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5 Benefits and Side Effects of Gamma Oryzanol (2 Contraindications To Be Noted)[Updated Feb/2023]

Gamma Oryzanol is a bioactive ingredient (lipophilic compound) used in prescription drugs, dietary supplements or food and animal feed additives.

Over the years, it has been continuously claimed to have antioxidant, antiulcer, antitumor, antidiabetic, anti-allergic and lipid-lowering effects

In empirical medicine, what are the benefits of oryzanol? Are there any side effects of oryzanol? See text analysis for details

What is Oryzanol?

The name oryzanol is derived from the rice plant oryza, originally found in rice bran oil, which consists of a hydroxyl (-nol), hence the name γ oryzanol.

First extracted from rice bran oil in 1954, oryzanol is found in small amounts in barley, corn, wheat, oats, asparagus, tomatoes, peas, berries, olives, vegetables, fruits (especially citrus fruits) and several other foods, in addition to rice

Originally thought to be a single compound, oryzanol was later identified as a mixture of plant sterols ferulates, consisting of ferulates and phytosterols (sterols and triterpene alcohols).

In oryzanol, at least 10 plant sterol ferulate have been found, of which cycloartenyl ferulate, 24-methylenecycloartanyl ferulate, campesteryl ferulate, β-sitosteryl ferulate are the main components, accounting for about 80%.

What are the empirical benefits of oryzanol?

  1. Good for blood lipid regulation

Dyslipidemia includes hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, mixed hyperlipidemia, and low serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c).

Long-term hyperlipidemia is known to lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, stroke, acute pancreatitis and kidney disease, and also increases the risk of breast cancer and other malignancies.

One study (16 weeks, 20 patients with chronic schizophrenia with dyslipidemia) showed that oral gamma-oryzanol (100 mg three times daily) lowered total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increased high-density cholesterol lipoprotein cholesterol) level. Note 1

Another double-blind randomized controlled trial (4 weeks, 59 patients with hyperlipidemia) showed that consumption of gamma-oryzanol-rich rice bran oil significantly reduced low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels compared with controls, and there was also a significant improvement in antioxidant status (measured by oxygen radical absorbance capacity and ferric reducing antioxidant power).  Note 2

The mechanism behind gamma-oryzanol is related to the inhibition of HMGCoA reductase and the induction of the release of cholesterol 7-α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1), two key enzymes involved in liver cholesterol synthesis.

*Conclusion: For hyperlipidemia, the intake of oryzanol may have a positive effect on blood lipid regulation, but it is limited by the small sample size, and more long-term large-scale trials are still needed for further verification


  1. Increase muscle strength

Skeletal muscle, a motor organ, is a major contributor to energy expenditure at rest and is the largest reservoir for blood glucose processing under postprandial insulin stimulation.

In addition to its obvious role in movement and movement, the maintenance of skeletal muscle is essential for metabolic health, and its quality and function below expected standards are associated with a variety of negative health outcomes such as: increased risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and disability.

One randomized, double-blind controlled trial (9 weeks, 30 healthy volunteers) divided into two groups of γ-oryzanol supplementation (600 mg) or placebo (equivalent lactose) after training. Note 3

It was found that there was no significant difference in anthropometric and skinfold thickness measurement scores between the supplementation and placebo groups, but taking oryzanol improved muscle strength measurement scores after resistance training.

*Conclusion: Oryzanol supplementation may have a positive effect on improving muscle strength performance after exercise, but it is still limited by the small sample size, and more studies are still needed for further verification


  1. Beneficial cognitive function (animal research)

Cognitive function, which includes the ability to learn, solve problems, remember, and use stored information appropriately, is key to health.

Aging has a detrimental effect on cognition, and many studies have shown that after the age of 70, about 16% of people will have mild cognitive impairment and 14% will develop dementia.

Animal studies have shown that Gamma-oryzanol is a natural compound that maintains and enhances brain cognitive function to maintain brain reserves, thereby preventing clinical signs or signs of neurodegenerative diseases. Note 4

*Conclusion: Animal studies have shown that oral oryzanol has a positive effect on maintaining or improving cognitive function, but further verification is still needed in human studies


  1. Inhibit tumor growth (animal research)

Cancer remains a major public health problem in the world, and the global cancer burden continues to increase. When advanced cancer is diagnosed, chemotherapy remains the most effective means of improving quality of life and prolonging survival.

Despite these improvements, current treatments have little effect on 5-year overall survival in patients with advanced disease, and drug resistance remains a significant barrier to successful treatment.

Natural products play an important role as an effective source of antitumor drugs. It is estimated that up to 30 to 40 percent of the anti-cancer drugs used globally come from plant sources. The development of medicinal plants continues to hold great promise for cancer prevention and treatment.

An animal study pointed out that oryzanol can inhibit tumor growth by inducing NK cell activity, activating macrophages, and inhibiting angiogenesis. Note 5

*Conclusion: Animal studies suggest that oryzanol may be helpful in inhibiting tumor growth, but further verification is still needed in human studies


  1. Good for Type 2 Diabetes (Animal Research)

Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, an abnormal response to insulin-mediated cell activity, accompanied by a relative insufficiency of pancreatic islets β cells

Insulin is a peptide hormone secreted by pancreatic islet β cells, which can promote cell uptake of glucose, regulate sugar, lipid, protein metabolism, promote cell division and growth, and maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Two animal studies have shown that oryzanol can increase insulin sensitivity, improve islet B cell dysfunction, and subsequent apoptosis. Note 6Note 7

*Conclusion: Animal studies suggest that oryzanol may be helpful for glycemic control, but further validation is needed in human studies


Are there any side effects of oryzanol?

In limited human studies to date, oryzanol is considered safe when taken orally in most adults, and no significant side effects or adverse effects have been reported.

Studies in rats (RATs) have pointed out that oryzanol is a promoter of lung cancer development in rats, but its effect is weak and only works at very high dose levels. Note 9

Other animal studies have concluded that oryzanol is not carcinogenicity, even at high doses (2000 mg/kg body weight). Notes 10Note 11

Safety precautions (2 contraindications to use)

1. Do not use by pregnant and lactating women (due to unknown safety)

2. Do not use in patients with abnormal thyroid function, because oryzanol may reduce thyroid-stimulating hormone levels. Note 8

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