Research: Chia seeds may reduce abdominal obesity


Chia seeds may induce weight loss

Chia seeds

Chia seeds

Chia seeds or Salvia hispanica have a food additive that have recently become the center of attention for many people interested in healthy and fitness.  I have seen a lot of outlandish claims, but some of them have a basis behind them.  I have seen some claim that they may help with weight loss, improve your cholesterol, and improve the moisture of your skin.  I am going to stick to research that centers on weight loss.  

So, is there any evidence that indicates that chia seeds help with weight loss?  Chia seeds are high in fiber and protein so it only makes sends that they would help with weight loss.  Fiber and protein both slow digestion and appears to slow the absorption of sugar.   Data in human are still scarce, but there is one good study from 2014[1].  This study was performed to evaluate the effect of chia supplementation on body composition, lipid profile and blood glucose in overweight or obese individuals.  This randomized study looked at 19 men and women for 12 weeks and found that chia seeds supplement groups had a significant reduction in body weight and waist circumference.  

Since waist circumference is a great measure of abdominal obesity and risk for heart disease, you can infer that chia seeds will help reduce abdominal obesity and thus heart disease risk.  

The bottom line: Consumption of chia appears to promote significant but discrete reduction in weight and waist circumference.  Although this is a small study and more research is needed, the results are promising.  


T. Tavares, T. Tavares, T. Leite, O. da, and A. Silva, “Chia induces clinically discrete weight loss and improves lipid profile only in altered previous values.,” Nutr Hosp, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 1176–82, Dec. 2014. [PubMed]
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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