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1.  Antidiabetic Properties of Germinated Brown Rice: A Systematic Review 
Diet is an important variable in the course of type 2 diabetes, which has generated interest in dietary options like germinated brown rice (GBR) for effective management of the disease among rice-consuming populations. In vitro data and animal experiments show that GBR has potentials as a functional diet for managing this disease, and short-term clinical studies indicate encouraging results. Mechanisms for antidiabetic effects of GBR due to bioactive compounds like γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), γ-oryzanol, dietary fibre, phenolics, vitamins, acylated steryl β-glucoside, and minerals include antihyperglycemia, low insulin index, antioxidative effect, antithrombosis, antihypertensive effect, hypocholesterolemia, and neuroprotective effects. The evidence so far suggests that there may be enormous benefits for diabetics in rice-consuming populations if white rice is replaced with GBR. However, long-term clinical studies are still needed to verify these findings on antidiabetic effects of GBR. Thus, we present a review on the antidiabetic properties of GBR from relevant preclinical and clinical studies, in order to provide detailed information on this subject for researchers to review the potential of GBR in combating this disease.
PMCID: PMC3529503  PMID: 23304216
2.  Antioxidative Effects of Germinated Brown Rice-Derived Extracts on H2O2-Induced Oxidative Stress in HepG2 Cells 
The antioxidant properties of germinated brown rice (GBR) are likely mediated by multiple bioactives. To test this hypothesis, HepG2 cells pretreated with GBR extracts, rich in acylated steryl glycoside (ASG), gamma amino butyric acid GABA), phenolics or oryzanol, were incubated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and their hydroxyl radical (OH•) scavenging capacities and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) generation were evaluated. Results showed that GBR-extracts increased OH• scavenging activities in both cell-free medium and posttreatment culture media, suggesting that the extracts were both direct- and indirect-acting against OH•. The levels of TBARS in the culture medium after treatment were also reduced by all the extracts. In addition, H2O2 produced transcriptional changes in p53, JNK, p38 MAPK, AKT, BAX, and CDK4 that were inclined towards apoptosis, while GBR-extracts showed some transcriptional changes (upregulation of BAX and p53) that suggested an inclination for apoptosis although other changes (upregulation of antioxidant genes, AKT, JNK, and p38 MAPK) suggested that GBR-extracts favored survival of the HepG2 cells. Our findings show that GBR bioactive-rich extracts reduce oxidative stress through improvement in antioxidant capacity, partly mediated through transcriptional regulation of antioxidant and prosurvival genes.
PMCID: PMC4241308  PMID: 25431609
3.  The Hypocholesterolemic Effect of Germinated Brown Rice Involves the Upregulation of the Apolipoprotein A1 and Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor Genes 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2013;2013:134694.
Germinated brown rice (GBR) is rich in bioactive compounds, which confer GBR with many functional properties. Evidence of its hypocholesterolemic effects is emerging, but the exact mechanisms of action and bioactive compounds involved have not been fully documented. Using type 2 diabetic rats, we studied the effects of white rice, GBR, and brown rice (BR) on lipid profile and on the regulation of selected genes involved in cholesterol metabolism. Our results showed that the upregulation of apolipoprotein A1 and low-density lipoprotein receptor genes was involved in the hypocholesterolemic effects of GBR. Additionally, in vitro studies using HEPG2 cells showed that acylated steryl glycoside, gamma amino butyric acid, and oryzanol and phenolic extracts of GBR contribute to the nutrigenomic regulation of these genes. Transcriptional and nontranscriptional mechanisms are likely involved in the overall hypocholesterolemic effects of GBR suggesting that it may have an impact on the prevention and/or management of hypercholesterolemia due to a wide variety of metabolic perturbations. However, there is need to conduct long-term clinical trials to determine the clinical relevance of the hypocholesterolemic effects of GBR determined through animal studies.
