Gamma oryzanol is a mixture of ferulic acid esters of sterol and triterpene alcohols, and it occurs in rice bran oil at a level of 1-2%, although it has been extracted from corn and barley oils as well. It is theorized that some of the health benefits from rice bran oil, namely, its cholesterol-lowering effects, may be due to its gamma oryzanol content.
Gamma oryzanol was first isolated and purified in the 1950s. In the 1960s, it was used medically in Japan for anxiety. Each year Japan manufactures 7,500 tons of gamma oryzanol from 150,000 tons of rice bran. Not surprisingly, most of the research on oryzanol has been performed in Japan.
Gamma oryzanol is frequently sold as a bodybuilding aid, specifically to increase testosterone levels, stimulate the release of endorphins (pain-relieving substances made in the body), and promote the growth of lean muscle tissue. However, most currently available studies do not support these claims.
Beta-sitosterol, beta-sitosteryl ferulate calclate, campestrol, campesteryl ferulate, compestanyl ferulate, crude rice bran oil, cycloartanol, cycloartenol, cycloartenyl ferulate, cycloaternol, cyclobranol, ferulic acid, ferulic acid derivatives, ferulic acid esters, gamma-orizanol, gamma-oryzanol, gamma-Oryzanol Fine Particle, gamma-oz, gammariza, gammatsul, guntrin, Hi-Z®, maspiron, oliver, oryvita, oryzaal, oryzanol, oz, rice bran oil, sitostanyl ferulate sitosteryl ferulate, sterols, stigmasterol, stigmasteryl ferulate, thiaminogen, triterpene alcohol, triterpenyl alcohol.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
Preliminary evidence indicates that gamma oryzanol may reduce hyperlipidemia. Gamma oryzanol seems to reduce total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides. Additional study is needed to establish gamma oryzanol's effect on hyperlipidemia.
Little research has been done on the effects of gamma oryzanol on gastritis. Additional study is needed to assess its potential use.
Preliminary evidence has indicated that gamma oryzanol affects several parts of the endocrine system, and may reduce thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in patients with hypothyroidism. More studies are needed in this area and other areas of endocrinology to establish gamma oryzanol's effects.
Gamma oryzanol may reduce menopausal symptoms. However, these results must be viewed cautiously as treatment of menopause symptoms has a high placebo effect. Additional study is needed in this area to elucidate gamma oryzanol's effect on menopausal symptoms.
Prevention of restenosis after coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
Gamma oryzanol has been used to reduce restenosis (return of blood vessel blockages after treatment) after coronary dilation, in combination with ticlopidine and probucol. Although restenosis was not impacted by any of the treatments, study with gamma oryzanol alone is needed to establish its effect on restenosis.
A few studies have used gamma oryzanol by mouth or applied on the skin to treat skin conditions. Although these studies seem to indicate that gamma oryzanol may be useful, additional study needed to assess gamma oryzanol's effects.
Gamma oryzanol has been touted as a bodybuilding aid, specifically to increase testosterone levels, stimulate the release of endorphins (pain-relieving substances made in the body), and promote the growth of lean muscle tissue. However, there is little or no evidence to support these claims. Additional study is needed to establish gamma oryzanol's effect on bodybuilding.