What is Rice Bran Oil and its Benefits?

Rice bran oil, a medically significant lipid containing drug is obtained from husk of paddy and consist of embryo (germ) and endosperm of Oryza sativa, family Graminae. You can obtain this oil as a byproduct in rice mill during polishing of rice after dehusking. India is the leading manufacturer and seller of rice bran oil. United States (RITO) produces this edible oil since 1994.

Why is Rice Bran oil unique?

This golden yellow oil has a uniqueness of remaining unaffected at temporary heating at 160oc. Rice bran oil which is sometimes also considered as the World’s healthiest oil contains saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and it is the presence of antioxidant which contributes to its preservative action.  An active enzyme lipase present in the nutritionally rich oil raises the free fatty acid content on storage. Rice bran cooking oil is a perfect low fat cooking oil and as good nutritional value. Besides this rice bran oil contains gamma-oryzanol and tocotrienols, Vitamin E, antioxidant acting as many alternative herbal therapies which further add to its property.

Health benefits of Rice Bran oil

Rice bran oil has a wide range of application that makes it more interesting in the slot of marketing arena

Rice bran oil as healthy heart oil – The oil helps in reducing serum cholesterol and lipid levels which there by helps in preventing coronary artery diseases.  Based on survey by WHO-NIN on dietary fat and non-communicable diseases it has been proved that this oil has the most ideal fat composition as follows:

  • Fatty acid % by weight – Saturated Fat- 24%
  • Mono-unsaturated Fat (MUFA) – 34%
  • Poly-unsaturated Fat (PUFA) – 42%
  • Essential fatty acids –  Omega6/ Omega3 fatty acid- 22% 

Studies conducted at Central Food and Research Technological institute, Mysore (India) has shown reduction in bad cholesterol level (LDL and VLDL) and increase in good cholesterol level (HDL). Vitamin E, γ-oryzanol which prevents heart attack by reducing plasma cholesterol, decreasing early atherosclerosis, inhibiting platelet aggregation is present in this oil. Rice bran oil has no cholesterol and no tans fatty acid and hence prevents obesity which is the main cause for occurrence of heart diseases. Tocotrienols belongs to vitamin E class have benefits in preventing the cardiovascular diseases.  Studies have proved that this oil helps lowering the blood pressure and hence beneficial if you have hypertension.

rice bran oil

Rice bran oil for dietary use – World health organization has recommended rice bran oil as the balanced oil containing monosaturated, polysaturated unsaturated and saturated fats. This non-prescription oil is used daily for frying food and 20% less oil is absorbed if food is cooked with this oil. Less absorption of oil leads to reduced calories, lighter tasting food, palatable which in turn results in living a healthier life. Due to less consumption of oil it is proved to be economical. This oil seeks more interest in cooking as it can be easily washed out from the cooking medium or frying pan. The significantly high smoke value (213 C) makes it suitable for stir frying and deep frying because it prevents the breakdown of fatty acid at elevated temperature. You would be surprised to observe the combination of health and taste with use of this oil. American Heart Association has suggested the oil as the most balanced and versatile oil.

Rice bran oil for skin - Owing to presence of vitamin E, gamma oryzanol it is used for many alternative herbal therapies along with skin care product to prevent aging. Thus you can obtain a younger looking, wrinkle free and glowing skin with use of this oil. Vitamin E helps skin feel refreshed all time. Rice bran oil is used in sunscreen as vitamin E prevents skin against harmful Ultraviolet (UV) rays. The antioxidant property of this oil helps to engulf free radical which causes damage to body.

Anti Hyperlipidemic properties – Cholesterol reducing property and hypoglycemic property is attributed to gamma oryzanol and beneficial in management of high-fat induced hyperlipidemia.

Benefits of rice bran oil on immune system – The oil contains minute quantities of nutritionally rich tocopherols, sterols and squalene which helps maintaining and promoting good health. Antiviral and anticancer property, scavenging effect on carcinogens is also attributed to this oil.

Rice bran oil helps controlling diabetes – You can take rice bran oil if you are a type 2 diabetic patient (life long metabolic disease having high level of sugar/ glucose in blood- non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) as it helps increasing insulin sensitivity.

Benefits in hair growth – Hair styling products contains rice bran oil as an ingredient. Omega3 and omega6 fatty acid, tocotrienols, inositol (type of carbohydrate) helps premature graying of hair. You may use this oil in hair fall problems and even to strengthen the hair roots. Oryzanol present in rice bran oil helps hair protection against harmful UV effect of sun.

Possible Side Effects of Rice bran oil

This nutritionally rich oil is considered safe under proper dose. As it contains gamma-oryzanol, a dietary supplement you should consult your physician before daily use of this oil. Till date no report of contraindication during pregnancy is reported but it is always advisable to take recommendation of healthcare practitioner before use during pregnancy and during breast-feeding. Children should be avoided consuming this oil unless recommended by physician.

Precaution While Using Rice bran oil and storage property

Rice bran oil should be processed before use to ensure consistency as crude oil is not healthy for consumption. The oil has good stability profile due to antioxidant and should be stored at around 125oF in tanks with periodic agitation to prevent settling of gums and waxes.

Recommendation

Rice bran oil has explicit properties which might not be possessed by any other oil. Therefore when you are suffering from day by day increase in body fat index due to use of other oils which may result in cardiac disorders it is advisable to switch on to rice bran oil as an alternative to live a healthy life.