PMCID: PMC3647596  PMID: 23671850
4.  Induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in caspase-3 deficient MCF-7 cells by Dillenia suffruticosa root extract via multiple signalling pathways 
Dillenia suffruticosa root dichloromethane extract (DCM-DS) has been reported to exhibit strong cytotoxicity towards breast cancer cells. The present study was designed to investigate the cell cycle profile, mode of cell death and signalling pathways of DCM-DS-treated human caspase-3 deficient MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
Dillenia suffruticosa root was extracted by sequential solvent extraction. The anti-proliferative activity of DCM-DS was determined by using MTT assay. The mode of cell death was evaluated by using inverted light microscope and Annexin-V/PI-flow cytometry analysis. Cell cycle analysis and measurement of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were performed by using flow cytometry. MCF-7 cells were co-treated with antioxidants α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid to evaluate whether the cell death was mainly due to oxidative stress. GeXP-based multiplex system was employed to investigate the expression of apoptotic, growth and survival genes in MCF-7 cells. Western blot analysis was performed to confirm the expression of the genes.
DCM-DS was cytotoxic to the MCF-7 cells in a time-and dose-dependent manner. The IC50 values of DCM-DS at 24, 48 and 72 hours were 20.3 ± 2.8, 17.8 ± 1.5 and 15.5 ± 0.5 μg/mL, respectively. Cell cycle analysis revealed that DCM-DS induced G0/G1 and G2/M phase cell cycle arrest in MCF-7 cells at low concentration (12.5 and 25 μg/mL) and high concentration (50 μg/mL), respectively. Although Annexin-V/PI-flow cytometry analysis has confirmed that DCM-DS induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, the distinct characteristics of apoptosis such as membrane blebbing, chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation and formation of apoptotic bodies were not observed under microscope. DCM-DS induced formation of ROS in MCF-7 cells. Nevertheless, co-treatment with antioxidants did not attenuate the cell death at low concentration of DCM-DS. The pro-apoptotic gene JNK was up-regulated whereby anti-apoptotic genes AKT1 and ERK1/2 were down-regulated in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis has confirmed that DCM-DS significantly up-regulated the expression of pro-apoptotic JNK1, pJNK and down-regulated anti-apoptotic AKT1, ERK1 in MCF-7 cells.
DCM-DS induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in MCF-7 cells via multiple signalling pathways. It shows the potential of DCM-DS to be developed to target the cancer cells with mutant caspase-3.
PMCID: PMC4096536  PMID: 24947113
Dillenia suffruticosa; Dichloromethane extract; Cell cycle; Apoptosis; Oxidative stress
5.  A randomised controlled trial on hypolipidemic effects of Nigella Sativa seeds powder in menopausal women 
The risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is increased tremendously among menopausal women, and there is an increasing demand for alternative therapies for managing factors like dyslipidemia that contribute to CVD development.
In this study, Nigella sativa was evaluated for its hypolipidemic effects among menopausal women. In a randomised trial, hyperlipidemic menopausal women were assigned to treatment (n = 19) or placebo groups (n = 18), and given N. sativa or placebo for two months after their informed consents were sought. At baseline, blood samples were taken and at one month intervals thereafter until one month after the end of the study.
The results showed that N. sativa significantly improved lipid profiles of menopausal women (decreased total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride, and increased high density lipoprotein cholesterol) more than the placebo treatment over 2 months of intervention. One month after cessation of treatment, the lipid profiles in the N. sativa-treated group tended to change towards the pretreatment levels.
N. sativa is thought to have multiple mechanisms of action and is cost-effective. Therefore, it could be used by menopausal women to remedy hypercholesterolemia, with likely more benefits than with single pharmacological agents that may cause side effects. The use of N. sativa as an alternative therapy for hypercholesterolemia could have profound impact on the management of CVD among menopausal women especially in countries where it is readily available.
PMCID: PMC4013060  PMID: 24685020
Clinical trial; Complementary medicine; Hyperlipidemia; Menopause; Nigella sativa; Plant bioresources
6.  Induction of apoptosis through oxidative stress-related pathways in MCF-7, human breast cancer cells, by ethyl acetate extract of Dillenia suffruticosa 
Breast cancer is one of the most dreading types of cancer among women. Herbal medicine has becoming a potential source of treatment for breast cancer. Herbal plant Dillenia suffruticosa (Griff) Martelli under the family Dilleniaceae has been traditionally used to treat cancerous growth. In this study, the anticancer effect of ethyl acetate extract of D. suffruticosa (EADs) was examined on human breast adenocarcinoma cell line MCF-7 and the molecular pathway involved was elucidated.
