Rice Bran Fiber
Rice bran fiber is the outer layer of the grain which is used for medicine in Japan, Asia, and India. Lately its usage has spread to other countries of the world as well. Don't confuse rice bran with other kinds of bran such as wheat and oat bran.
Rice bran fiber is used for treating high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, alcoholism, and AIDS; as well as for preventing colon and stomach cancer; for strengthening the immune system; for the treatment of heart and cardiovascular disease; for increasing energy; for improving liver function; enhancing athletic performance; and as an antioxidant.
Sometimes rice bran fiber is used to decrease high cholesterol level. Some individuals apply rice bran to the skin to remove an allergic reaction on the skin in case of ectopic dermatitis (eczema). Rice bran fiber works by lowering cholesterol due to the substances it contains which are able to increase cholesterol elimination and decrease cholesterol absorption. One rice bran substances decreases calcium absorption reducing the formation of kidney stones.
Rice bran fiber is considered safe for most adults when taken orally. Increasing the dose can cause intestinal gas, unusual bowel movements, and stomach discomfort. But all this is observed only during the first few weeks of using the product.
Rice bran fiber is considered to be possibly safe when added to baths, however, this usage can result in skin redness and itching. Some individuals have experienced itching and rash from rice bran fiber infested with a pest (the straw itch mite), but it can happen really seldom.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women are allowed to consume rice bran fiber in food amounts, but there's little information about whether it's safe in the medicinal amounts. People with gastrointestinal (GI) conditions are advised not to use rice bran fiber. These conditions include adhesions, intestinal ulcers, slow digestion, conditions that cause blockage or narrowing of the digestive tract, or other disorders. Rice bran should be used with caution not to experience choking.