Chia may have some nutritional benefits, but it has not been shown to treat or prevent cancer. More research is necessary.
The seeds of Chia plant are rich in fiber and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of essential fatty acid. They are thought to be useful for weight loss and reducing risk of heart disease. Data from human studies showed that Chia seeds may help to regulate blood sugar but do not affect weight loss. Oil from Chia seeds demonstrated anticancer effects in labs but this has not been shown in humans.
The seeds of Chia plant, which is native to Central and South America, have been consumed as food since ancient times. They are high in dietary fiber, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and have been used as dietary supplements for cardiovascular health and for weight loss.
Chia seeds were shown to prevent onset of dyslipidemia (1)(6), reverse insulin resistance (1), and confer cardio- and hepatoprotective effects in obese mice (7). However, Chia did not benefit overweight adults in clinical studies (3), but may help patients with type 2 diabetes (4). Further research is needed.
Chia seeds demonstrated anti-cancer properties (2) in mice, but human studies have not been conducted.
The beneficial effects of Chia seeds may be due to complex carbohydrates, vegetable protein, n-3 PUFAs, dietary fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and their combined effects. Further studies are needed to isolate the components responsible for such effects.