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Nutr Metab (Lond). 2018 Nov 26;15:83. doi: 10.1186/s12986-018-0317-4. eCollection 2018.

Salvia hispanica L. (chia) seeds oil extracts reduce lipid accumulation and produce stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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1UNIPAMPA-Programa de Pós-Graduação em Bioquímica, Universidade Federal do Pampa, BR 472 - Km 592, Caixa Postal 118, Uruguaiana, RS CEP 97500-970 Brazil.
2Departamento de Tecnologia e Ciência de Alimentos, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Centro de Ciências Rurais, Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul Brazil.



Salvia hispanica seeds have been commonly used by people that seek healthy habits through natural foods to reduce cholesterol and triacylglycerides levels, however, the evidences that support this assumption are still scarce in literature. Here, we aimed to evaluate the lipid lowering effects of chia by using Caenorhabditis elegans as animal model, a nematode that has proven its usefulness for lipid metabolism studies.


We prepared hexane (HE) and Bligh-Dyer (BDE) extracts, evaluated and compared their safety, antioxidant potential and their lipid-lowering activity in the worms.


The characterization of both extracts demonstrated that there were no differences in their lipid composition; however, BDE depicted better antioxidant potential. Both extracts reduced worm's survival from 2%, and reproduction was reduced following treatment with both extracts, though a more notable effect was observed in HE-treated worms. In addition, the non-toxic concentration of both extracts (1%) increased stress resistance against paraquat toxicity in an antidote paradigm. Notably, this same concentration of both extracts reduced lipid accumulation in obese worms, which was not caused by food deprivation.


Taken together, our data demonstrate that both extraction methods from chia seeds result in oils that are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which may modulate lipid accumulation and provide antioxidant resistance in C. elegans.


Antioxidant; C. elegans; Lipids; Salvia hispanica and chia

Conflict of interest statement

Not applicable.Not applicable.The authors declare that they have no competing interest.Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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