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Rice, discovered the compound that makes it anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-obesity and anti-cholesterol

February 03, 2023
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Rice, discovered the compound that makes it anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-obesity and anti-cholesterol

Whether it's as a side dish to a fish, meat or vegetable recipe or as a main course, rice, especially brown rice, should never be missing from our diet. Until now, the mechanisms by which brown rice acts for our well-being were not known, but now it has finally been possible to shed light on this aspect, understanding even better all the benefits of this cereal, capable of counteracting free radicals, inflammation, high cholesterol and overweight. The research was published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences thanks to the work of a Japanese team from Okayama University [1].

Rice, a food to include in your diet

Rice is a well known and appreciated food even if, too often, it is considered only a mere side dish or an ingredient with a neutral flavor to enhance vegetables, meat or fish in the preparation of risottos. Yet rice, especially in its brown form, should be considered a valid ally in the fight against premature aging, heart disease and inflammation. Previous studies had already put emphasis on the anti-obesity, anti-cholesterol and anti-inflammatory properties of rice. However, it had not been possible to understand the mechanisms activated by brown rice to arrive at these benefits. Today's research, on the other hand, managed to shed light on this aspect and made brown rice a healthy food that we should include in our diet.

How brown rice acts for our well-being, the study

Scientists have analyzed the compounds of brown rice, studying their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action and thus managing to isolate the compound capable of providing rice with its healthy properties. Well, this compound is called cycloartenyl ferulate, or CAF, it belongs to the group of gamma oryzanols, substances with an antioxidant action, and is present, in the grain of brown rice, in a quantity that is 5 times higher than that of other rice antioxidants such as tocopherol. CAF is a hybrid compound, halfway between polyphenols, which are antioxidant substances, and phytosterols, substances capable of reducing cholesterol, especially the bad LDL cholesterol, reducing its absorption in the intestine. Precisely for this composition it is able to help reduce body weight and decrease circulating cholesterol. Not only that, as demonstrated by the study, CAF has greater antioxidant properties than tocopherol and therefore has a powerful action against free radical damage at the cellular level. However, CAF is not only an antioxidant, but it also stimulates other substances to produce antioxidants. In fact, as observed by Japanese scientists, CAF increases the concentration of an enzyme, called heme oxygenase 1, responsible for the production of antioxidants.

Conclusions

Here is another proof that what we eat is the best ally to guarantee our health and longevity. The diet should always be varied and balanced, without excesses, and, as we have understood today, it should also include brown rice. In fact, brown rice counteracts free radicals and thus the aging processes, reduces inflammation, bad cholesterol and body weight for benefits in the whole body.

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