Skip to main content Accessibility help

Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in α-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats

  • Adriana G. Chicco (a1), Maria E. D'Alessandro (a1), Gustavo J. Hein (a1), Maria E. Oliva (a1) and Yolanda B. Lombardo (a1)...

The present study investigates the benefits of the dietary intake of chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in α-linolenic acid and fibre upon dyslipidaemia and insulin resistance (IR), induced by intake of a sucrose-rich (62·5 %) diet (SRD). To achieve these goals two sets of experiments were designed: (i) to study the prevention of onset of dyslipidaemia and IR in Wistar rats fed during 3 weeks with a SRD in which chia seed was the dietary source of fat; (ii) to analyse the effectiveness of chia seed in improving or reversing the metabolic abnormalities described above. Rats were fed a SRD during 3 months; by the end of this period, stable dyslipidaemia and IR were present in the animals. From months 3–5, half the animals continued with the SRD and the other half were fed a SRD in which the source of fat was substituted by chia seed (SRD+chia). The control group received a diet in which sucrose was replaced by maize starch. The results showed that: (i) dietary chia seed prevented the onset of dyslipidaemia and IR in the rats fed the SRD for 3 weeks – glycaemia did not change; (ii) dyslipidaemia and IR in the long-term SRD-fed rats were normalised without changes in insulinaemia when chia seed provided the dietary fat during the last 2 months of the feeding period. Dietary chia seed reduced the visceral adiposity present in the SRD rats. The present study provides new data regarding the beneficial effect of chia seed upon lipid and glucose homeostasis in an experimental model of dislipidaemia and IR.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in α-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in α-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in α-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr Yolanda B. Lombardo, fax +54 342 4575221, email
Hide All
1Cheal, KL, Abbasi, F, Lamendola, C, McLaughlin, T, Reaven, GM & Ford, ES (2004) Relationship to insulin resistance of the adult treatment panel III diagnostic criteria for identification of the metabolic syndrome. Diabetes 53, 11951200.
2Clarke, SD (2001) Polyunsaturated fatty acid regulation of gene transcription: a molecular mechanism to improve the metabolic syndrome. J Nutr 131, 11291132.
3Mori, TA & Beilin, LJ (2001) Long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, blood lipids and cardiovascular risk reduction. Curr Opin Lipidol 12, 1117.
4Connor, WE (2000) Importance of n-3 fatty acids in health and disease. Am J Clin Nutr 71, Suppl., 171S175S.
5Li, Z, Lamon-Fava, S, Otvos, J, Lichtenstein, AH, Velez-Carrasco, W, McNamara, JR, Ordovas, JM & Schaefer, EJ (2004) Fish consumption shifts lipoprotein subfractions to a less atherogenic pattern in humans. J Nutr 134, 17241728.
6Lombardo, YB & Chicco, A (2006) Effects of dietary polyunsaturated n-3 fatty acids on dislipemia and insulin resistance in rodents and humans. A review. J Nutr Biochem 17, 113.
7Simopoulos, AP (1999) Essential fatty acids in health and chronic disease. Am J Clin Nutr 70, Suppl. 3, 560S569S.
8Kawashima, Y & Kozuka, H (1993) Dietary manipulation by perilla oil and fish oil of hepatic lipids and its influence on peroxisomal β-oxidation and serum lipids in rat and mouse. Biol Pharm Bull 16, 11941199.
9Gu, JY, Wakizono, Y, Dohi, A, Nonaka, M, Sugano, M & Yamada, K (1998) Effect of dietary fats and sesamin on the lipid metabolism and immune function of Sprague–Dawley rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 62, 19171924.
10Iritani, N, Komiya, K, Fukuda, H & Sugimoto, T (1998) Lipogenic enzyme gene expression is quickly suppressed in rats by a small amount of exogenous polyunsaturated fatty acids. J Nutr 128, 967972.
11Ihara, M, Umekawa, H, Takahashi, T & Furuichi, Y (1998) Comparative effects of short and long-term feeding of safflower oil and perilla oil on lipid metabolism in rats. Comp Biochem Physiol Biochem Mol Biol 121, 223231.
