Re: Iron in Chia Seeds


Hi Christee,

Out of curiosity, I looked up the nutrient data for chia and there is not a quantifiable amount of iron in 100 grams of chia seed. I've pasted some graphs below comparing trace minerals, major minerals and the fatty acid breakdown in flax vs. chia. If they don't show up, I'll provide the numbers if anyone is interested. These are negligible amounts of minerals. The reason for supplementing is to replace the essential fatty acids lost when fresh forage is dried. These seeds provide a substantial dose of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids. The combined n-3, n-6 is 22.6 grams for flax, 6.6 grams for chia with a 4:1 ratio for flax, 3:1 for chia. For perspective, the human dose of n-3 fatty acids ranges from 200-1000 mg/day (0.2 - 1 gram). Granted, humans benefit more from the long-chain fatty acids found in algae (and then fish) and some may argue that the horse would see the same benefit and should be supplemented with fish oil. The reasoning behind this is that humans are poor converters of the form found in seeds and plants, like flaxseed, chia, walnuts (ALA), so it is best to just cut to the chase and consume the long-chain forms (EPA, DHA). This is demonstrably true for humans, but there is limited evidence to conclude this poor conversion rate translates to the horse. Horses have a novel gene transcript for fatty acid conversion from the short-chain precursor (ALA) to long-chain forms (EPA, DHA). It stands to reason that this novel transcript is likely an evolutionary adaptation for more efficient conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA, since they evolved to eat grass and we didn't.

There's your science tidbit for today! Hope the graphs come through because there is no better way to start the day than with a few graphs!


Kathleen (KFG in KCMO)

Director and Research Advisor, ECIR Group Inc.

Missouri, USA, 2005 


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