Scientists in Japan reveal that waste product of rice processing, called rice bran, significantly lowers blood pressure in rats whose hypertension resembles that of humans.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society holds the nuances of the study.
Tohoku University and Japan's National Research Institute of Brewing researchers' showed that if rice ran is added to diets of hypertensive, stroke-prone rats it lowered the animals' systolic blood pressure by about 20 percent and, via the same mechanism, inhibited angiotensin-1 converting enzyme, or ACE.
In the words of journal's editor, James Seiber, Ph.D., director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Western Regional Research Center in Davis, "There's much work being done on various bran fractions to nail down any health benefits. This particular paper caught my attention for two reasons: the potential of bringing a waste product like rice bran into beneficial use, and the way the group went about their study with good controlled experiments using an appropriate model."
"Oxidative stress plays an important role in the initiation and progression of cardiovascular diseases. I think enzymatic treatment will be more suitable for applications if we'd like to use [rice bran as] functional food," explained lead author Ardiansyah, a Ph.D. candidate at the university's School of Agricultural Science.