Relatively little research is reported in the scientific literature specifically regarding the potential benefits of including rice bran oil in animal diets. Most rice bran oil feeding studies involving animals have been designed to investigate the effects of rice bran oil upon human health by use of model systems. Such studies have utilized a wide range of animal species including other primates, hamsters, pigs, and rodents. Although not an objective of those studies, trial results indicate that rice bran oil and its constituents may provide opportunities in the care of pets and other animals.

As illustrated in various technical papers cited elsewhere on this website, rice bran oil and its derivatives offer several opportunities in the form of desirable functional properties. Through further study, combined with RITO’s knowledge of rice bran oil processing and fractions, products could likely be developed to capitalize upon these properties to improve animal nutrition and health. Brief discussions of these functional properties and their potential roles in animal care are provided below.

Rice bran oil contains several components that exhibit antioxidant properties. These include gamma-oryzanol, tocotrienols, tocopherols, and squalene. Through the use of selective refining and fractionation techniques, rice bran oil and concentrates may be produced to optimize composition for specific applications. Examples include:

  • Refined rice bran oil that retains much of its naturally-occurring Vitamin E activity
  • Refined rice bran oil that retains 1% gamma-oryzanol
  • Concentrated natural antioxidant to extend pet food shelf life
  • Concentrated natural antioxidant to provide health benefits associated with dietary intake of antioxidants

Growth / Muscle Development
Some believe that specific components of gamma-oryzanol promote the development of lean muscle mass, and a crystallized form has been sold to body-builders for that purpose. By analogy, then, it would seem to potentially offer a method of accelerating weight gain and increasing lean to fat ratios in cattle or other animals produced for meat. We must caution, however, that results of scientific studies designed to investigate this property are inconclusive, at best.

Cardiovascular Health
Minor constituents in rice bran oil, particularly gamma-oryzanol, tocotrienols, and tocopherols, have been shown in numerous laboratory animal and human studies to provide benefits to the cardiovascular system. Investigators have noted that these constituents are not only effective in reducing harmful LDL serum cholesterol, but they also appear to play a role in reducing plaque build-up on artery walls. Inclusion of these constituents in high-end pet diets should be considered.

Physical Performance / Stamina
Improvements in physical endurance and stamina among athletes have been attributed to the consumption of concentrated forms of gamma-oryzanol (likely related to reported effects on growth and lean muscle development discussed above). This suggests that similar benefits may be achieved through supplementing the diet of animals used in competitive sports with gamma-oryzanol. As before, however, findings from scientific studies of which we are aware have yielded mixed results.

UV Light Absorption / Inhibition
Gamma-oryzanol is effective in absorbing ultraviolet light, thereby inhibiting a number of adverse effects attributed to exposure to sunlight. A number of sunscreen formulations incorporating oryzanol have been developed and marketed for human use. The use of high-oryzanol rice bran oil (1% oryzanol) and oryzanol concentrate should be considered in formulations for the protection of animal coats.

Anti-Cancer Activity
A number of minor components in rice bran oil have been found, through controlled studies with laboratory animals, to exhibit anti-cancer activity. This property may be particularly valuable in the production of high-end, health-enhancing pet foods.

Fatty Acid Source
The fatty acid composition of rice bran oil is well documented. As with humans, a number of fatty acids are required in animal diets. It appears that rice bran oil is roughly equal to other vegetable oils in supplying fatty acid requirements. In consideration of this and the other properties described above, rice bran oil has much to offer in caring for nutritional and health needs of pets and other animals.

NOTE: Due diligence has been taken to insure that the above is accurate and reliable, but it is provided as information only. RITO and its principals assume no liability for performance in specific customer applications. U.S. or other patents may apply in some cases. User is solely responsible for insuring against infringement.