Rice is naturally high in fiber and other healthful nutrients so is generally a healthful addition to the diet. However, not all rice is equally nutritious, and brown rice or whole grain rice is nutritionally superior to white rice. This is because whole grain brown rice contains all three layers of the kernel still intact, making it rich in antioxidant plant chemicals. It also has five times the fiber of white rice.
They found that a component in a layer of tissue surrounding grains of brown rice may work against angiotensin II. Angiotensin II is an endocrine protein and a known culprit in the development of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
This layer, which is located between the white center of the grain and the brown fibrous outer layer, is rich in oligosaccharides and dietary fibers, making it particularly nutritious. However, when brown rice is polished to make white rice, this layer is stripped away and the rice loses some of its nutrients.
"Our research suggests that there is a potential ingredient in rice that may be a good starting point for looking into preventive medicine for cardiovascular diseases," they said. "We hope to present an additional health benefit of consuming half-milled or brown rice [as opposed to white rice] as part of a regular diet."
Research Paper Details:
Takaguri A, Utsnomiya H, Kono R, Akazawa S, Eguchi S. An ethyl acetate extract from a subaleurone layer of Japanese rice inhibits angiotensin ll-induced signal transduction and hypertrophy in vascular smooth muscle cells. The FASEB Journal, 2010.