6 Wonderful Rice Bran Oil Benefits

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The health benefits of rice bran oil include its ability to help lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, managing certain types of cancer, improve skin health, promote weight loss, relieve menopausal symptoms, protect heart health, increase cognitive strength, and lower allergic reactions.

What is Rice Bran Oil?

Rice bran oil has become an increasingly popular vegetable oil that offers many advantages over standard vegetable oils. Millions of people are now using it to cook their food all over the world. Rice is one of the most widely available and popular food on the planet. The rice bran oil is extracted from the germ and husk of the rice kernels. [1] [2]

A jar of bran oil with unmilled rice bran on a wooden table

Rice bran oil is an increasingly popular cooking oil with a subtle, earthy flavor. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

It has a very high smoke point, which is why it is commonly used in high-temperature cooking methods, such as stir-frying and deep-frying. In terms of similarity to other vegetable oils, it has a similar composition to that of peanut oil. It is healthier than many oils.

Rice bran oil is most often used in Asian cultures, including Japan and China, primarily because rice is already a staple food in their cuisines. However, the oil is becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world because of its relatively low price point and the many health benefits that come from using it in food preparation. [3]

It is most widely praised for its content of vitamin E, ideal fatty acid balance, antioxidant capacity, and cholesterol-lowering abilities. Let’s look a bit closer at some of the health benefits that you can get from the oil.

Nutrition Facts

Oil, rice bran
Serving Size :
Energy 884
Energy [kJ]3699
Total lipid (fat) [g]100
Iron, Fe [mg]0.07
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]32.3
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]24.7
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]19.7
14:0 [g]0.7
16:0 [g]16.9
18:0 [g]1.6
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]39.3
16:1 [g]0.2
18:1 [g]39.1
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]35
18:2 [g]33.4
18:3 [g]1.6
Phytosterols [mg]1190
Sources include : USDA [4]

Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

It has various health benefits as mentioned below.

Prevents Menopausal Issues

Research has been conducted on an extract of rice bran oil in terms of how it affects menopausal women. More than 90% of the women who took the supplement reported a reduction in hot flashes and other irritating symptoms of menopause. [5]

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

An infographic on the health benefits of rice bran oil

Rice bran oil is suitable for high-temperature cooking methods. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The World Health Organization and the American Heart Association have both stated that rice bran oil has the best possible composition of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats compared to all other vegetable oils. This balance of fatty acids means that the cholesterol levels in your body can be reduced because of the beneficial forms of cholesterol. It inhibits the LDL or bad forms of cholesterol from bonding in the body. This can help reduce conditions like atherosclerosis and the subsequent afflictions like heart attacks and strokes. So just changing your cooking oil can protect your heart. [6] [7]

Anticancer Potential

Rice and its by-products have long been evaluated for their ability to lower the risk of cancer. A 2018 study published in the journal Nutrients, found that rice bran oil demonstrates a unique potential to help prevent colorectal cancer. It showed that this effect is seen simply by including the oil in your diet. A review of animal and human studies suggests that this oil has chemopreventive properties against breast cancer and skin cancer. [8] [9] [10]

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences states that the oil plays a role in the chemoprevention of gastrointestinal cancer. It is able to inhibit cell proliferation as well as reduce inflammation. [11]

Delays Aging

Vitamin E (tocopherol) is directly connected to the health and wellness of the skin. Free radicals can attack the skin cells and increase the signs of premature aging. Rice bran oil can increase your levels of vitamin E, which can speed up wound healing, increase cellular regeneration, smoothen the skin, reduce wrinkles, and provide protection from sunburn. Vitamin E also helps boost the protective quality of skin cells, keeping foreign toxins and pathogens from entering through the skin. [12]

Prevents Allergic Reactions

Rice bran oil is hypoallergenic in nature. The oil will not cause any allergic reactions when used in cooking and can calm existing allergic reaction in the body. It can also prevent hypersensitivity to other unusual allergens. [13]

Weight Loss

Although rice bran oil is technically high in calories, the viscosity of this oil ensures that the food absorbs only about 20% of the oil. When less oil is absorbed, the food still retains the flavor and gets the health benefits of the bran oil, but the total caloric intake is less than other vegetable oils. So rice bran oil is probably your best choice if you are worried about your weight. [14]

Word of Caution: Although it is not absorbed as much in the food, be careful about the amount of rice bran oil you consume. Only use it for cooking when you need it and in moderation!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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