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Black rice and cancer

Black rice and cancer

About Black rice

Black rice, often known as forbidden or purple rice, is a variety of rice belonging to the Oryza sativa L. species (Oikawa et al. 2015). The compound anthocyanin, which has significant antioxidant qualities, gives black rice its unique black-purple hue (Cerletti et al., 2017). It is stated that in ancient China, black rice was regarded as so special and nutritious that it was forbidden to all but royalty (Oikawa et al. 2015). Nowadays, black rice can be found in a variety of cuisines around the world due to its mild, nutty flavor, chewy texture, and several nutritional benefits.

Benefits of black rice

1.) Contains a variety of nutrients

When compared to other forms of rice, black rice has the highest protein content. It's also high in iron, a mineral that's necessary for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Black rice also supplies fiber. One serving delivers 4% of your daily fiber requirements, outperforming white rice, a refined grain with no fiber to speak of. According to studies, the fiber present in black rice and other whole grains can help with weight loss while also lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer, such as colon, stomach, rectum, and ovarian cancer. Black rice includes vital amino acids such as lysine and tryptophan; vitamins such as vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and folic acid; and essential minerals such as zinc, calcium, phosphorus, and selenium.

2.) Loaded with antioxidants

Aside from being a healthy source of protein, fiber, and iron, black rice is also strong in antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that protect your cells from oxidative damage caused by free radical molecules. They are significant because oxidative damage has been linked to a higher risk of various chronic illnesses, including heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and some types of cancer. Black rice has been revealed to possess over 23 plant components having antioxidant characteristics, including numerous types of flavonoids and carotenoids, in addition to anthocyanin. As a result, incorporating black rice into your diet can be an easy method to integrate more disease-protecting antioxidants into your diet while also aiding in the battle against cancer.

3.) Contains Anthocyanin

Anthocyanins are flavonoid plant pigments that give black rice its purple hue, as well as various other plant foods such as blueberries and purple sweet potatoes. Anthocyanins have been shown in studies to have powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties. These anthocyanins may have anti-cancer potential. A 2018 meta-analysis of a dozen population-based research discovered that eating foods rich in anthocyanins may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

4.) Naturally gluten-free

Many whole grains include gluten, a protein that causes issues for certain people, ranging from bloating and stomach pain in those with mild gluten sensitivity to intestinal damage and malnutrition in those with celiac disease. Amazingly, black rice is a healthful, naturally gluten-free food that people on a gluten-free diet can prefer. It is also a decent option for individuals suffering from celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

5.) Anti-diabetic effect

The risk of diabetes is minimized by the naturally low sugar content and high fiber content of black rice. Unlike white rice, black rice does not produce changes in blood glucose levels. According to some research, consuming black rice and other anthocyanin-rich foods may help people with type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar levels.

6.) May improve heart health

There has been little research into the impact of black rice on heart health. Several of its antioxidants, however, have been demonstrated to help protect against heart disease. Flavonoids present in black rice have been linked to a lower risk of developing and dying from cardiovascular diseases. A study comparing the effects of a high-cholesterol diet on plaque building in rabbits discovered that adding black rice to the high-cholesterol diet resulted in 50% less plaque buildup than diets including white rice.

7.) May support eye health

According to studies, black rice includes significant levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, two forms of carotenoids linked to eye health. These molecules act as antioxidants, protecting your eyes from potentially harmful free radicals. According to research, these antioxidants may have an essential role in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the main cause of blindness globally. They may also help reduce your chances of developing cataracts and diabetic retinopathy.

8.) May help in weight loss

Black rice is high in protein and fiber, both of which can aid with weight loss by suppressing hunger and promoting feelings of fullness. When black rice is consumed, the person feels full and therefore does not feel hungry. It also reduces fatty acid synthesis, which causes intracellular lipid accumulation in between the tissues. Detoxification is also facilitated by black rice.

Role in cancer

Apart from the above-mentioned benefits of black rice, which indirectly helps in cancer prevention and treatment, black rice also plays a direct role in cancer.

Anthocyanins derived from black rice may also have anticancer effects. A review of population-based research discovered that eating more anthocyanin-rich foods was linked to a decreased risk of colorectal cancer. In addition, a test-tube study discovered that anthocyanins from black rice lowered the amount of human breast cancer cells while also slowing their growth and potential to spread.

According to one study, the extraction of traditional black rice denoted as BRE has been created as a potential and low-cost PTT agent with powerful anti and anti-metastasis properties. The temperature of BRE might be raised to promote tumor cell death due to its superior photothermal stability and photothermal conversion efficiency. The results reveal that the combination of BRE and NIR (Near Infrared) treatment may significantly limit tumor growth in the context of anti-tumor and anti-metastasis effects. Therefore, black rice has the potential to be a part of an anti-cancer diet or cancer prevention diet.


Black rice is a healthy, flavorful, and gluten-free alternative to several other whole grains. While it is not as widely available as other forms of rice, black rice has the highest antioxidant activity and has more protein than brown rice. Its rich quantities of antioxidants, fiber, protein, and iron make it an excellent choice for inclusion in both special and regular meals.

Black rice is more than just a good source of fiber. When cooked, its deep purple color may transform even the most ordinary food into a visually stunning meal.

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