Rice Bran Benefits & Side Effects

More than 600 million tons of rice are harvested annually worldwide and most of its nutritional value is in bran and germ from rice, according to NutraCea. Rice bran offers various health benefits due to its content of antioxidants, vitamin E, B vitamins, and essential fatty acids. Rice bran's antioxidants work through different processes to result in positive effects on the biological system. Rice bran also serves as a natural source of phytosterols, which provide blood-sugar control, prostate health and cholesterol metabolism. Rice bran is naturally lactose-free, gluten-free and hypoallergenic, making it a tolerable health product for a variety of tastes. While there are numerous health benefits of rice bran, there are some side effects associated with regular consumption, depending on the individual's metabolism, type of consumption and frequency of intake.

A bowl of rice bran. Credit: Thawatchai1991/iStock/Getty Images

Fights Chronic Conditions

The various phytonutrients in rice bran have significant disease-preventing benefits, according to evidence from experimental research studies described on zhion.com. Phytonutrients such as inositol, rice oil, ferulic acid, gamma-oryzanol, plant sterols, and others benefit people with conditions including cancer, fatty liver, kidney stones, and heart disease. Rice bran also improves plasma lipid profiles, making it effective in reducing total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentration, while also increasing the high density lipoprotein cholesterol level.

Source of Fiber

According to essortment.com, bran is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber. The fiber content in rice bran is effective in preventing heart attacks, intestinal disorders, and various cancers. The fiber content in rice bran also plays an important role in weight control by promoting a feeling of fullness without over-eating. The effect fiber has is apparent in people whose diets are high in fiber, as they tend to be lower at risk for obesity-related cancers and heart attacks. While fiber is necessary for proper digestive function, excessive intake can cause bloating and intestinal gas.

Provides Nutrients

Rice bran has many health benefits, as it is nutrient-rich in bio-available vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, according to an article by Brent Detering, entitled "Rice Bran For Healthy Body & Life." These effects help to combat free radicals in our bodies that cause degenerative conditions. Rice bran contains vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients that help lower cholesterol, fight diseases, enhance the immune system, and fight free radicals. Rice bran is also a valuable source of vitamin E complex, antioxidants and other nutrients that fight the effects of aging.

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