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J Med Food. 2003 Summer;6(2):115-21.

Germinated brown rice extract shows a nutraceutical effect in the recovery of chronic alcohol-related symptoms.

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Department of Biotechnology, Woosuk University, Jeonju 565-701, Korea.


Chronic ethanol abuse can cause liver damage and unfavorable lipid profiles in humans and rodents. Phytonutrients have the potential to partially reverse some of the adverse effects of alcoholism. In this study, a germinated brown rice grown under conditions that favor high concentrations of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) was evaluated for protective effects against the toxic consequences of chronic ethanol use. Serum and hepatic lipid concentrations and enzymes indicative of liver damage were determined in mice chronically administered ethanol. Balb/c mice were fed with either AIN-76 diet (control), control diet plus ethanol, or control diet plus ethanol and supplemental brown rice extract for 30 days. The extract naturally contained 841 nmol GABA per milliliter and was prepared from germinated brown rice. Serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), liver aspartate aminotransferase, and liver alanine aminotransferase levels were increased in mice administered ethanol, but not in mice given ethanol and brown rice extract. The brown rice extract significantly increased serum and liver high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations. Furthermore, administration of the extract prevented ethanol-induced increases in liver triglyceride and total cholesterol concentrations. These findings raise the possibility that brown rice extracts containing a high level of GABA may have a nutraceutical role in the recovery from and prevention of chronic alcohol-related diseases.

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