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Lipid Disorders and Rice Bran Oil

Written by ColleenO.

Rice bran oil, like other vegetables oils, appears to favorably change lipid profile as well as reduce heart disease risk in other ways. Gamma oryzanol is a mixture of substances derived from rice bran oil, including sterols and ferulic acid. Both the oil and the gamma oryzanol may have health benefits.

Effect of Rice Bran Oil on Lipid Disorders

Rice bran oil, like other vegetable oils, is low in saturated fat and appears to favorably change lipid profile as well as reduce heart disease risk in other ways, including being a substitute for less healthy oils and fats in the diet. Gamma oryzanol is thought to work by impairing cholesterol absorption in the digestive tract.11

Read more details about Rice Bran Oil.

Research Evidence on Rice Bran Oil

Like many other vegetable oils, rice bran oil appears to improve cholesterol profile.8 Preliminary evidence, including small double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, suggests that the gamma oryzanol portion of rice bran oil may contribute an additional cholesterol-lowering benefit beyond the effects of the fatty acids.2,3,8,10

How to Use Rice Bran Oil

Rice bran oil can be used in cooking (frying, sautéing, etc.), baking, and making salad dressings and marinades.

Rice bran oil is the principal source of gamma oryzanol, but it is also found in the bran of wheat and other grains, as well as various fruits, vegetables, and herbs. However, to get enough gamma oryzanol to reach typical therapeutic dosages, you will need to take supplements .A typical dosage of gamma oryzanol is 500 mg daily.

Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment

  • Integrative MD
  • Naturopathic doctor
  • Holistic nutritionist or dietitian

In the late 1970s, a batch of rice bran oil was contaminated by PCBs (polychlorobiphenyls), resulting in the poisoning of more than 2,000 people. This led to studies on the safety of gamma oryzanol products. On balance, the results of these investigations suggest that gamma oryzanol, when taken at normal doses, is nontoxic and noncarcinogenic.8 However, the maximum safe dosages for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease have not been established.


  1. Murase Y, Iishima H. Clinical studies of oral administration of gamma-oryzanol on climacteric complaints and its syndrome. Obstet Gynecol Prac. 1963;12:147-149.
  2. Rong N, Ausman LM, Nicolosi RJ. Oryzanol decreases cholesterol absorption and aortic fatty streaks in hamsters. Lipids. 1997;32:303-309.
  3. Sasaki J, Takada Y, Handa K, et al. Effects of gamma-oryzanol on serum lipids and apolipoproteins in dyslipidemic schizophrenics receiving major tranquilizers. Clin Ther. 1990;12:263-268.
  4. Lichtenstein AH, Ausman LM, Carrasco W, et al. Rice bran oil consumption and plasma lipid levels in moderately hypercholesterolemic humans. Arterioscler Thromb. 1994;14:549-556.
  5. Bonner B, Warren B, Bucci L. Influence of ferulate supplementation on postexercise stress hormone levels after repeated exercise stress. J Appl Sports Sci Res. 1990;4:110.
  6. Bucci LR, Blackman G, Defoyd W, et al. Effect of ferulate on strength and body composition of weightlifters. J Appl Sports Sci Res. 1990;4:110.
  7. Fry AC, Bonner E, Lewis DL, et al. The effects of gamma-oryzanol supplementation during resistance exercise training. Int J Sport Nutr. 1997;7:318-329.
  8. Cicero AF, Gaddi A. Rice bran oil and gamma-oryzanol in the treatment of hyperlipoproteinaemias and other conditions. Phytother Res. 2001;15:277-289.
  9. Rosenbloom C, Millard-Stafford M, Lathrop J. Contemporary ergogenic aids used by strength/power athletes. J Am Diet Assoc. 1992;92:1264-1265.
  10. Most MM, Tulley R, Morales S, et al. Rice bran oil, not fiber, lowers cholesterol in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;81:64-68.
  11. Berger A, Rein D, Schafer A, et al. Similar cholesterol-lowering properties of rice bran oil, with varied gamma-oryzanol, in mildly hypercholesterolemic men. Eur J Nutr. 2004 May 19. [Epub ahead of print]

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