Researchers have reported that black rice - a little-known variety of the grain - may help soothe the inflammation involved in allergies, asthma, and other diseases.
Bran is the outer husk of the grain, which is removed during the processing of brown rice to produce the familiar white rice. Those experiments, which were done in cell cultures, hinted that black rice bran suppressed the release of histamine, which causes inflammation.
Mendel Friedman and colleagues injected the extract into the mice, it reduced skin inflammation by about 32 percent compared to control animals and also decreased production of certain substances known to promote inflammation.
Brown rice bran extract did not have these effects, they say. When the scientists fed the mice a diet containing 10 percent black rice bran, it reduced swelling associated with allergic contact dermatitis, a common type of skin irritation.
The findings "further demonstrate the potential value of black rice bran as an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic food ingredient and possibly also as a therapeutic agent for the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with chronic inflammation," the article noted.
Their study appears in ACS' bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.