Over the last few years nutritionists have identified many health benefits linked to the consumption of brown rice, including its ability to help control cholesterol and blood sugar. According to a new study, routinely eating brown rice may also help protect a person from high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, two important risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Through comprehensive research, lead author Satoru Eguchi and his colleagues from the Cardiovascular Research Center at Temple University discovered that brown rice contains a layer of tissue capable of combating angiotensin II, an endocrine protein partially responsible for the development of high blood pressure and the hardening of the arteries.
The subaleurone layer of brown rice, which is stripped away to make white rice, is also rich in dietary fibers and oligosaccharides.
"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," said Eguchi. "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."
The researcher also speculated that the study’s findings may help shed light on why fewer people die of heart disease in Japan than the United States.