Rice bran oil (also known as rice bran extract) is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. It is notable for its high smoke point of 213 °C (415 °F) and its mild flavor, making it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying.It is popular as a cooking oil in several Asian countries, including Japan and China
Higher Smoking Point, Less Greasy and More Flavor
As rice bran oil has the highest smoke point of any vegetable oil, it is better suited to cooking at high heats and is less likely to bind with foods, making food cooked with rice bran oil less greasy than that cooked with sunflower oil. Due to its rich, nutty taste, rice bran oil may be preferred where additional flavor is desired.
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Vitamin E and Oryzanol
Rice bran oil beats olive oil in its vitamin E power, as it contains both the tocopherol and tocotrienol forms of the vitamin, whereas olive oil contains only the tocopherol form -- and less of that than rice bran oil. Additionally, rice bran oil contains significant amounts of the antioxidant oryzanol, whereas olive oil has none.
It helps to lower LDL or bad cholesterol and does not lower the good cholesterol as sunflower oils do and is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
The rice bran oil component γ-oryzanol was shown in Japan to be effective in relieving hot flashes and other symptoms of female menopause. Researchers found that 90% of the women found some form of relief from hot flashes after taking a rice bran oil supplement for 4–6 weeks.
Rice bran oil contains gamma oryzanol, a group of ferulate esters of triterpene alcohols and phytosterols that have been linked to many health benefits. Gamma oryzanol is effective in reducing plasma cholesterol and reducing cholesterol absorption, decreasing early atherosclerosis. In addition, gamma oryzanol inhibits platelet aggregation that could lead to blood clots. Rice bran oil contains tocotrienol (a form of Vitamin E) which has been found to inhibit the activity of HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that synthesizes cholesterol, a major factor in heart disease. In a study conducted at the University of Rochester, Mohammad Minhajuddin, Ph.D., and researchers determined that the tocotrienol in rice bran oil reduced cholesterol in rats up to 42 percent while lowering LDL cholesterol up to 62 percent.
Rice bran oil contains significant levels of both gamma and delta tocotrienols (approximately 500 ppm), forms of Vitamin E, that have been found to be able to accumulate in cancer cells and kill the tumors. In a study conducted at Kyushu University in Japan, researchers looked at the effects of tocotrienols on mouse cancer cells. There was a significant delay in growth in the cancer cells. "Our results suggested that accumulation is critical for the anti-tumor activity of tocotrienols," said Japanese lead researcher, Yuhei Hiura, reporting in "The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry."
Originating in the Japanese culture, skin care with rice bran oil is becoming more popular. To this day, one of the highest compliments a Japanese woman can receive is to be called a "nuka bijin" which means "a rice bran beauty." Having smooth healthy skin is due to the oryzanol in the rice bran oil that whitens the skin slightly. As the skin is exposed to sunlight, the rice bran oil reacts as a sunscreen protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. The oryzanol impedes melanin pigmentation by restraining the erythema activity of tyrosinase as it stops the ultraviolet rays' transmission at the skin's surface. The use of rice bran oil in sunscreen products and hair conditioners is on the increase in the United States.
Rice bran oil contains three healthy antioxidants useful in protecting the body's cells against the effects of free radicals--tocopherol, tocotrienol and oryzanol. In addition, rice bran oil does not require hydrogenation for stability and has a high percentage of fatty acids (oleic, 46 percent; linoleic, 36 percent; and linolenic, 1 percent). Antioxidant companies have switched their basic oil to rice bran oil. This movement is an indication that industry leaders recognize rice bran oil's lipid oxidative stability. Lipid oxidative stability is important in the prevention of pathologic processes such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and inflammatory processes.
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