Rice bran oil is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. It is known for its high smoke point of 490 degrees F (254 degrees C), making it suitable for healthy cooking methods, such as the stir frying and deep frying made popular by Asian countries. Because of its healthy fat composition being 47 percent monounsaturated, 33 percent polyunsaturated and 20 percent saturated, rice bran oil provides many health benefits.
Rice bran oil is a healthy cooking oil produced from rice grain hulls. The healthiest portion of rice is the oil extracted from the otherwise unused bran. Rice bran oil was first used in Asian countries, but its use has spread because it’s rich in antioxidants and healthy fats.
- Cholesterol-Lowering Potential
- Anti-Cancer Effects
- Skin Protector
- Antioxidant Packed
- Appealing Flavor
- Balance of Essential Fatty Acids
- High Smoke Point
- Longer Shelf Life
Rice bran can be beneficial in the fight against heart disease by reducing total cholesterol levels, including the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides by 20 percent, according to a 2005 study by Italian researchers.
The researchers did not find an improvement in good cholesterol (HDL), but conclude that the overall reduction of unhealthy cholesterol levels is significant in reducing the overall risk of heart disease.
Rice bran oil contains gamma oryzanol, a group of ferulate esters of triterpene alcohols and phytosterols that have been linked to many health benefits. Gamma oryzanol is effective in reducing plasma cholesterol and reducing cholesterol absorption, decreasing early atherosclerosis. In addition, gamma oryzanol inhibits platelet aggregation that could lead to blood clots. Rice bran oil contains tocotrienol (a form of Vitamin E) which has been found to inhibit the activity of HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that synthesizes cholesterol, a major factor in heart disease. In a study conducted at the University of Rochester, Mohammad Minhajuddin, Ph.D., and researchers determined that the tocotrienol in rice bran oil reduced cholesterol in rats up to 42 percent while lowering LDL cholesterol up to 62 percent.
Rice bran oil contains significant levels of both gamma and delta tocotrienols (approximately 500 ppm), forms of Vitamin E, that have been found to be able to accumulate in cancer cells and kill the tumors.
In a study conducted at Kyushu University in Japan, researchers looked at the effects of tocotrienols on mouse cancer cells. There was a significant delay in growth in the cancer cells. “Our results suggested that accumulation is critical for the anti-tumor activity of tocotrienols,” said Japanese lead researcher, Yuhei Hiura, reporting in “The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.”
Originating in the Japanese culture, skin care with rice bran oil is becoming more popular. To this day, one of the highest compliments a Japanese woman can receive is to be called a “nuka bijin” which means “a rice bran beauty.” Having smooth healthy skin is due to the oryzanol in the rice bran oil that whitens the skin slightly. As the skin is exposed to sunlight, the rice bran oil reacts as a sunscreen protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. The oryzanol impedes melanin pigmentation by restraining the erythema activity of tyrosinase as it stops the ultraviolet rays’ transmission at the skin’s surface. The use of rice bran oil in sunscreen products and hair conditioners is on the increase in the United States.
Rice bran oil is a healthy oil because of its high antioxidant quality. Antioxidants fight free radicals and the oxidative damage that they have on body cells. Rice bran oil has the highest oxidative stability index value compared to other oils such as soybean or sunflower oil, according to “Food & Beverage Asia” in 2010. The antioxidants found in rice bran oil contribute to this high value. Rice bran oil beats olive oil in its vitamin E power, as it contains both the tocopherol and tocotrienol forms of the vitamin, whereas olive oil contains only the tocopherol form — and less of that than rice bran oil.
Additionally, rice bran oil contains significant amounts of the antioxidant oryzanol, whereas olive oil has none. Olive oil, however, contains more of the health-enhancing antioxidant known as DHPEA-EDA, known for its heart-protecting capacity.
Rice Bran Oil is hypoallergenic. For those who have an intolerance or sensitivity to other cooking oils this is an excellent oil alternative
Rice bran oil is healthier than other cooking oils and adds an appealing flavor to foods. Rice bran oil allows foods to resist oil saturation, helping to reduce the sometimes greasy texture of fried foods. Popcorn kernels can pop even bigger when cooked in rice bran oil.
Rice bran oil has a high smoke point, meaning that the oil can be heated to a very high temperature (490 degrees F) before it becomes damaged. A high smoke point allows you to deep fry foods without the use of hydrogenated oils or trans fats.
Balance of Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are very important to your daily diet. A balanced fat intake should contain approximately 30 percent saturated fat, 33 percent polyunsaturated fat and 37 percent monounsaturated fat. The fatty acid profile of rice bran oil is among the healthiest when compared to other vegetable oils.
It contains four times the amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to fight the effects of premature aging and regulating your metabolism. Rice bran oil contains no trans fat and is high in monounsaturated fatty acids. Each of these is vital in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and promoting healthy skin.
High Smoke Point
When choosing a cooking oil for a dish requiring high heat, rice bran oil may be the better option; it has a smoking point of 490 degrees Farenheit, verses 360 degrees for olive oil. This means the important nutrients such as fatty acids will not break down as quickly during the cooking process and will retain their nutritional value.
Rice bran oil has a long shelf-life due to its particular blend of components.