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Compound that helps rice grow reduces nerve, vascular damage from diabetes
Date:7/28/2008

se, which help maintain nerve membranes so they can conduct electricity and communicate. Decrease of ATPase is a hallmark of the nerve damage that accompanies diabetes. Also reduced in diabetes is homocysteine-thiolactonase, or HTase, an enzyme that decreases levels of homocysteine, a known risk factor for vascular disease. The liver produces a low level of homocysteine but that level is elevated in diabetes while the enzyme that controls it decreases. Unchecked, homocysteine makes oxidative stress compounds that injure and kill cells. HTase is one way HDL, the so-called "good cholesterol," helps protect blood vessels from disease. A regular diet of pre-germinated brown rice diet helps get both back to a healthier level.

Fancl Hatsuga Genmai Co., Ltd., in Yokohama, Japan, which funded the studies and supplied the pre-germinated rice, already is working with Dr. Usuki on a supplement that can provide consumers who prefer not to soak or eat rice with the benefits of ASG.

The MCG research team reported in December 2007 in Nutrition & Metabolism that pre-germinated brown rice was better at protecting nerves from diabetes than un-soaked brown or white rice. They showed a then-unidentified lipid helped protect the nerve membrane and increase activity of HTase and the good cholesterol. Germination also is known to increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is believed to have many beneficial health effects such as lowering blood pressure, improving cognition and lowering blood glucose levels. However the MCG scientists have shown the lipid has a more powerful impact on HTase activity.

The germ layer activated by soaking brown rice contains many vitamins and minerals in addition to the bioactive ingredient that would be beneficial to everyone, Dr. Yu says. The roughage of the rice grain also is helpful.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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