Alternate Title

  • Chenopodium quinoa

Related Terms

  • 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 Table

    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.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    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.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • 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

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • 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

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • 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 edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

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  • Linnemann AR, Dijkstra DS. Toward sustainable production of protein-rich foods: appraisal of eight crops for Western Europe. Part I. Analysis of the primary links of the production chain. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2002;42(4):377-401.
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