Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

What's The Truth About Salba?

Monday, 19 July 2010 01:42 PM

Question: Salba or "Salvia Hispanica L" is made from white chia seeds and sold as a supplement. The seller's claim about its nutritional value is quite impressive. What's your take on this product?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Salba has no FDA-approved use and is not yet a recommended supplement for treating or preventing disease except by manufacturer claim. There is no solid research to justify a reason for the average individual to add this to their diet. It has no medicinal value that I can reliably confirm, except for its fiber content and rich levels of omega 3, and I am reluctant to blindly recommend its use until further data on purity and quality control is available.

Remember that omega 3 supplements from fish oils have been shown to be beneficial for many people who consume little fish, but supplementing omega 3 from vegetable or grain products is not necessarily the same.

The company marketing salba has positioned this grain as a replacement for flax seed without the phytoestrogens seen in flax, yet its claims for effectiveness in treating or preventing diseases have not been confirmed to my satisfaction. Save your money and reserve supplementation for clear deficiency states, not for food replacement.

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