What is Oryzanol?

Is it Safe?

The Main Source?

Effect on the body in General?

Effective dosage of Oryzanol?


What is Oryzanol?

It is a nutrient with a strange sounding name that occurs naturally in many plants, especially the rice plant. The Botanical name for rice is Oryza sativa, from which oryzanol gets its name.

The chemical structure is that of two molecules in one, first a plant sterol and second ferulic acid. The sterol (triterpenyl alcohol) is the largest part of the molecule. Hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and corticosteroids, etc. are derived from cholesterol and can be thought of as modified sterols1. For this reason you may
consider Oryzanol as a universal hormone precursor.

Ferulic acid is one of the hydroxycinnamic acids, a subgroup of plant phenolic acids2. In its purified state, it tastes and smells like cinnamon. Ferulic acid is a precursor for lignin, the polymer that makes up most physical support structures of plants. In rice, ferulic acid is added on to sterols, forming oryzanol. In other plants it is bound to sugars, cell walls,
cellulose, etc., as well as being found in its free form3.

Oryzanol Component of Rice Bran Oil was first presumed to be a single component. But later it was determined to be a fraction containing ferulate (4-Hydroxy-3 Metoxy Cinnamic Acid) esters of Triterpene Alcohols and plant sterols. Cycloartenyl ferulate, campesteryl Ferulate, 24-methylenecycloartanyl ferulate, Sitosteryl Ferulate are the major components and account for 80 percent Oryzanol.

There is no conclusive evidence of the presence of oryzanol in any other plant than rice. This does not mean rice is the only source of oryzanol in nature; methods of plant analysis for compounds similar to oryzanol usually include hydrolysis, which could easily destroy it leaving sterols and ferulic acid as end products. Since rice is a plentiful and economic
source of the nutrient there is not much incentive to do a systematic search for alternative sources.

Records indicate the Japanese were the first to isolate oryzanol from Rice Bran in 1943.
Today, rice is still the only known source of the nutrient.