Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Rice Bran Lowers Diabetic Blood Sugar

By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

April 10, 2002 -- Diabetics may have a new weapon to help them lower their blood sugar levels. Rice bran was able to lower blood glucose by up to 30% in a small group of patients with type 1 or 2 diabetes participating in a pilot study.

Researchers report that one out of four diabetics taking part in the 57-subject study were able to reduce their daily injection of insulin or medication dosages after adding stabilized rice bran to their diets for just two months. The findings were reported in the March issue of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

"These are preliminary findings, and they need to be duplicated in a larger group of patients taking rice bran as a nutritional supplement for longer periods," says lead researcher Asaf A. Qureshi, PhD. "But in this study, rice bran proved to be very good at lowering blood glucose levels."

Qureshi and colleagues at Advanced Medical Research in Madison, Wis., also found that patients with elevated cholesterol who consumed 20 grams per day of stabilized rice bran lowered their total serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels between 5% and 15%.

The rice bran formulations evaluated by the researchers are manufactured by the California nutraceutical company NutraStar Inc. In company literature, rice bran is touted as "the most nutritious food on earth," and NutraStar markets its four rice bran products for a host of conditions including arthritis, constipation, and joint problems.

But the diabetes research is the first human trial to offer scientific evidence of rice bran's benefit. Studies have shown that eating a high-fiber diet lowers blood sugar levels, but the water-soluble rice bran that worked best in the study was not high in fiber.

Nutritionist Barbara Levine, RD, PhD, agrees that larger trials are needed to confirm the study's findings. But she says that the promising early findings are intriguing. Levine is director of the Human Nutrition Program at New York's Rockefeller University.

Levine cited findings from the ongoing Framingham Heart Study showing that obese people with type 2 diabetes have a 99% chance of developing heart disease. The CDC now estimates that 35 million Americans have diabetes.

"Right now there is very little out there for diabetics, other than medication," she says. "There is an epidemic of diabetes in this country, and it is largely linked to the epidemic of obesity. The most important thing diabetics can do is keep their weight under control and eat appropriate foods. But if soluble rice bran can help, I'm all for it."

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article