Health Potential of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) Seeds-Derived α-linoleic Acid and α-linolenic Acids: A Review


  •   Josiah Oyalo

  •   Monica Mburu


The desirability of functional foods proceeds alongside non-communicable epidemic; diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and interrelated risk factors. Consequently, research on chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) has increased not only as seeds but also as oil due to their rich functional and nutritional proprieties. Chia seed is rich in essential fatty acids such as α-linolenic (ALA) and α-linoleic acids (LA) with ALA being the biological precursor to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is a plant-based essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that must be obtained through the diet since humans do not possess the enzymes to synthesize the compound. The objective of this review was to identify the beneficial effects of chia seeds derived ALA and LA on human health. From the articles reviewed; it was observed that ALA and LA from chia seed could offer benefits for example; anti-obesity, improvement in glucose homeostasis, athletic performance, and anti-cholesterolemic effects and maintenance of healthy serum lipid level. Furthermore, some articles reported anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects and anti-oxidant activity, which could strengthen the prevention of chronic diseases. Although these benefits are appealing to humans, mechanistic cell culture and animal models are required to enhance our knowledge on their mode of action

Keywords: Health potential; chia; α –linoleic; α-linolenic acids; polyunsaturated fatty acids


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How to Cite
Oyalo, J., & Mburu, M. (2021). Health Potential of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.) Seeds-Derived α-linoleic Acid and α-linolenic Acids: A Review. European Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences, 3(4), 5-10.