Rice Bran Oil helpful in control of diabetes


TIST-LOGO chakraMumbai: Diabetes is today recognized as a major lifestyle disease and India has become the Diabetes Capital of the world with 61 million Diabetics between 20-79 years suffering from this dreaded disease and continue to increase by the day. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that by 2030, 8.4% of India’s adult population will have diabetes and this figure is expected to go up to 101.1 million. As one knows, diabetes is not only the blood sugar problem, but it brings along many other complications as well.

This raises a moot question as to whether further spread of diabetes and the related complications can be controlled or prevented? The answer to this question is ‘Big Yes’. Experts believe that through education and awareness along with the use of Rice Bran Oil (RBO) in daily cooking and some physical activity can be very helpful in controlling of diabetes. Many myths about the edible oil consumption are prevailing in the society and some medical practitioners advice patients to decrease their consumption of edible oil.

However, dieticians and nutritionists do not agree in total. Dr. Meena Mehta, Nutritionist and Vice President of Indian Dietetic Association, Mumbai, claims that edible oil is rich source of energy required by human body and she suggests that among all the vegetable oils, Rice Bran Oil (RBO)   has the closest composition of fatty acid recommended by World Health Organization (WHO). Dr Mehta, an Associate Professor in the subject of Food Science & Nutrition at Dr. B.M. Nanavati College of Home Science affiliated to S.N.D.TUniversity of Mumbai, says that every edible oil of vegetable origin has different fatty acid composition, saturated fatty acid (SFA), mono unsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). “RBO has good amount of antioxidants, tocotrienol, tocopherol and gamma – oryzanol, all required for optimal health and wellness” she points out.

The fatty acid and phytochemicals are best retained in the physically refined RBO, which can be used as cooking media as it has high smoke point for frying and it absorbs less oil. Further, it can retain the aroma of food with original taste. In US, Japan and other advanced countries, Rice Bran Oil is called “Healthy Oil” as it can help in prevention of major diseases. “Luckily for India, various brands of RBO are available in the market and RBO should be preferred over other oils as a cooking media at home in addition to hospitals, restaurants and hotel industries,” added Dr Meena Mehta.

“Complications of diabetes are serious and affect the brain, kidney, extremities and eyes.. The diabetes risk factors like Family history, High blood pressure and Abnormal lipid profile are the major causes amongst common diabetic patients. One of prevention program of diabetes is diet modification and education. The knowledge of optimal consumption of fat and oil will be the best way to improve lipid profile of an individual in prevention and control of diabetes. Appropriate awareness about the edible oil composition and consumption pattern can help in controlling the complications of diabetes mellitus,” says Dr. Meena Mehta.

“Medical researchers have proved that phytochemicals in particular omega-3 and lipoic acid of the edible oil are the most beneficial component essential for controlling blood sugar,” She added. Further, various studies have documented that consumption of RBO helps in Blood Sugar management. A study conducted in Taiwan found out that Rice Bran Oil contains Oryzanol, which may improve lipid abnormalities, reduce the atherogenic index and suppresses the hyperinsulinemic response. Another study conducted by Nirma University of India says that Oryzanol has been found to have protective effect on hyperalgesia and oxidative stress which might be responsible for diabetes induced nerve damage or the disease called Diabetes Neuropathy. Various other studies have also found that it helps in reduction of hypertension, protection of liver, relief from gastrointestinal distress, treatment of menopausal systems, osteoporosis, hypothyroid, besides helps lightening skin, hydrates and is anti-aging.

The National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad has also endorsed the health benefits of Oryzanol. National Institute of Nutrition (The Apex body of Nutrition in India) in its recently released Dietary guidelines has mentioned that Oryzanol found in Rice Bran Oil is helpful in reducing cholesterol and oxidative damage due to ageing, inflammation which occur in chronic diseases.

“Various research studies have proved that Rice Bran oil has unique micro nutrients which are required for maintenance of good health and it can protect the consumer from the danger of coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Scientists have attributed this to presence of Oryzanol in Rice Bran oil,” emphasizes Dr. A.R. Sharma, Chairman of the SEA RBO Promotion Council.  He is also the largest producer of RBO in the country.

The demand for rice bran oil has grown considerably in the country because of its multiple health benefits. “India is the largest producer of rice bran oil although it is second largest producer of rice after China. India has the potential to produce over 14 lakh tonnes of Rice Bran Oil, however currently it produces about 9 lakh tonnes, of which only 3 lakh tonnes are used as edible oil while the rest is used by vanaspati industry or blended with other oils and sold as branded products,” points out Dr. B.V. Mehta, Executive Director of The Solvent Extractors Association of India. It is our constant endeavor to support the small players to create visibility in retail chains and educate the consumers about the benefit of this unique oil, he added.

The Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA) is busy promoting the health benefits of one of the ‘World’s Healthiest Oil’ – RICE BRAN OIL known as the ‘Wonder oil’ to many leading cardiologists, diabetes experts, nutritionists and health advisors world over. Rice Bran Oil is unique edible oil produced from the oily layer of brown rice, which is separated as rice bran, while producing white rice. For the last few decades this oil is being used as premium edible oil in countries like Japan, Korea, Taiwan & Thailand. In Japan, it is popularly known as “Heart Oil” because of its scientifically proven cholesterol lowering properties. It has acquired the status of “Health Food” in US Markets. Recently Indian Markets too have witnessed some of the major brands selling refined rice bran oil.

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About Ashok Kumar

Ashok Kumar is an accomplished journalist with over 38 years of experience in the profession in various capacities. He was a sub-editor in Patriot and later Chief Sub-editor in The Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He has several published articles and reports in Patriot and HT. Published reports in The Blacktown Sun in Sydney. He had also been a tutor in journalism in the University of Western Sydney. He is currently Editor at The Indian Sub-continent Times, Sydney.

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