12Kim, HK, Choi, S & Choi, H (2004) Suppression of hepatic fatty acid synthase by feeding α-linolenic acid rich perilla oil lowers plasma triacylglycerol level in rats. J Nutr Biochem 15, 485492.
13Kim, HK & Choi, H (2001) Dietary α-linolenic acid lowers post prandial lipid levels with increase of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid contents in rat hepatic membrane. Lipids 36, 13311336.
14Javadi, M, Geelen, MJH, Lemmeus, AG, Lankhorst, AE, Schonewille, JT, Terpstra, AHM & Beynen, AC (2007) The influence of dietary linoleic and α-linolenic acid on body composition and the activities of key enzymes of hepatic lipogenesis and fatty acid oxidation in mice. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 91, 1118.
15Weber, CW, Gentry, HS, Kohlhepp, EA & McCrohan, PR (1991) The nutritional and chemical evaluation of chia seeds. Ecol Food Nutr 26, 119125.
16Bushway, AA, Wilson, AM, Houston, L & Bushway, RJ (1984) Selected properties of the lipid and protein fractions from chia seed. J Food Sci 49, 555557.
17Ayerza, R & Coates, W (2005) Ground chia seed and chia oil effects on plasma lipids and fatty acids in the rat. Nutr Res 25, 9951003.
18Reaven, GM (1984) Diabetic hypertriglyceridemia in the rat: animal models simulating the clinical syndrome of impaired glucose tolerance, non insulin-dependent diabetes andinsulin-dependent diabetes. In Lessons from Animal Diabetes, pp. 531536 [Shaffrir, E and Renold, AS, editors]. London: Libby.
19Pagliassotti, MJ, Prach, PA, Koppenhafer, TA & Pan, DA (1996) Changes in insulin action, triglycerides and lipid composition during sucrose feeding in rats. Am J Physiol 271, R1319R1326.
20Lombardo, YB, Chicco, A, Mocchiutti, N, Rodi, M, Nusimovich, B & Gutman, R (1983) Effect of sucrose diet on insulin secretion in vivo and in vitro and on triglyceride storage and mobilization of the heart of rats. Horm Metab Res 15, 6976.
21Luo, J, Rizkalla, SW, Lerer-Metzger, M, Boillot, J, Ardeleanu, A, Bruzzo, F, Chevalier, A & Slama, G (1995) A fructose-rich diet decreases insulin-stimulated glucose incorporation into lipids but not glucose transport in adipocytes of normal and diabetic rats. J Nutr 125, 164171.
22Bezerra, RM, Ueno, M, Silva, MA, Tavares, DQ, Carvalho, CRO & Saad, MJA (2000) A high fructose diet affects the early steps of insulin action in muscle and liver of rats. J Nutr 130, 15311535.
23Gutman, RA, Basílico, MZ, Bernal, C, Chicco, A & Lombardo, YB (1987) Long-term hypertriglyceridemia and glucose intolerance in rats fed chronically an isocaloric sucrose rich diet. Metabolism 36, 10131020.
24Chicco, A, Basabe, JC, Karabatas, L, Ferraris, N, Fortino, A & Lombardo, YB (2000) Troglytazone (CS-045) normalizes hypertriglyceridemia and restores the altered patterns of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in dyslipemic rats. Metabolism 49, 13461351.
25Chicco, A, D'Alessandro, ME, Karabatas, L, Pastorale, C, Basabe, JC & Lombardo, YB (2003) Muscle lipid metabolism and insulin secretion are altered in insulin-resistant rats fed a high sucrose diet. J Nutr 133, 127133.
26Pighin, D, Karabatas, L, Rossi, A, Chicco, A, Basabe, JC & Lombardo, YB (2003) Fish oil affects pancreatic fat storage, pyruvate dehydrogenase complex activity and insulin secretion in rats fed a sucrose-rich diet. J Nutr 133, 40954101.
27Ghafoorunissa, , Ibrahim, A & Natarajan, S (2005) Substituting dietary linoleic acid with α-linolenic acid improves insulin sensitivity in sucrose fed rats. Biochem Biophys Acta 1733, 6775.
28Lombardo, YB, Chicco, A, D'Alessandro, ME, Martinelli, M, Soria, A & Gutman, R (1996) Dietary fish oil normalize dislipidemia and glucose intolerance with unchanged insulin levels in rats fed a high sucrose diet. Biochim Biophys Acta 1299, 175182.
