Rice bran has hit the markets running, becoming another super food in the ever increasing race to better health. Rice bran, like all bran, is simply the discarded by-product of refined white or brown rice. Among a health conscious public, the benefits of antioxidants and other nutrients found in the normally highly perishable rice bran have become paramount to solving much of the world’s nutritional woes.
What can it do for us? Are there any negative effects? Why wasn’t it discovered sooner? These are all questions that must be answered in order to make an informed and conscientious decision concerning personal use of rice bran for oneself and one’s family.
Rice bran is highly nutritious, loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. In fact, when stabilized to reduce the rate at which it perishes naturally, this particular bran is able to stave off world hunger. Many manufacturers of the product have adapted the bran to help third world countries. Children who have been given rice bran in these countries five days a week have shown remarkable improvements in their nutrition levels. This makes it one of the easiest and most economical methods of preventing and halting the process of starvation in less developed countries.
The main drawback of rice bran is the fact that it contains a naturally form of arsenic. The arsenic is both inorganic and organic. The levels at which these compounds are found in rice bran are higher than the standards used in China. But, before one begins to worry too much about arsenic, consider that this particular natural compound is also located in drinking water along with chlorine. Both compounds have been linked to an increase in cancers when consumed in large amounts. However, there is nothing to indicate that the levels of arsenic occurring in rice bran carry such dire consequences.
Also consider that processed rice has a higher level of the inorganic and organic arsenic compounds. Rice is not the only grain to carry such compounds, as arsenic is actually a chemical by-product of many plants and is used for the defense of the plant in nature. While the amounts found are lethal to grasshoppers and other troublesome insects, the effect upon the human body is almost non-existent. In fact, the benefits of the rice bran far outweigh any negative possibilities.
The only reason this valuable and highly nutritious bran fell by the wayside until recent years is because it becomes rancid in a matter of hours. As rice bran can even spoil fat at a very high rate of speed, it was necessary to develop a process that changed the rice bran's lifespan from hours to years. As that process has now been refined, it is possible to salvage one of nature's most beneficial products for human consumption.
When the whole picture of rice bran is looked upon, one can see that with the FDA's rigorous standards and the benefits this valuable food source offers, there is little to worry about but a large amount to gain. So, drink a packet of rice bran and reap the benefits of good health with a clear conscience.