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High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol can be lowered by eating Rice Bran

March 3rd, 2006

High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol can be lowered by eating Rice Bran

brown rice

A group of scientists from Japan reported in the March 8th issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that eating rice bran, the outer coating of brown rice, can lower blood pressure as well as cholesterol.  The researchers discovered that the rice bran acts in the same manor as an ACE inhibitor prescription medicine.

The study was conducted with rats.  The scientists from Tohoku University and Japan’s National Research Institute of Brewing showed that rats that were hypertensive and stroke-prone were able to lower their systolic blood pressure approximately 20 percent in the same method as ACE inhibitors. 

ACE inhibitors are commonly prescribed medications that are used to treat high blood pressure.  The medication dilates the arteries of the patient reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney disease.  The problems with ACE inhibitors are the side effects that go with them.  Those side effects are chronic cough, allergic reactions, dizziness, and kidney problems

At this point the study does not know if eating more brown rice will have the same effects of just eating the rice bran by itself.  Previous research studies have shown that eating rice bran can lower LDL “bad” cholesterol. 


Rice bran contains forms of the antioxidant, Vitamin E, which the researchers believe lowered the rats levels of peptide 8-OHdG.  High levels of 8-OHdG is an indicator of biological stress and oxidative genetic damage.

“Oxidative stress plays an important role in the initiation and progression of cardiovascular diseases,” said the lead author Ardiansyah who is a Ph.D. candidate attending the university’s School of Agricultural Science.


The researchers want to continue to understand how rice bran works by isolating the specific components in the food product.  They believe that using enzymes for digestion of the rice bran will make it a more functional food compared to making it an extract.

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