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Chia lowers blood pressure (but that's not all)

Chia lowers blood pressure (but that's not all)
A few tablespoons of chia a day will lower blood pressure. Researchers at the University of Toronto come to this conclusion in a human study. In addition, chia protects the blood vessels in a few other ways. The Canadian study is a bit older, but we didn't want to keep it from you.

Chia may be the best food source of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, and it is also packed with dietary fiber and magnesium. Because omega-3s, dietary fiber and magnesium all three lower blood pressure, the Canadians wondered what the effect of chia would be on blood pressure.

The researchers experimented with 20 subjects with type 2 diabetes who were taking medicines to control their glucose levels. The subjects were fed a healthy diet for 12 weeks, boosted with 37 grams of chia daily. That's 3 generous tablespoons.

Some of the chia was made into bread. Another part was a powder, which the subjects had to use as a supplement.

On another occasion, the subjects were fed a diet with just as much energy, carbohydrates, fats and proteins for 12 weeks. During that period, the subjects did not receive chia, but wheat bran.

When the researchers compared dietary patterns, they saw that the subjects consumed 7.4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and 612 milligrams of magnesium daily during their chia period. During the wheat fiber phase, this was 1.1 grams and 424 milligrams, respectively.

After the subjects had taken chia for 12 weeks, their blood pressure had dropped by several points. The effect was not extreme, but significant.

Chia lowers blood pressure (but that's not all)

Chia supplementation also lowered the inflammatory factor CRP in the blood. CRP is an inflammatory factor, which plays a role not only in vascular disorders, but also in a variety of chronic diseases and aging processes.

Finally, chia reduced the concentration of Von Willebrand factor in the blood. Von Willebrand factor is a clotting factor. A chronically increased concentration of Von Willebrand factor increases the risk of arteriosclerosis and thrombosis.

A congenitally low concentration of von Willebrand factor leads to a haematolic disease in which a wound can lead to dangerously high blood loss. However, the Canadians found no effect on the coagulation values of their subjects.

The researchers also found no effect of chia on the glucose and insulin balance.

Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):2804-10.

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