Researchers in Japan have found that Oryza sativa (commonly known as brown rice) can prevent the development of dementia. In the study, published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers used a high-pressure technique in order to increase the digestibility and absorption of O. sativa.
Although O. sativa contains nutrients and protective components against the development of dementia, the body cannot properly absorb these because O. sativa is difficult to digest.
Because of this, researchers at Doshisha University, Shimane University, and Shimane Institute for Industrial Technology in Japan aimed to improve digestibility and absorption of brown rice without affecting its nutrient composition using a high-pressure technique.
For the study, they pressurized brown rice at 600 megapascal (Mpa) to produce the highly-pressurized brown rice.
After that, they fed it to an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model, senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8), to look at the effects of the treatment on dementia prevention.
They assessed the working memory of the mice using the Y-maze test at the beginning of the treatment and then once every month. The mice were allowed to move freely in the maze for eight minutes.
Compared to the wheat-fed control mice, the mice fed with highly pressurized O. sativa exhibited a higher rate of spontaneous alternation in the Y-maze test. The amount of amyloid beta was also lesser in the mice fed with highly pressurized brown rice. Amyloid beta production is the primary cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
These results indicated that the highly-pressurized O. sativa improved the cognitive dysfunction of SAMP8 mice through the reduction of the amount of amyloid beta.
The treatment group also exhibited better motor functions than the control and polished rice-fed mice, contributing to the prevention of dementia.
In conclusion, the improved cognitive function and reduced amyloid beta levels in the brain due to highly-pressurized O. sativa, suggested that it can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.