Gamma oryzanol is a compound found in rice bran oil. It lowers cholesterol and decreases inflammation. Due to its antioxidant activity, it combats wrinkles and skin aging. In addition, this supplement may also help in diabetes, insulin sensitivity, obesity, and allergies. Although gamma oryzanol has been used in Japan for decades, studies are still uncovering its many potential health benefits. Read on to find out why this supplement is gaining in popularity.
- What Is Gamma Oryzanol?
- Health Benefits of Gamma Oryzanol
- 1) Gamma Oryzanol Decreases Cholesterol
- 2) Gamma Oryzanol May Prevent Hardening of the Arteries (Atherosclerosis)
- 3) Gamma Oryzanol May Improve Muscle Strength
- 4) Gamma Oryzanol May Be Beneficial in Diabetes
- 5) Gamma Oryzanol May Improve Insulin Sensitivity
- 6) Gamma Oryzanol May Combat Obesity
- 7) Gamma Oryzanol and Cancer
- 8) Gamma Oryzanol Improves Your Skin
- 9) Gamma Oryzanol May Combat Osteoporosis
- 10) Gamma Oryzanol Is Anti-Inflammatory
- 11) Gamma Oryzanol May Prevent Anaphylaxis
- 12) Gamma Oryzanol May Promote Hair Growth
- 13) Gamma Oryzanol May Improve the Immune Response
- 14) Gamma Oryzanol May Protect from Heavy Metal Toxicity
- 15) Gamma Oryzanol May Prevent Ulcers
- Gamma Oryzanol and Hormones
- Limitations and Caveats
- Mechanisms of Action
- User Experience
- Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
What Is Gamma Oryzanol?
Apart from rice, it is also found in wheat, maize, rye, triticale, and barley, but at much lower levels [R].
It has been used as a supplement in Japan since the early 70’s.
- lowers bad cholesterol. Phytosterols (plant sterols) found in this supplement have a structure similar to cholesterol and are well known for their LDL-cholesterol-lowering effect [R].
- is anti-inflammatory [R, R].
- lowers blood glucose [R].
- is an antioxidant. This is due to ferulic acid, a strong antioxidant that protects cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS) [R, R].
Gamma oryzanol is commonly used as an exercise supplement as well as to build muscles. However, the results regarding muscle strength are controversial.
It is much more promising as a supplement that decreases cholesterol and helps with inflammation.
Health Benefits of Gamma Oryzanol
1) Gamma Oryzanol Decreases Cholesterol
Gamma oryzanol blocks the uptake of cholesterol by gut cells, as it decreases HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that promotes cholesterol production. This supplement also increases cholesterol removal by bile acids [R, R].
In 30 men with high cholesterol, rice bran oil, with varying amounts of gamma oryzanol, was able to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels. However, there was little difference between the cholesterol-lowering effects of the high and low gamma oryzanol-containing rice bran oil [R].
In another study, this supplement lowered cholesterol and improved fat metabolism in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet [R].
Gamma oryzanol decreased cholesterol levels in hamsters with high cholesterol [R].
It also lowered cholesterol absorption by 20% and increased cholesterol removal by bile acids in rats [R].
2) Gamma Oryzanol May Prevent Hardening of the Arteries (Atherosclerosis)
This compound decreased cholesterol and reduced “aortic fatty streaks” in hamsters. Fatty streaks are the first visible damage in the hardening of the arteries [R].
However, it was ineffective in treating hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) in rabbits [R].
3) Gamma Oryzanol May Improve Muscle Strength
A study (DB-RCT) of 30 healthy participants found that gamma oryzanol improved bench press and leg curl results, showing that the supplement may have improved muscle strength during resistance training [R].
However, another study on 22 weight-trained men showed that nine weeks of gamma oryzanol supplementation did not influence performance [R].
4) Gamma Oryzanol May Be Beneficial in Diabetes
This compound directly acts on pancreatic cells to enhance glucose-stimulated insulin release [R].
Also, it directly enhances glucose uptake by fat cells (adipocytes) [R].
5) Gamma Oryzanol May Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Gamma oryzanol increased insulin sensitivity in rats with type 2 diabetes [R].
6) Gamma Oryzanol May Combat Obesity
A study performed on rats suggests that gamma oryzanol can combat obesity by blocking dopamine receptors (D2R) in the brain (striatum). These receptors are part of the brain reward system. They are increased by a high-fat diet, resulting in hedonic overeating [R].
It also decreased the production of fat cells (adipocytes) [R].
7) Gamma Oryzanol and Cancer
Gamma oryzanol inhibited colon tumor growth in mice by [R]:
- Increasing natural killer (NK) cell activity
- Increasing cytokines TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-6
- Reducing blood supply to the tumor
Cycloartenol ferulate, a component of gamma oryzanol, reduced the growth of skin tumors in mice [R].
