There is increasing discussion about the benefits of whole chia seed, compared to milled chia seed.
Some argue that whole chia seed will simply pass through the body leaving you with little to no benefit with all the components simply excreted.
This is definitely the case for flaxseed since it has a very hard seed coat. Unless the seed is opened, sprouted, cooked etc. and the coat opened, it will pass through the body.
Chia seed, on the other hand, has a soft seed coat. The omega3 fatty acid in the seed being protected by the natural antioxidants it contains, rather than being protected by a hard seed coat, as in the case of flaxseed.
Now some people have said I looked in the toilet and saw the seeds. No that is not what they are seeing, rather it is the seed coat which is the insoluble part of the seed. If one were to carefully examine the remains it would be a hollow incomplete shell.
In theory it would make sense that opening the seed would expose more of the inside of the seed to the stomach so that the benefits could be gained. It may be true that it might act a bit faster, but that is about it.
Why do I say the seeds do not need to be milled to be taken advantage of?
There are just way too many people that have consumed only whole chia seeds and have seen remarkable changes in cholesterol, weight loss, less joint pain, lessened glycemic spikes, more energy, etc. I doubt these people are making up their unsolicited stories to please the world. They are simply telling the world how well whole chia seed has helped them.