Sold in whole-seed, oil, and capsule form, chia contains omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. To date, however, there is little scientific evidence showing that chia can promote weight loss or offer any other health benefits.
The Science Behind Chia and Weight LossFor a 2009 report from Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials, scientists gathered the available research on the health effects of chia. Although some studies showed "possible effectiveness" for several conditions (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and angina), the report's authors caution that there is limited evidence supporting the use of chia for any indication (including weight loss).
In a study published in Nutrition Research the same year, researchers assigned 90 overweight or obese adults to 12 weeks of treatment with chia seed or a placebo. Looking at study results, the researchers found no differences in body mass, inflammation, or blood pressure between the two treatment groups.
In 2007, another study published in Diabetes Care and involving 20 people with type 2 diabetes found that 12 weeks of treatment with chia helped reduce systolic blood pressure and inflammation but failed to produce changes in body weight.