History and Background of Rice Bran Oil
Rice bran oil comes from the bran or outer layer of a grain of rice. To extract the bran oil from the rice, the bran and the germ are removed and crushed, and the remaining liquid is refined and filtered. Many methods for producing rice bran oil have been used for hundreds of years. Today, rice bran oil is very popular in Asia, especially in China, Japan, and India, for cooking, medicinal purposes, skincare, hair growth, and much more. Considered a ’healthy oil,’ rice bran oil is growing in popularity all over the world. More and more people are cooking with this versatile bran oil.
Rice Bran Oil History
The production of rice bran oil takes place during the hulling process. The bran oil is extracted from the brown, hard, oily layer between the rice grain’s outer husk and its white kernel. Some researchers say it appears the creation of bran oil may have been an unintentional by-product of producing rice thousands of years ago. Initially, that brown, hard, oily layer was either discarded or used as food for livestock. However, gradually, women in China and Japan began using bran oil for cooking and moisturizing and softening their skin and hair and make medicinal oils.
Cooking with Rice Bran Oil
People like cooking with rice bran oil because it’s rich in antioxidants, it has a neutral flavor, is very versatile, and has a high smoke point of 232 degrees centigrade(450 °F).
The high smoke point of the oil makes it well suited for frying, grilling, sautéing, and other types of high-heat cooking methods. However, some point out that while cooking with bran oil occasionally is fine, it is highly refined and has lots of omega-6 fatty acids that can cause inflammation. Therefore, rice bran oil isn’t suitable for being a staple in people’s daily diet because of the health risks it may present.
Other Uses of Rice Bran Oil
In addition to its use for cooking, rice bran oil is also considered a key ingredient in skincare, haircare, and hair growth products used by people worldwide. For centuries women all over Asia have used the oil to moisturize and protect their skin and slow and prevent signs of aging. Japanese women use rice bran oil to create soft, flawless, moisturized, glowing skin. For beautiful women in Japan, it was a compliment to be called a “Nuka Bijin” (“rice bran beauty”). The oil is quickly and easily absorbed by the skin and hair, making it silky soft but not greasy.
Rice Bran Oil Ingredients and Potential Health Benefits
Rice bran oil is packed with antioxidants, nourishing fatty acids, vitamin E and K, tocotrienols, tocopherol, and a compound called Oryzanol. Many of these nutrients have antioxidant properties. The bran oil also has Oleic acid, Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, and an iodine value of between 99 and 108. These ingredients can provide a variety of beauty and health benefits. They include lower bad LDL cholesterol, increased good HDL cholesterol, hydrating and moisturizing skin, as well as reducing blood sugar levels and heart disease risk.
Rice Bran Oil Health Benefits and Side Effects
Rice bran oil is prized for its many health benefits. People in China, India, Japan, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas use bran oil to prevent and treat various health conditions and ailments. Rich in antioxidants, it can help treat AIDS, alcoholism, cancer, diabetes, eczema, heart disease, high blood pressure, bad LDL cholesterol, liver problems, and obesity. The bran oil can strengthen the immune system, increase energy, and blood sugar levels, and improve athletic performance.
1. Rice Bran Oil Has A Very High Smoke Point
Rice bran oil has a very high smoke point. This prevents it from breaking down and protects against free radical formation, oxidative cell damage, and the chronic diseases they cause. Bran oil contains several different fatty acids, oils, and tocotrienols. They combine with the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10, help make skin supple, flexible, and soft, deliver key nutrients, and are anti-inflammatory, nourishing, and aid skin barrier function. The combination also has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that soothe, protect, repair, and regenerate the skin and relieve redness, irritation, and itching.
2. Rice Bran Oil Is Naturally Non-GMO
While other vegetable oils often contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)linked to allergic reactions, antibiotic resistance, and several other potential health hazards, rice bran oil is non-GMO. Studies show that being no GMOs helps it prevent insulin resistance, doesn’t lead to heart disease, obesity, bad LDL cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Instead, it provides many important health benefits.
3. Rice Bran Oil Is Good Source of Fat
Rice bran oil is a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat. This healthy fat helps prevent heart disease. Plus, the fat in bran oil offers other health benefits. It helps control blood pressure levels, blood sugar levels, and carbohydrate metabolism. A tablespoon full of bran oil contains 5 grams of heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat. Its fatty acids help people attain and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, good HDL cholesterol levels, and reduce heart disease risk.
4. Rice Bran Oil Supports Hair Growth
Studies show that healthy fat in rice bran oil helps support hair growth and aids hair health maintenance. The vitamins and minerals in bran oil help increase hair growth. The oil contains omega-6 fatty acids that promote hair growth through increased follicle proliferation. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action of the vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and tocotrienols in the bran oil helps keep the scalp healthy and stimulates hair growth. The studies prove bran oil is good for more than cooking.
5. Rice Bran Oil Reduces Cholesterol Levels
A recent rice bran oil study shows it can decrease bad LDL cholesterol, increase good HDL cholesterol, and help combat heart disease. A 2016 study Hormone and Metabolic Research published showed consuming bran oil decreased both bad LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol. The study showed bran oil’s effect on the bad LDL cholesterol and good HDL cholesterol in men is more pronounced.
