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Rice Bran Oil - Is It Really Good For You?

Written and reviewed by
Dt. Neha Suryawanshi 93% (20399 ratings)
M.Sc. in Dietetics and Food Service Management , Post Graduate Diploma In Computer Application, P.G.Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics , B.Sc.Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Mumbai  •  15 years experience
Rice Bran Oil - Is It Really Good For You?

Rice bran oil is the oil extracted from the outer layer of the rice grain called the bran. Rice bran oil is popularly known as the “healthy oil”. But how healthy is it really?

Benefits of rice bran oil

  1. Ideal balance of polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and monounsaturated fats (MUFA) - Rice bran has 37 percent polyunsaturated fats and 45 percent monounsaturated fats, almost a 1:1 ratio.
  2. Most other cooking oils are all polysaturated fats - rich. Rice bran oil also has no trans-fats. This makes rice bran oil great for prevention of cardiovascular disease.
  3. Heart friendly - Rice bran can help lower cholesterol because it contains oryzanol, a potent antioxidant. Oryzanol helps retard cholesterol absorption and increases its elimination.
  4. It lowers Cholesterol - The World Health Organization (WHO) and The American Heart Association recommend rice bran oil for reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.
  5. It doesn’t stick to food - Rice bran oil is less viscous than other cooking oils. This means it does not stick to food. This makes rice bran ideal for deep frying foods.
  6. Vitamin E rich - Rice bran has a good quantity of Vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant and has anti-mutagenic properties too. This means it prevents you from cancer. Vitamin E also helps boost immunity.
  7. Rice bran has anti-inflammatory properties - Studies have shown that rice bran can reduce the effects of menopause like hot flashes due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
  8. Rice bran may aid in weight loss -  Rice bran is rich in natural anti-oxidants. These antioxidants can boost your metabolic rate and may help with weight-loss. These anti-oxidants also give the oil a longer shelf life.
  9. Healthy for skin - You can use rice bran to help against skin conditions like eczema. Squalene, a compound present in rice bran oil is easily absorbed by the skin and keeps it supple, soft, and youthful.

Some limitations of rice bran oil
Rice bran has many positives, but it has a few negatives as well like

  1. One of the substances in rice bran might decrease calcium absorption. This can give rise to the formation of certain types of kidney stones.
  2. Rice bran lowers high “LDL” or bad cholesterol but it does not seem to affect other blood fats such as triglycerides. It also doesn’t increase the “good” high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
  3. One has to be careful to take the right amount of the oil in their diet. Too much rice bran in the diet can cause unpredictable bowel movements, gas, and stomach discomfort.
  4. There is also insufficient evidence to suggest that rice bran can help in the prevention of diabetes. So don’t believe the over- hype which is not backed by research.
  5. It’s also contraindicated for people with GI problems like intestinal ulcers and conditions that cause narrowing or blockage of your digestive tract.

The above positives and negatives give us a fair idea that though rice bran oil is good, but it might not be suitable for everyone. Thus, it is advisable that one should chose a oil based on their health requirements. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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