THERAPEUTIC USES OF RICE BRAN AND ITS COMPONENTSAbstract
Rice bran is the cuticle existing between the rice and husk of the paddy and consists of embryo and endosperm of the seeds of Oryza sativa, family Gramineae. It is obtained as a by product in rice mill during polishing of rice obtained after dehusking of paddy. Rice bran contains about 15% of fixed oil and is obtained by the solvent extraction method. It contains oleic acid, linolenic acid as unsaturated fatty acid and palmitic acid, stearic acid as a saturated fatty acid. The minor components of the rice bran, i.e. gamma oryzanol, phytosterols, and other phytosterol conjugates are examined to have antioxidant property against the free radicals. It is believed that rice bran serves as an important functional food that has cholesterol-lowering properties, cardiovascular health benefits, and anti-tumor activity. The oryzanol component acts as a protective agent against UV light-induced lipid peroxidation and hence can be used as a potent sunscreen agent. The ferulic acid and its esters present in gamma oryzanol stimulate hair growth and prevent skin aging.