Brown rice is often thought to be healthier than its white counterpart because of its higher fibre content, and researchers have now furthered its credentials with claims that it also has the power to fight cardiovascular disease.

When brown rice is polished to make white rice, the nutritionally beneficial subaleurone layer, which contains oligosaccharides and dietary fibres, is stripped away.

A team of US and Japanese researchers says that the subaleurone layer – between the white centre of the rice grain and the brown outer husk – may provide protection from high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) by working against angiotensin II, an endocrine protein which promotes these conditions.

Satoru Eguchi, Associate Professor of Physiology at the Cardiovascular Research Centre and Department of Physiology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia said, ‘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. We hope to present an additional health benefit of consuming half-milled or brown rice as part of a regular diet.’

Source: The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology