Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil

Oils are most used and most feared commodity I can say…Some love to pour it, others frown at the look of it. In India, a revolutionary moment arrived when the foreign olive oil took over the kitchens and out went the other oils. But can Indian cooking really accommodate olive oil? Not really.

It is very important to stick to and eat as close to our genes. I always advise my clients to eat the oils they have always used in their cuisine. Example , coconut oil in south India is commonly used and I still recommend them to continue eating in limited quantities.

Now the latest entry in the oils aisle  is Rice bran. Rice bran oil is the oil that has been extracted from the germ and the bran of rice.

Health benefits of rice bran oil

  • It contains 47% monounsaturated fatty acids as close to peanut oil and hence is a heart healthy oil. It also contains 33% polyunsaturated fats and 20% saturated fats.
  • It helps to lower LDL or bad cholesterol and does not lower the good cholesterol as sunflower oils do and is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • It is rich in Vitamin E, hence provides protection from cancer causing radicals.
  • The oryzanol and tocopherols present provide antioxidants.
  • It can also strengthen the immunity.

Characteristics of  the Oil

  • It is said to have high smoking point and can be used for deep frying although I do not recommend. It does not give any off flavour while frying or even stir frying
  • It has a flavour ideal for Indian cooking. So you can include this oil in your day to day cooking.
  • It is viscous in nature and hence will be absorbed lesser by the foods and the food cooked in it will not be dripping in oil or soggy.
  • It can be used for baking as it gives good texture.
  • Great for salad dressing too.
  • It has good shelf life and not expensive as olive oil.

This oil is also finding its way into our cosmetics too. Hence Switch over to this oil for its healthy benefits.

Sanjana M Shenoy is a A dietitian from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. Having worked as a Dietitian for the Manipal Group of Hospitals namely KMC hospital Mangalore, India. She is also a consultant for corporate's like Infosys and others, conducting talks and presentations for various associations and local television shows. She consults at her Diet and Nutrition clinic "Nutrihealth" in Mangalore. Also is a visiting consultant to various hospitals in and around Mangalore and also runs an active online consultation.

20 Replies to “Health Benefits of Rice Bran Oil”

  1. Hi Pradeep,

    Rice bran oil is higher in monounsaturated fatty acids and close to videshi olive oil so using this oil has its benefits. I suggest use all variety of oils so that you get different fats regularly…

  2. Dear Shilpa,

    Actually saturated fats such as coconut oil, palm oil have better heating points but are not advised as they increase the LDL levels but so do oils such as sunflower, safflower oil too do not help…My advise avoid deep frying as much as possible…

  3. Rice bran oil is another refined oil. This oil has been given a high heat/pressure treatment, bleaching and deodorizing treatment and has synthetic anti-foaming agents added to it. How much of the vitamin E is from the original unrefined oil and how much is the synthetic Vitamin E fraction that has been added back? I guess a lot of the Vitamin E was destroyed during the refining process.

  4. If this oil is such a healthy oil , then why cant you deep fry in it. Please just give me one good answer .

    Thank you

  5. Sanjana, Thank you for writing this article and educating the public on how good Rice Bran Oil is, This is a great article.


  6. Just like in a typical Indian home, frying/deep frying is an integral part of our kitchen.

    We have been using Rice Bran Oil for more than 8 years now. It is an excellent cooking medium. We are in mid fifties. Touch wood no cholesterol/triglyceride problems. And it is cheaper as compared to other oils.

    The only problems is that you have to look for a store that sells it. This is not availble in your neighborhood karyana shop.

  7. Dear Sanjana,

    Firstly, I would like to introduce me as Dr.Sankar, Regional Director, WHO Collaborative Health Center, Japan.

    You have done excellent job to write about the benefits of healthy oils for health and diseases. You can also have a look about the health benefits of Sesame oil. I have done some research on the health benefits of sesame oil especially on hypertension and diabetes. I am sorry to say that our Indian people are not aware of the health impact of sesame oil even they know much about sesame oil compared to other country people. I think you people can make people to aware of this.

    With thanks

  8. Rice bran oil is mostly monounsaturated – a tablespoon contains 7 grams of monounsaturated fat, three of saturated fat and five of polyunsaturated fat. In comparison, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil contains 11 grams of monounsaturated fat, two grams of saturated fat and one gram of polyunsaturated fat. Rice bran oil also contains components of vitamin E that may benefit health.

    A study from the University of Rochester in New York showed that isolated vitamin fractions in rice bran oil may be useful for cholesterol control, although most of the evidence for this comes from studies in lab animals. In one of these studies, total cholesterol dropped by 42 percent in lab rats fed a concentrated fraction of vitamin E called tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) extracted from rice bran oil. The animals’ LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels dropped as much as 62 percent after their diets were supplemented with TRF. The study was published in the May, 2005, issue of Food and Chemical Toxicology.

    Earlier studies by the same research team showed that TRF boosts the activity of liver enzymes that clear toxic substances from the liver and reduces or stabilizes liver tumors. The group concluded that long-term use of tocotrienol might reduce overall cancer risk.

    This research might support supplementing with tocotrienols, but I haven’t seen much research on rice bran oil’s contribution to human health. For household use, it doesn’t measure up to olive oil in terms of monounsaturated fat. Its higher smoke point would make it more suitable for high temperature cooking, which I recommend you keep to a minimum in any case.

  9. dear sanjana
    I am working on promoting rice bran oil, as par as i studied the science literature,
    stability and medicinal benefits are superior than any other cooking oil viable for that price

  10. hi sanjana,
    thanks for writing about rice bran oil. we are maximising the use of this oil but in cosmetic use. we are producing rice bran based spa products in the Philippines. kudos!

  11. Hiii Sanjana,,,

    Would you please suggest me the best oil for DEEP FRYING. or a blend of oils with their amount in percent so that I can get the healthiest option. From my research so far I hv concluded that the fats in oil go like this,,,MUFA>PUFA>SATURATED FATS (less than 10%) AND NO TRANS FATS.

    Thanks in anticipation.

  12. Hye
    does rice bran oil helps in joint pain also if the lubricant of knees are at its end stage.
    please reply me it really worth for joints.



  13. Rice bran oil is the best oil for all ages and heart patients,it is best oil for controlling chlorestrol,BP and sugar.this is the only the best oil for deep frying .

  14. Dear Ms. Sanjana (Dietitian),

    As an update I would like bring to your kind notice that RBO has an almost balanced fat composition of three types fats i.e. SFA, PUFA, MUFA and closest to recommendations made by NIN-WHO and AHA. Hence, there is no need to change the oil. Further to this, being rich in Oryzanol, prolonged use may help in lowering bad cholesterol.

  15. Hai sanjana

    nice to read you coments on rice bran oil.we are the biggest manufacturers of rice bran oil in tamil nadu and has the plant capacity to produce 100mts of oil every day.we have been promoting this p roduct in tamil nadu for the past 5years.more over we do physical refining in rice bran oil and we see to that our brand porna rice bran oil has 1.6% of oryzanol.we have been trying to make people awere of the benafits,an oil with such amazing health benafits at a cheep or i can say at a low price still people stick on to sunflower oil though the % of PUFA is very high and with out knowing the adverse effect.

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