6. Rice Bran Oil Reduces Heart Disease Risk
Studies show the near-perfect blend of mono-saturated, poly-saturated, and saturated fat in rice bran oil helps manage cholesterol and healthy blood sugar levels. The fatty acids bran oil reduces people’s heart disease risk and helps prevent heart problems, cardiac arrest, heart attacks, and strokes. They do so by reducing absorption and accelerating the elimination of bad LDL cholesterol and increasing good HDL cholesterol.
7. Rice Bran Oil Helps Prevent Cancer
One important health benefit rice bran oil provides is helping prevent cancer. The vitamins, minerals, tocotrienols, tocopherol, and the compound Oryzanol the bran oil contains have antioxidant properties. They help neutralize free radicals throughout the body and reduce the risk of cell and gene mutation that leads to cancer.
8. Rice Bran Oil Helps Prevent Kidney Stones
The chemicals in rice bran oil help reduce the body’s absorption of calcium. Those chemicals also make it near-impossible to form kidney stones of certain types. The overall impact is it reduces people’s risk of developing renal stones.
9. Rice Bran Oil Has Anti–Aging Properties
A recent study showed rice bran oil has anti-aging properties that help improve overall health and wellbeing. Its health benefits include antioxidants destroying free radicals and helping prevent premature aging. The oil aids cell regeneration, balances blood sugar levels, helps prevent heart disease and insulin resistance, slows wrinkle production, aids wound healing, and builds healthy skin, hair, and nails. It also helps heal eczema, smoothens the skin, and protects it from sunburn.
10. Rice Bran Oil Helps Manage Premenopausal Symptoms
Several studies suggest rice bran oil can help women manage their premenopausal symptoms, and a recent study confirmed it. Women who ate foods containing bran oil reduced the frequency and intensity of their hot flashes and their other premenopausal symptoms.
Side Effects of Rice Bran Oil
There are several bran oil side effects which people should be aware of. The oil is highly processed and refined. A recent study showed consuming highly processed foods regularly can increase one’s risk for breast cancer and premature death. Plus, the omega-6 in the bran oil may cause increased inflammation, heart disease, and other chronic ailments, although the oil is rich in healthy nutrients and antioxidants.
Gastrointestinal Side Effects of Rice Bran Oil
Some people ingesting rice bran oil suffer stomach discomfort, digestive problems, gas, and unpredictable bowel movements. People with intestinal ulcers, adhesions, stomach or intestinal disorders, or abnormalities that narrow the digestive tract should not use the oil. Its high fiber content can make swallowing difficult or block the digestive tract.
Side Effects of Rice Bran Oil on The Skin or Scalp
Countless people use rice bran oil in their baths and on their skin, scalp, and hair. Occasionally, the oil causes rashes, itching, and redness on the skin and scalp because of straw itch mite infestation.
Allergic Reaction and Other Rice Bran Oil Side Effects
There are rare cases where people ingest rice bran oil and have allergic reactions like hives, itching, and swelling. Bran oil is considered hypo allergenic. Still, people with allergic reactions to it should see a doctor and stop using the oil. The bran oil does not contain gluten, but people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should choose certified gluten-free rice bran oil to avoid cross-contamination issues.
Summary and Review
Rice bran oil provides a wide array of benefits. It helps with weight loss, improves skin health, balances blood sugar levels, reduces heart disease risk, lowers bad LDL cholesterol, and increases good HDL cholesterol. It has fatty acids, tocotrienols, tocopherol, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like coenzyme Q10 with anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties that enhance overall health. Plus, the oil’s rich combination of nutrients helps with insulin resistance and heart health. Rice bran oil also helps break down the inflammation, prevent oxidative cell damage, and treat chronic diseases. Bran oil also has important antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
A Healthy, Nutritious, Product
The World Health Organization and the American Heart Association list rice bran oil as being among the healthiest oils used for cooking. They point to the vitamins and minerals it contains, its healthy fat, ability to help the body attain and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, its role in protecting the heart and the arteries, and its anticancer and anti-inflammatory potential. Plus, using bran oil reduces the risk of people developing kidney stones. Health experts also tout its ability to help with menopausal symptoms and help forestall the aging process.
Versatile and Very Effective
Rice bran oil has long been used worldwide because it is versatile and very effective. Plus, it is readily available and cheaper than many other commonly used oils. Few oils can match the wide range of ways rice bran oils can be used. From cooking to skin and hair care or its role as an anti-inflammatory or anticancer medicine, rice bran oils have proven to be very effective. Its light flavor makes it perfect for use in soups, stews, and salad dressing, while its high smoke point means it can be used for grilling, stir-frying, deep-frying, sautéing, and other high heat food making methods.
Key Ingredients and Important Considerations
Key ingredients in rice bran oils make them a better choice than other vegetable oils. Those ingredients include tocotrienols and other antioxidants that fight inflammation in the body. That is important because inflammation is linked to several chronic health problems and antioxidants like tocotrienols help to prevent its development. Rice bran oil also has potential side effects associated with using it that should be considered. Some people experience gastrointestinal and other health problems after using it. In rare cases, people have allergic reactions to the bran oil, so use it with caution.