EADs was obtained from the root of D. suffruticosa by using sequential solvent extraction. Cytotoxicity was determined by using MTT assay, mode of cell death by cell cycle analysis and apoptosis induction by Annexin-FITC/PI assay. Morphology changes in cells were observed under inverted light microscope. Involvement of selected genes in the oxidative stress-mediated signaling pathway was explored using multiplex gene expression analysis.
The treatment of EADs caused cytotoxicity to MCF-7 cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner at 24, 48 and 72 hours with IC50 of 76 ± 2.3, 58 ± 0.7 and 39 ± 3.6 μg/mL, respectively. The IC50 of tamoxifen-treated MCF-7 cells was 8 ± 0.5 μg/mL. Induction of apoptosis by EADs was dose- and time- dependent. EADs induced non-phase specific cell cycle arrest at different concentration and time point. The multiplex mRNA expression study indicated that EADs-induced apoptosis was accompanied by upregulation of the expression of SOD1, SOD2, NF-κB, p53, p38 MAPK, and catalase, but downregulation of Akt1.
It is suggested that EADs induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells by modulating numerous genes which are involved in oxidative stress pathway. Therefore, EADs has the potential to act as an effective intervention against breast cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC3927215  PMID: 24524627
Dillenia suffruticosa; Breast cancer; Cytotoxic; Apoptosis; Oxidative stress pathway
7.  Estrogen receptor modulatory effects of germinated brown rice bioactives in the uterus of rats through the regulation of estrogen-induced genes 
The expression of genes regulated by estrogen in the uterus was studied in ovariectomized (OVX) rats treated with germinated brown rice (GBR) bioactives, and compared to Remifemin or estrogen at different doses to identify the regulation of these genes in the uterus and their molecular mechanisms.
Rats were treated orally with GBR bioactives (phenolics), acylated steryl glucosides (ASG), γ-amino butyric acid (GABA), and γ-oryzanol (ORZ) at 100 and 200 mg/kg, Remifemin (REM) at 10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg, or estrogen (EST) at 0.2 mg/kg. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) was extracted from the uterus, and messenger (m)RNA expression of selected genes encoding estrogen receptor-beta (ER-β), calcium-binding protein (CaBP9k), complement protein (C3), heat shock protein 70 kDa (HSP70), and interleukin (IL)-4 receptor were quantified. Similarly, serum steroid hormone concentration was monitored at 2, 4, and 8 weeks after treatments. ER-β antibody binding to the uterus sections was also studied using immunohistochemistry.
The group treated with EST (0.2 mg/kg) upregulated ER-β, C3, and IL-4 receptor genes compared to other groups (P<0.001). GBR phenolics (200 mg/kg) treatment upregulated the ER-β gene almost to the level of the sham non-treated group. The CaBP9k gene showed upregulation in groups treated with ASG (200 mg/kg), EST (0.2 mg/kg), and ORZ (200 mg/kg) (P<0.05). Estrogen levels increased in groups treated with EST, ASG, and ORZ (200 mg/kg) compared to the OVX untreated group (P<0.05), and there was a slight non-significant decrease (P>0.05) in the progesterone levels in the OVX untreated group compared to the sham and other treated groups. There was a significant increase at 8 weeks in the level of FSH (P<0.05) in the treated groups compared to the OVX untreated group. There was no significant difference (P>0.05) in serum luteinizing hormone (LH) between the OVX untreated group and other groups. The sham and GBR phenolics treated group showed ER-β reactivity at the glandular epithelium, while the group treated with EST showed immunoreactivity at the glandular, luminal, and stromal epithelium.
GBR phenolics moderately regulate the expression of ER-β, HSP70, and IL-4 receptor genes, and gave a positive immunoreaction to ER-β antigen in the uterus. ASG regulates the expression of CaBP9k and IL-4 receptor genes, and ORZ regulates the expression of the CaBP9k gene, while GABA at 100 mg/kg regulates the expression of the HSP70 gene. GBR and its bioactives might have an effect on estrogen-regulated genes in the uterus of rats.
