Dietary chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) improve acute dyslipidemia and steatohepatitis in rats.
J Food Biochem. 2019 Sep ;43(9):e12986. Epub 2019 Jul 21. PMID: 31489674
Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) are rich in omega fatty acids. Dyslipidemia and steatohepatitis are diseases that require effective treatments in obese and non-obese patients. The aim was to evaluate the effect of chia intake on acute tyloxapol (TI)-induced dyslipidemia, on acute carbon tetrachloride (TC)-induced steatohepatitis, and on mixed damage (TC+TI) in non-obese rats. Four experimental groups were fed for 4 weeks a diet with established rodent food (DE), and four groups were fed a diet with 15% added chia (DC). Plasma samples were analyzed for total cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, biochemical liver damage markers, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). Liver samples were used to quantify glycogen, catalase, lipid peroxidation, and TNF-α. A histopathological analysis was performed. DC intake partially or totally prevented steatohepatitis, and reduced lipids in the dyslipidemic groups. The hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective effects of chia may be correlated to its high content of α-linolenic acid (omega-3) and phenolics. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Metabolic syndrome is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which are currently the most common causes of chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) worldwide. Dyslipidemia is a significant risk factor for NAFLD and NASH. Non-obese patients may have NAFLD or NASH. Metabolic syndrome and dyslipidemia are more strongly associated with NAFLD in non-obese than in obese patients. This is the first study evaluating the hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective effects of chia seed intake on acute dyslipidemia and/or steatohepatitis caused by the individual or combined administration of the inducers tyloxapol and carbon tetrachloride, respectively, in non-obese rats. The pharmacological effects of dietary chia are correlated to its high content of omega-3 andomega-6 (1:1), protein, dietary fiber, and phenolics. The results suggest that inclusion of chia in diets of non-obese patients with dyslipidemia and/or NAFLD/NASH may improve their health state and preventing cirrhosis or HCC.