Gamma oryzanol is a naturally-occurring mixture of plant chemicals called sterols and ferulic acid esters. Some evidence suggests that gamma oryzanol increases testosterone levels, stimulates the release of endorphins (pain-relieving substances made in the body), and promotes the growth of lean muscle tissue. [Rosenbloom C, Millard-Stafford M, Lathrop J. Contemporary ergogenic aids used by strength/power athletes. J Am Diet Assoc 1992;92: pp.1264-5.]
Gamma-Oryzanol is a mixture of ferulic acid esters of various sterols, such as campesterol, stigmasterol, and sitosterol, and triterpene alcohols. It is usually extracted from rice bran oil.
Gamma oryzanol is a natural component of rice bran, corn, and barley oils. Gamma oryzanol is also available as a supplement. Much of the human research with gamma oryzanol used 300mg per day. Healthy people do not appear to need this supplement.
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.
Scientists are not certain how gamma oryzanol works. For menopause, it may affect a key hormone, luteinizing hormone. Gamma oryzanol may also interfere with the absorption of cholesterol into the body from food, thus reducing cholesterol levels in the blood.
Researched since the 1950s, this compound is listed in the Merck Index as an anti-ulcerative, anti-hyperlipoproteinemic, and also in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. It is most often found in products associated with soothing the lining of the gut.
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