Researchers at Philadelphia’s Temple University School of Medicine say choosing brown rice over white rice may help avoid high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries known as atherosclerosis. The study suggests that a component in brown rice may work against angiotensin II, which is an endocrine protein and a known culprit in the development of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
They found that components in the subaleurone layer of rice inhibited angiotensin II activity in the cultured vascular smooth muscle cells. This suggests that eating brown rice offers protection against high blood pressure and atherosclerosis.
Researchers say it could also help explain why fewer people die of cardiovascular disease in Japan, where most people eat at least one rice-based dish per day, than in the U.S., where rice is not a primary component of daily nutrition.
"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 lead researcher Satoru Eguchi, M.D., Ph.D. "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."