29Herbert, V, Lau, KS, Gottlieb, CH & Bleicher, SJ (1965) Coated charcoal immunoassay of insulin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 25, 13751384.
30Folch, J, Lees, M & Sloane Stanley, GH (1957) A simple method for the isolation and purification of total lipides from animal tissues. J Biol Chem 226, 497509.
31Rössner, S (1974) Studies on an intravenous fat tolerance test. Methodological, experimental and clinical experiences with Intralipid. Acta Med Scand Suppl 564, 124.
32Snedecor, GWP & Cochran, WG (editors) (1967) Statistical Methods. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.
33Soria, A, D'Alessandro, ME & Lombardo, YB (2001) Duration of feeding on a sucrose-rich diet determines metabolic and morphological changes in rat adipocytes. J Appl Physiol 91, 21092116.
34Lombardo, YB, Hein, G & Chicco, A (2007) Metabolic syndrome: effects of n-3 PUFAs on a model of dislipidemia, insulin resistance and adiposity. Lipids 42, 427437.
35Nagai, Y, Nishio, Y, Nakamura, T, Maegawa, H, Kikkawa, R & Kashiwagi, A (2002) Amelioration of high fructose induced metabolic derangements by activation of PPARα. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 282, E1180E1190.
36Kim, HJ, Takahashi, M & Ezaki, O (1999) Fish oil feeding decreases mature sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1) by down-regulation of SREBP-1c mRNA in mouse liver. J Biol Chem 274, 2589225898.
37Benatti, P, Peluso, G, Nicolai, R & Calvani, M (2004) Polyunsaturated fatty acids: biochemical, nutritional and epigenetic properties. J Am Coll Nutr 23, 281302.
38Jeffery, NM, Sanderson, P, Sherringtton, EJ, Newsholme, EA & Calder, PC (1996) The ratio of n-6 to n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the rat diet alters serum lipid levels and lymphocyte function. Lipids 31, 737745.
39Ide, T (2000) Effect of dietary α-linolenic acid on the activity and gene expression of hepatic fatty acid oxidation enzymes. Biofactors 13, 914.
40Ide, T, Murata, M & Sugano, M (1996) Stimulation of the activities of hepatic fatty acid oxidation enzymes by dietary fat rich in α-linolenic acid in rats. J Lipid Res 37, 448463.
41Kabir, Y & Ide, T (1996) Activity of hepatic fatty acid oxidation enzymes in rats fed α-linolenic acid. Biochem Biophys Acta 1304, 105119.
42Bravo, E, Ortu, G, Cantafora, A, Lambert, MS, Avella, M, Mayes, PA & Botham, KM (1995) Comparison of the hepatic uptake and processing of cholesterol from chylomicrons of different fatty acid composition in the rat in vivo. Biochim Biophys Acta 1258, 328336.
43Li, J, Kaneko, T, Qing, L, Wang, J, Wang, Y & Sato, A (2003) Long-term effects of high dietary fiber intake on glucose tolerance and lipid metabolism in GK rats: comparison among barley, rice and cornstarch. Metabolism 52, 12061210.
44Martinez-Flores, HE, Chang, YK, Martinez-Bustos, F & Sgarbieri, V (2004) Effect of high fiber products on blood lipids and lipoproteins in hamsters. Nutr Res 24, 8593.
45Okuno, M, Kajiwara, K, Imai, S, Kobayashi, T, Honma, N, Maki, T, Suruga, K, Goda, T, Takase, S, Muto, Y & Moriwaki, H (1997) Perilla oil prevents the excessive growth of visceral adipose tissue in rats by down-regulating adipocyte differentiation. J Nutr 127, 17521757.
46Bronwyn, AE, Poynten, A, Lowry, AJ, Furler, SM, Chisholm, DJ, Kraegen, EW & Cooney, GJ (2000) Long-chain acyl-CoA esters as indicators of lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity in rat and human muscle. Am J Physiol 279, E554E560.
47Burdge, GC & Calder, PC (2005) Conversion of α-linolenic acid to longer-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in humans adults. Reprod Nutr Dev 45, 581597.
48Vuksan, 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. Diabetes Care 30, 28042810.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed