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Brown rice can cause ulcers. (The Nutrition Detective).

When I first heard this astonishing claim, I didn't want to believe it. But the information came from a colleague of mine -- author and nutritionist Betty Kamen, PhD. And like me, Betty does her homework. The truth appears to be that brown rice can cause ulcers and other intestinal problems. If you have these conditions and you eat a lot of brown rice, your problem may be connected with this popular grain.

Brown rice contains oil as well as a lot of lipase, the enzyme that breaks down fats. In fact, it has more lipase than other grains, and this is where the problem starts. When brown rice is milled and the outer husk is taken off, the fragile cells that separate lipase from rice oil are bruised and the enzyme begins to break down the rice oil. In a very short period of time, the oil becomes rancid.

While studies show that freshly milled brown rice, or rice bran, is protective against duodenal ulcers, stored brown rice and brown rice products have the opposite effect. Interestingly, the ulcer-inducing effects of rancid brown-rice oil found in just about all brown rice products were reversed by antioxidants like vitamin E and cysteine, an amino acid. Both are found in our multivitamin Vitality. If you're taking cysteine and vitamin E daily and eating brown rice occasionally, you may be fine.

If, however, you have ulcers and gastrointestinal problems, you may want to consider dropping brown rice from your diet and getting the beneficial effects found in stabilized rice bran. I spoke with the Rice Bran Lady, Rukmini Cheruvanky, PhD, who has spent years studying rice bran and finding ways to stabilize it and retain its beneficial qualities without becoming rancid. Through a company called NutraStar, she has helped develop products for people with irritable bowel and ulcers. NutraStar's products are impressive. For more information, contact NutraStar at 877-723-1700 or www.nutrastar.com. Meanwhile, if you suspect that brown rice may be leading to some of your health problems, try eating millet, wheat, quinoa, and other grains instead and see if your condition improves.

Jayaraj, A.P., F.I. Tovey, C.G. Clark, and M.J. Hobsley. Gastroenterol Hepatol, vol. 16, May 2001, p. 501-5.

Jayaraj, A.P., F.I. Tovey, C.G. Clark, K.R. Rees, J.S. White, and M.R. Lewin. Clin Sci, vol. 72, no. 4, April 1987, p. 463-6.
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Author:Fuchs, Nan Kathryn
Publication:Women's Health Letter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2001
Words:401
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