Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia have isolated the specific compound in germinated brown rice that could reduce nerve damage in patients with diabetes. In 2007, these same researchers had found a then, unidentified lipid in pre soaked (germinated) brown rice that was more beneficial to diabetes patients than unsoaked brown rice or white rice. The germination of the brown rice was activated by soaking it in water overnight before cooking it.
The lipid responsible is called acylated steryl glucosides (ASG) and it helps the body maintain more normal levels of blood sugar. ASG’s do this by increasing the levels of enzymes that have been decreased by diabetes such as ATPase and HTase. ATPase is responsible for helping to maintain nerve signal transmission. Nerve damage is a huge problem in diabetic patients that can lead to blindness and limb amputation. HTase breaks down homocysteine, a chemical made by the liver that can kill cells and cause vascular damage.
Now that that ASG has been identified as the beneficial component, scientists are beginning to work on a supplement with this specific compound that can be taken in pill form.
The study was funded by Fancl Hatsuga Genmai Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of the Fancl Group out of Japan. Their primary business is cosmetics and nutritional supplements. I am always skeptical about funding for research that will financially benefit the funder; however, with dwindling government support for scientific research, private industry funds a lot of research that may not otherwise be done.
For the full press release, visit the Medical College of Georgia Website.