syndrome is a dangerous condition since it increases the risk of cardiovascular
problems and diabetes.
- Lifestyle changes could possibly
delay or prevent the development of serious health
problems associated with metabolic syndrome.
- Rice endosperm
protein may have beneficial effects in patients with risk factors for metabolic
is a combination of factors such
as high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, high fasting blood sugar, a high
triglyceride and low HDL-cholesterol level, which raises your risk for heart
disease, diabetes, stroke and other health problems. It is typically seen in
adult men who are 40 to 74 years of age.
A recent survey conducted in Japan
was an eye-opener regarding
metabolic syndrome. The survey revealed that nearly 10.7 million patients
suffer from metabolic syndrome and approximately 9.4 million people are at the
risk of developing it.
‘A word of caution for all people with metabolic syndrome! Studies have shown that these patients could have a 5-fold increased risk of developing diabetes and amongst those who already suffer from diabetes, there could have a 2- to 5-fold risk of developing cardiovascular disease.’
The main reason is thought to be
due to increased popularity of western dietary pattern which includes increased
consumption of sugar and saturated fatty acids
A deviation from the traditional
rice-based Japanese diet
could also be a
contributing factor. In fact, purified rice endosperm protein has been
demonstrated to have cholesterol-lowering properties in few animal studies. The endosperm is
the central part of the rice grain, which contains starch and some protein.
- A clinical trial
was undertaken in Japan by Michihiro Hosojima and associates in 18 male
patients, aged 26 to 64 years, to study the effects of rice endosperm protein
on patients with risk factors for metabolic syndrome. In fact, five of the
participants already qualified as suffering from metabolic syndrome.
- The study subjects were randomly divided into two
groups. Half of the participants were given the test food with rice endosperm
protein, whereas the remaining half were administered control food with another
protein casein in the form of sodium caseinate for a total period of four
weeks. The amount of supplemental protein to the usual meal was 10 g/day,
which was equal in the two groups.
examinations and blood tests were conducted and occurrence of adverse events
was recorded. After 4 weeks, the study foods were switched and the intervention
was continued for another 4 weeks, and several parameters were re-assessed.
- At the end of
the study, effects of rice endosperm protein intake and casein intake on
physical measurements and clinical parameters were compared and evaluated.
- No significant treatment effect was observed on waist
circumference, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, or blood
- No significant
differences were observed in total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
(LDL-C) and triglycerides between treatments. High levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
(LDL-C) and triglycerides are considered detrimental to health.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol
(HDL-C) or good cholesterol were found to increase significantly at
0.08 mmol/L [interquartile range (IQR) from −0.05 to 0.19 mmol/L] following intake of rice endosperm
protein whereas it was found to decrease at −0.04 mmol/L [IQR from −0.13
to 0.05 mmol/L] following intake of casein. There was significant
treatment effect (P = 0.047)
- Decrease in serum uric acid levels were found to be
greater following rice endosperm protein intake [−24 μmol/L (IQR from −39
to −6 μmol/L)] as compared to following casein intake [0 (IQR from −6 to
13 μmol/L)]. There was significant treatment effect (P = 0.030).
High uric acid levels have been associated with gout, hypertension, kidney disease, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
- No significant changes were observed for liver and
urinary parameters for both the study periods.
study did not consider both sexes and was conducted only in men. Inclusion of
women in the study could have possibly provided more robust results.
- The number of participants was
relatively small (18) and the study duration was also limited to only 4 weeks.
- Washout period (the time period between
the two treatments) was only for 3 days, which is considerably small.
Therefore, there is a possibility that the some effect of the first treatment
may have continued during the second.
study revealed that intake of rice endosperm protein could increase HDL-C as
well as reduce serum uric acid levels in adult male participants who had risk
factors for metabolic syndrome.
- Thus, it could be concluded
that supplemental rice endosperm protein intake could have a beneficial effect
in prevention or deterioration of metabolic syndrome and consequently reduce the risk of
- However, further detailed study in a larger population of
both men and women and for a longer period of time is warranted.