A clinical trial is underway to test the efficacy of rice bran - a byproduct produced from milling - in preventing colon cancer.
"There's a delicate balance of bioactive components in rice bran that together show anti-cancer activity," says Elizabeth P. Ryan, assistant professor of radiological health sciences, University of Colorado, who led the study.
Rice bran's bioactive components act not only within cancer cells but around the cells to create conditions that promote the function of healthy cells, the journal Advances in Nutrition reports.
Ryan and colleagues Tiffany Weir and Rajesh Agarwal are collaborating to evaluate how rice bran may also help to promote an anti-cancer immune response, according to a Colorado statement.
"There are well over 100,000 varieties of rice in the world, many with their own unique mix of bioactive components and so one major challenge is to discover the optimal composition for chemoprevention," says Ryan.
Chemoprevention is associated with the administration of medication for the purpose of preventing disease.
"That said, rice is an accessible, low-cost food in most places of the world, and so work with rice bran as a dietary chemopreventive agent has the potential to impact a significant portion of the world's population," adds Ryan.