Scientific Name(S): "Oz,"gamma-orizanol, caelate, gammajust 50, gamma-oz, gammariza, gammatsul, guntrin, hi-z, maspiron, oliver, oryvita, oryzaal, thiaminogen
Common Name(S): Rice bran oil
Gamma oryzanol is a naturally occurring mixture of plant chemicals called sterols and ferulic acid esters. Gamma Oryzanol is a substance found in grains. It is used to decrease cholesterol (fat) in the blood and to treat skin rashes in children. It is also used to treat an underactive (slow) thyroid gland. Women who are going through menopause (change of life) may use Gamma Oryzanol to treat hot flashes.
Source: Gamma oryzanol, a sterol-like structure, is a mixture of ferulic acid esters of sterols and triterpene alcohols, extracted from rice bran oil and other grain oils such as com and barley. Ferulic acid compounds are also present in many foods, including oats, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, olives, and vegetables. Gamma oryzanol serves as an important antioxidant within plant cells.
History: Early reports are available from the mid1950s discussing isolation, extraction, and purification methods of gamma oryzanol. However, the Japanese have been using it as a medicine since 1962. It was first used to treat anxiety. In the 1970s it was found to be an effective treatment for menopause. Gamma oryzanol therapy was approved to treat elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the late 1980s.
Uses of Gamma Oryzanol
Gamma oryzanol has been used to treat menopausal symptoms, hyperlipidemias, and GI problems. It is being studied for effects on the CNS and endocrine systems and also as a supplementation in bodybuilding.
Gamma-oryzanol supplements have also relieved pain, nausea, vomiting, and other post-meal gastrointestinal symptoms in study participants suffering from gastritis (stomach inflammation). Japanese scientists conducting various trials have discovered that gamma-oryzanol may ease hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, and may even help to lower cholesterol. In addition, antioxidant properties in the extract may protect heart vessels from free-radical damage.
Side Effects of Gamma Oryzanol
Some research suggests that gamma oryzanol taken in moderately high amounts (up to 600 mg per day) for several months can cause dry mouth, sleepiness, hot flushes, irritability, and light headedness in some individuals.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with gamma oryzanol.
How much is usually taken?
Much of the human research with gamma oryzanol used 300 mg per day. Healthy people do not appear to need this supplement.
Toxicology: Gamma oryzanol has been shown to be very safe. No side effects have been reported in either animal or human studies. ln one report, gamma oryzanol was not damaging to DNA nor mutagenic nor clastogenic. In addition, it was not carcinogenic in mice or rats.
Summary: Gamma oryzanol is a mixture of ferulic acid esterols of sterols and triterpene alcohols. It is a natural product extracted from rice bran oil and other grains. Therapeutic benefits, although unproven, include treatment of menopausal symptoms, hyperlipidemias, and gastrointestinal problems. Gamma oryzanol has been demonstrated to be safe in both animal and human studies.
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