-oxidation in older men. Br J Nutr 90:311–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 9.Ayerza R, Coates W, Lauria M (2002) Chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) as an omega-3 fatty acid source for broilers: influence on fatty acid composition, cholesterol and fat content of white and dark meats, growth performance, and sensory characteristics. Poult Sci 81:826–837Google Scholar
- 11.Vuksan V, Whitham D, Sievenpiper JL, Jenkins AL, Rogovik AL, Bazinet RP, Vidgen E, Hanna A (2007) 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 30:2804–2810CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 13.Austria JA, Richard MN, Chahine MN, Edel AL, Malcomson LJ, Dupasquier CMC, Pierce GN (2008) Bioavailability of alpha-linolenic acid in subjects after ingestion of three different forms of flaxseed. J Am Coll Nutr 27:214–221Google Scholar
- 14.Goyens PL, Spilker ME, Zock PL, Katan MB, Mensink RP (2006) Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid in humans is influenced by the absolute amounts of alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid in the diet and not by their ratio. Am J Clin Nutr 84:44–53Google Scholar
- 15.Taylor CG, Noto AD, Stringer DM, Froese S, Malcolmson L (2010) Dietary milled flaxseed and flaxseed oil improve n-3 fatty acid status and do not affect glycemic control in individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. J Am Coll Nutr 29:72–80Google Scholar
- 19.Welch AA, Shakya-Shrestha S, Lentjes MA, Wareham NJ, Khaw KT (2010) Dietary intake and status of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in a population of fish-eating and non-fish-eating meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans and the precursor-product ratio of alpha-linolenic acid to long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: results from the EPIC-Norfolk cohort. Am J Clin Nutr 92:1040–1051CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 20.Nieman DC, Gillitt N, Jin F, Henson DA, Kennerly K, Shanely A, Ore B, Su MM, Schwartz S (2012) Chia seed supplementation and disease risk factors in overweight women: a metabolomics investigation. J Alt Comp Med (in press).Google Scholar