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Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa)

Generic Name: quinoa

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Amaranthaceae (family), bitter quinoa, Chenopodium quinoa, Chenopodium quinoa Willd., quinoa flour, quinoa seed, quinua, quinua flour, quinua seed, sweet quinoa.

Background

Quinoa has been cultivated in the Andes Incas for thousands of years. It has recently gained prominence around the world as a "super food" due to its high protein content. Although quinoa is high in protein content, it alone does not have enough protein to replace meat in the Western European diet, due to current cultivation, technological, and processing restrictions. Quinoa is also used by some people as a substitute for wheat, especially those on a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease or other conditions.

Other than its use as a food, there is insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of quinoa for any indication.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Antioxidant, celiac disease, food uses, hypertriglyceridemia (elevated level of fatty acid compounds in the blood).

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older):

There is no proven effective dose for quinoa in adults.

Children (younger than 18 years):

There is no proven effective dose for quinoa in children.

Safety

DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Allergies

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) or its constituents.

Side Effects and Warnings

Quinoa is likely safe when quinoa seeds are used in food amounts, as quinoa has been used as a food for thousands of years. Quinoa is usually washed after harvest and before preparation to remove a natural coating of saponins on the seeds. Available reports of adverse effects related to quinoa are lacking.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Quinoa is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

Quinoa may have antioxidant properties. Caution is advised when taking quinoa with other agents that have antioxidant properties.

Quinoa may lower triglyceride concentrations, compared to gluten-free bread and pasta. Caution is advised in patients taking triglyceride-lowering agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

Quinoa may have antioxidant properties. Caution is advised when taking quinoa with herbs and supplements that have antioxidant properties.

Quinoa may lower triglyceride concentrations, compared to gluten-free bread and pasta. Caution is advised in patients taking herbs or supplements that may lower triglycerides.

Attribution

This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): J. Kathryn Bryan, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Nicole Giese, MS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).

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