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Rice Bran Oil: Is It Good for You?

Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on October 22, 2020

Rice bran oil is extracted from the outer bran or husk of rice grains. Because of its high smoke point, it is useful for high-heat cooking and is often used in various cuisines of South and East Asian countries.

In addition to its culinary uses and unique flavor, rice bran oil has a range of health benefits that are supported by research.

Nutrition Information

One tablespoon of rice bran oil contains: 

  • Calories: 120
  • Protein: 0 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams

Rice bran oil is a good source of: 

Rice bran oil is also an excellent source of poly- and mono-unsaturated fats  (the “good fats”). Studies have shown that consuming these unsaturated fats can improve blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Potential Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

Rice bran oil is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Research has found a number of potential health benefits to consuming rice bran oil: 

Lower Cholesterol

For people with high cholesterol, substituting rice bran oil for other fats in their diet may improve health outcomes. Several studies have shown it to be effective in lowering cholesterol. This effect may be due to the high concentration of Vitamin E in rice bran oil.

Lower Blood Pressure

Rice bran oil can help to lower blood pressure, especially when used in combination with antihypertensive medication. One study reported that a blend of this oil and sesame oil resulted in a significant reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol.

Blood Sugar Management

In addition to lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, rice bran oil can be effective against high blood sugar for people with Type II Diabetes. In a randomized study, a blend of 80 % rice bran oil and 20 % sesame oil showed significant reduction in fasting and postprandial glucose markers (the amount of sugar in your blood after a meal) after 4 weeks.

Oral Health

Rice bran oil may give you better breath when used for oil pulling. Although the practice of oil pulling is traditionally done using sesame oil, rice bran oil was found to be effective in reducing halitosis (bad breath) when used.

Potential Risks of Rice Bran Oil

Because rice bran oil has such potent ingredients, you should consult with your doctor before taking it or any other supplement. Consider the following risks associated with this oil before adding it to your diet:

Use in Moderation

Rice bran oil is a fat and should be used in moderation. Following the serving suggestions when using it should keep your consumption within a moderate range. 

Shelf Life

If your rice bran oil is unrefined, it is best to store it in the refrigerator to preserve its shelf life. 

Hypotension

Because rice bran oil may lower blood pressure, people with low blood pressure should speak with their healthcare provider before adding it to their diets. 

Show Sources

SOURCES:

The American Journal of Medicine: “A Blend of Sesame and Rice Bran Oils Lowers Hyperglycemia and Improves the Lipids.”

Borresen, E., Ryan, E. Wheat and Rice in Disease Prevention and Health, Elsevier Inc., 2014.

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon: “Oil, Rice Bran.”

Godber, J. Gourmet and Health-Promoting Speciality Oils, Elsevier Inc., 2009.

Hormone and Metabolic Research: “Rice Bran Oil Decreases Total and LDL Cholesterol in Humans: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Clinical Trials.”

Indian Journal of Dental Research: “The Effect of Oil Pulling with Rice Bran Oil, Sesame Oil, and Chlorhexidine Mouth Rinsing on Halitosis Among Pregnant Women: A Comparative Interventional Study.”

Journal of Clinical Lipidology: “A Blend of Sesame Oil and Rice Bran Oil Lowers Blood Pressure and Improves the Lipid Profile in Mild-to-moderate Hypertensive Patients.”

Journal of Nutrition Science and Vitaminology: “Preventive Effect of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid and Vitamin E in Rice Bran Oil on Lifestyle-Related Diseases.”

Mayo Clinic: “Dietary Fats: Know Which Types to Choose.”

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