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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 171956, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/171956
Review Article

The Promising Future of Chia, Salvia hispanica L.

1Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, 43300 Selangor, Malaysia
2Institute of Bioscience, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, 43300 Selangor, Malaysia
3Department of Bioprocess Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, 43300 Selangor, Malaysia

Received 9 August 2012; Revised 30 October 2012; Accepted 31 October 2012

Academic Editor: Kazim Husain

Copyright © 2012 Norlaily Mohd Ali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

With increasing public health awareness worldwide, demand for functional food with multiple health benefits has also increased. The use of medicinal food from folk medicine to prevent diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular problems is now gaining momentum among the public. Seed from Salvia hispanica L. or more commonly known as chia is a traditional food in central and southern America. Currently, it is widely consumed for various health benefits especially in maintaining healthy serum lipid level. This effect is contributed by the presence of phenolic acid and omega 3/6 oil in the chia seed. Although the presence of active ingredients in chia seed warrants its health benefits, however, the safety and efficacy of this medicinal food or natural product need to be validated by scientific research. In vivo and clinical studies on the safety and efficacy of chia seed are still limited. This paper covers the up-to-date research on the identified active ingredients, methods for oil extraction, and in vivo and human trials on the health benefit of chia seed, and its current market potential.