PMCID: PMC3854924  PMID: 24324328
estrogen receptor-β gene; GBR-bioactives; serum hormonal level; uterine tissue
8.  Upregulation of genes related to bone formation by γ-amino butyric acid and γ-oryzanol in germinated brown rice is via the activation of GABAB-receptors and reduction of serum IL-6 in rats 
Osteoporosis and other bone degenerative diseases are among the most challenging non-communicable diseases to treat. Previous works relate bone loss due to osteoporosis with oxidative stress generated by free radicals and inflammatory cytokines. Alternative therapy to hormone replacement has been an area of interest to researchers for almost three decades due to hormone therapy-associated side effects.
In this study, we investigated the effects of gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), gamma-oryzanol (ORZ), acylated steryl glucosides (ASG), and phenolic extracts from germinated brown rice (GBR) on the expression of genes related to bone metabolism, such as bone morphogenic protein-2 (BMP-2), secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX-2), osteoblast-specific transcription factor osterix (Osx), periostin, osteoblast specific factor (Postn), collagen 1&2 (Col1&2), calcitonin receptor gene (CGRP); body weight measurement and also serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and osteocalcin, in serum and bone. Rats were treated with GBR, ORZ, GABA, and ASG at (100 and 200 mg/kg); estrogen (0.2 mg/kg), or remifemin (10 and 20 mg/kg), compared to ovariectomized non-treated group as well as non-ovariectomized non-treated (sham) group. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure the IL-6 and osteocalcin levels at week 2, 4, and 8, while the gene expression in the bone tissue was determined using the Genetic Analysis System (Beckman Coulter Inc., Brea, CA, USA).
The results indicate that groups treated with GABA (100 and 200 mg/kg) showed significant upregulation of SPARC, calcitonin receptor, and BMP-2 genes (P < 0.05), while the ORZ-treated group (100 and 200 mg/kg) revealed significant (P < 0.05) upregulation of Osx, Postn, RUNX-2, and Col1&2. Similarly, IL-6 concentration decreased, while osteocalcin levels increased significantly (P < 0.05) in the treated groups as compared to ovariectomized non-treated groups.
GABA and ORZ from GBR stimulates osteoblastogenesis by upregulation of bone formation genes, possibly via the activation of GABAB receptors and by inhibiting the activity of inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species. Therefore, it could be used effectively in the management of osteoporosis.
PMCID: PMC3789840  PMID: 24098073
gene expression; GBR-bioactive compounds; osteocalcin; ovariectomized rats
9.  Ethyl acetate extract of germinated brown rice attenuates hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells: role of anti-apoptotic, pro-survival and antioxidant genes 
There are reports of improved metabolic outcomes due to consumption of germinated brown rice (GBR). Many of the functional effects of GBR can be linked to its high amounts of antioxidants. Interestingly, dietary components with high antioxidants have shown promise in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This effect of dietary components is mostly based on their ability to prevent apoptosis, which is believed to link oxidative damage to pathological changes in AD. In view of the rich antioxidant content of GBR, we studied its potential to modulate processes leading up to AD.
The total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity of the ethyl acetate extract of GBR were compared to that of brown rice (BR), and the cytotoxicity of both extracts were determined on human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells using 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) Assay. Based on its higher antioxidant potentials, the effect of the GBR extract on morphological changes due to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative damage in human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells was examined using inverted light microscope and fluorescence microscope by means of acridine orange-propidium iodide (AO/PI) staining. Also, evaluation of the transcriptional regulation of antioxidant and apoptotic genes was carried out using Multiplex Gene Expression System.
The ethyl acetate extract of GBR had higher total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity compared to BR. The cytotoxicity results showed that GBR extract did not cause any damage to the human SH-SY5Y neuronal cells at concentrations of up to 20 ppm, and the morphological analyses showed that the GBR extract (up to 10 ppm) prevented H2O2-induced apoptotic changes in the cells. Furthermore, multiplex gene expression analyses showed that the protection of the cells by the GBR extract was linked to its ability to induce transcriptional changes in antioxidant (SOD 1, SOD 2 and catalase) and apoptotic (AKT, NF-Kβ, ERK1/2, JNK, p53 and p38 MAPK) genes that tended towards survival.
Taken together, the results of our study showed that the ethyl acetate extract of GBR, with high antioxidant potentials, could prevent H2O2-induced oxidative damage in SH-SY5Y cells. The potential of GBR and its neuroprotective mechanism in ameliorating oxidative stress-related cytotoxicity is therefore worth exploring further.