8) Gamma Oryzanol Improves Your Skin
When delivered under the skin via an injection, gamma oryzanol protected against skin-aging and improved wrinkles in 15 people and UV radiation-exposed rats [R].
Also, when it was incorporated into a cream and applied to the skin, it hydrated and lightened the skin [R].
9) Gamma Oryzanol May Combat Osteoporosis
10) Gamma Oryzanol Is Anti-Inflammatory
11) Gamma Oryzanol May Prevent Anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is an extreme allergic reaction characterized by swelling and difficulty breathing.
A component of gamma oryzanol called cycloartenol ferulate was able to reduce mast cell degranulation (mast cells release histamine and other inflammatory agents), which decreased the anaphylaxis reaction in rats [R].
12) Gamma Oryzanol May Promote Hair Growth
A rice bran extract containing gamma oryzanol promoted hair growth and the formation of new hair follicles in mice [R].
13) Gamma Oryzanol May Improve the Immune Response
14) Gamma Oryzanol May Protect from Heavy Metal Toxicity
15) Gamma Oryzanol May Prevent Ulcers
Gamma Oryzanol and Hormones
Gamma oryzanol and its source rice bran oil are generally considered to be safe, with little to no side effects reported in studies.
Limitations and Caveats
Since most of the studies mentioned here were on animals, caution should be taken when using gamma oryzanol for its health benefits in humans.
Despite the frequent use of gamma oryzanol by athletes as a strength supplement, there is limited evidence available to support the effects of this compound on muscle strength during resistance training [R].
The testosterone-lowering effects of gamma oryzanol are only theoretical and haven’t yet been proven [R].
Further studies are needed to confirm that gamma oryzanol reduces HMG-CoA reductase activity in humans [R].
Gamma oryzanol is generally administered orally at a variety of doses.
One study (referenced in a review) administered gamma oryzanol thrice daily at 20 mg [R].
Mechanisms of Action
Gamma oryzanol decreases cholesterol by:
- Decreasing the uptake of cholesterol by gut cells [R]
- Decreasing HMG-CoA reductase activity. HMG-CoA reductase is an enzyme that promotes cholesterol production [R, R]
- Blocking the formation of micelles, which are small aggregates of molecules that often contain cholesterol [R, R].
This supplement lowers inflammation by:
- Decreasing NF-kB – the master-regulator of inflammation [R]
- Decreasing inflammatory molecules PGE2, COX-2, TNF-alpha, and IL-6 [R, R]
- Lowering CRP – a marker of chronic low-grade inflammation [R]
Gamma oryzanol is an antioxidant. It removes organic radicals [R].
It lowers blood glucose levels by increasing PPAR-γ and C/EBPα, which increase the uptake of glucose by cells [R]
This compound combats cancer by:
- Increasing the activity of natural killer cells, which combats tumor cell growth [R, R]
- Reducing caveolin-1 and PCGEM1 expression. These genes are involved in the development and progression of prostate cancer [R]
- Suppressing blood vessel formation to inhibit tumor growth [R]
- “This got rid of my ulcer. It took a while, but it works.”
- “I would not recommend this as a workout-related antioxidant. Gamma Oryzanol is not very effective.”
- “I was surprised to feel a difference. My muscles are less sore, I lost weight and my sexual performance improved. No apparent side effects. This is one of the few products I’ve used that is effective even after a few weeks of use.”
- “As an integrative medicine doctor, I have used this a lot in my patients and they’ve had great results. It has almost no side effects and is cheap.”
Buy gamma oryzanol tablets.
Health Tools I Wish I Had When I Was Sick
At SelfHacked, it’s our goal to offer our readers all the tools possible to get optimally healthy. When I was struggling with chronic health issues I felt stuck because I didn’t have any tools to help me get better. I had to spend literally thousands of hours trying to read through studies on pubmed to figure out how the body worked and how to fix it.
That’s why I decided to create tools that will help others cut down the guesswork:
- Lab Test Analyzer – a software tool that will analyze your labs and tell you what the optimal values are for each marker — as well as provide you with actionable tips and personalized health and lifestyle recommendations to help you get there.
- SelfDecode – a software tool that will help you analyze your genetic data from companies such as 23andme and ancestry. You will learn how your health is being impacted by your genes, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage.
- SelfHacked Secrets – an ebook where we examine and explain the biggest overlooked environmental factors that cause disease. This ebook is a great place to start your journey if you want to learn the essential steps to optimizing your health.
- SelfHacked Elimination Diet course – a video course that will help you figure out which diet works best for you
- Selfhacked Inflammation course – a video course on inflammation and how to bring it down
- Biohacking insomnia – an ebook on how to get great sleep
- Lectin Avoidance Cookbook – an e-cookbook for people with food sensitivities
- BrainGauge – a device that detects subtle brain changes and allows you to test what’s working for you
- SelfHacked VIP – an area where you can ask me (Joe) questions about health topics
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