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Slimming goes better with a couple of tablespoons of chia daily

A mild slimming diet - not a severe astronaut diet, but a sensible diet at 500 kilocalories per day less than you burn - will be more effective if you consume a couple of tablespoons of chia daily. This is suggested in a human study that Canadian nutritionists published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases.

The researchers did an experiment with fairly overweight adults who had type-2 diabetes. They followed a mild calorie-restricted diet for six months.

A group of 31 participants ate 36 g oat bran fibre [Oat bran] per 1000 kilocalories and a group of 27 participants ate 30 g ground chia [Salvia hispanica]. Both doses are about two tablespoons.

Slimming goes better with a couple of tablespoons of chia daily

The weight of the participants in the oat bran fibre group remained more or less stable, but the participants in the chia group lost 2 kg. The waist circumference in the chia group decreased by just over 3 centimetres.

Slimming goes better with a couple of tablespoons of chia daily

Slimming goes better with a couple of tablespoons of chia daily

The participants in the chia group also became a little healthier: their CRP level decreased by a tiny amount at least. Chia supplementation had no effect on the participants' insulin balance, however.


"The precise mechanism of action by which [...] chia promotes weight loss and improves obesity-related risk factors is unknown," the Canadians wrote. "Its rich nutrient composition, including fiber, ALA, protein, minerals, and level of antioxidants may act individually or collectively to demonstrate benefits."

"Numerous studies have shown that ingestion of fiber can mitigate hunger, reduce postprandial glycemia, and promote short-term weight loss. Furthermore, dietary fiber has been linked to reducing chronic inflammation, producing small but significant reductions in hs-CRP of 0.37 mg/L in obese populations. The 1.1 mg/L reduction of hs-CRP presently shown may be considered clinically meaningful if sustained over an extended period of time."

"The present study suggests the potential benefits of [...] chia consumption in type 2 diabetes patients treated with a calorie-restricted diet and pharmacological standard of care, by promoting weight loss, reducing visceral obesity, improving low grade body inflammation, and increasing adiponectin secretion," the researchers summarised.

"Future studies for [...] chia should evaluate the clinical applicability and cardiovascular benefits that extend beyond type 2 diabetes."

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2017 Feb;27(2):138-46.

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