Can Chia Seed Help You Lose Weight?

In the recent years Chia seeds have gained a reputation as a weight loss dietary supplement. Chia plant is a native to Guatemala and Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs. Nowadays, fitness gurus and various diet books and web sites promote seeds of the chia plant as an appetite suppressant. They are being sold by the health food websites and stores in large amounts.

Chia seeds are very rich in nutrients, one serving of chia seeds (one ounce or 28 g) provide 4 g of protein and 11 g of fiber. The presence of high protein and fiber in chia seeds is supposedly considered as the key to the seeds weight loss magic.

However, little evidence exists to support these claims. A study was conducted in the year 2009 by a team of researchers to study the weight loss benefits of chia seeds. In this study, 76 overweight and obese males and females were randomly divided into two groups. One group took 25 g of chia seeds two times a day for 12 weeks and the other group took placebo for 12 weeks. At the end of 12 weeks, no significant difference was found by the scientists between the two groups in terms of appetite control and weight loss.

Another team of researchers reviewed the scientific evidence present on chia seeds. They also arrived to almost similar conclusion that none of the scientific evidence indicates any effect on weight loss. Moreover, other health claims that are linked to chia plants such as they provide cardiovascular benefits were also not supported by scientific studies. The scientists noted that chia seeds can be safely added to most diets, but rigorous examination of its weight loss effects should be further studied.