PMCID: PMC3726323  PMID: 23866310
Germinated brown rice; Antioxidant; Oxidative stress; Neuroprotective; SH-SY5Y
10.  Effects of Germinated Brown Rice and Its Bioactive Compounds on the Expression of the Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Gamma Gene 
Nutrients  2013;5(2):468-477.
Dysregulated metabolism is implicated in obesity and other disease conditions like type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases, which are linked to abnormalities of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). PPARγ has been the focus of much research aimed at managing these diseases. Also, germinated brown rice (GBR) is known to possess antidiabetic, antiobesity and hypocholesterolemic effects. We hypothesized that GBR bioactive compounds may mediate some of the improvements in metabolic indices through PPARγ modulation. Cultured HEP-G2 cells were treated with 50 ppm and 100 ppm of extracts from GBR (GABA, ASG and oryzanol) after determination of cell viabilities using MTT assays. Results showed that all extracts upregulated the expression of the PPARγ. However, combination of all three extracts showed downregulation of the gene, suggesting that, in combination, the effects of these bioactives differ from their individual effects likely mediated through competitive inhibition of the gene. Upregulation of the gene may have therapeutic potential in diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases, while its downregulation likely contributes to GBR’s antiobesity effects. These potentials are worth studying further.
PMCID: PMC3635206  PMID: 23389305
peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma; germinated brown rice; oryzanol; gamma amino butyric acid; acylated steryl glycoside
11.  Effects of Brown Rice and White Rice on Expression of Xenobiotic Metabolism Genes in Type 2 Diabetic Rats 
Xenobiotics constantly influence biological systems through several means of interaction. These interactions are disturbed in type 2 diabetes, with implications for disease outcome. We aimed to study the implications of such disturbances on type 2 diabetes and rice consumption, the results of which could affect management of the disease in developing countries. In a type 2 diabetic rat model induced through a combination of high fat diet and low dose streptozotocin injection, up-regulation of xenobiotic metabolism genes in the diabetic untreated group was observed. Xenobiotic metabolism genes were upregulated more in the white rice (WR) group than the diabetic untreated group while the brown rice (BR) group showed significantly lower expression values, though not as effective as metformin, which gave values closer to the normal non-diabetic group. The fold changes in expression in the WR group compared to the BR group for Cyp2D4, Cyp3A1, Cyp4A1, Cyp2B1, Cyp2E1, Cyp2C11, UGT2B1, ALDH1A1 and Cyp2C6 were 2.6, 2, 1.5, 4, 2.8, 1.5, 1.8, 3 and 5, respectively. Our results suggest that WR may upregulate these genes in type 2 diabetes more than BR, potentially causing faster drug metabolism, less drug efficacy and more toxicity. These results may have profound implications for rice eating populations, constituting half the world’s population.
PMCID: PMC3430253  PMID: 22942722
rice; drug biotransformation; gene expression; cytochrome P450
12.  Neuroprotective Effects of Germinated Brown Rice against Hydrogen Peroxide Induced Cell Death in Human SH-SY5Y Cells 
The neuroprotective and antioxidative effects of germinated brown rice (GBR), brown rice (BR) and commercially available γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) against cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells have been investigated. Results show that GBR suppressed H2O2-mediated cytotoxicity and induced G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest in SH-SY5Y cells. Moreover, GBR reduced mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and prevented phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation in SH-SY5Y cells, key features of apoptosis, and subsequent cell death. GBR exhibited better neuroprotective and antioxidative activities as compared to BR and GABA. These results indicate that GBR possesses high antioxidative activities and suppressed cell death in SH-SY5Y cells by blocking the cell cycle re-entry and apoptotic mechanisms. Therefore, GBR could be developed as a value added functional food to prevent neurodegenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress and apoptosis.
PMCID: PMC3431823  PMID: 22949825
germinated brown rice; γ-aminobutyric acid; hydrogen peroxide; neuroprotective; SH-SY5Y cell death
13.  Effects of White Rice, Brown Rice and Germinated Brown Rice on Antioxidant Status of Type 2 Diabetic Rats 
Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications, and can be increased by diet like white rice (WR). Though brown rice (BR) and germinated brown rice (GBR) have high antioxidant potentials as a result of their bioactive compounds, reports of their effects on oxidative stress-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes are lacking. We hypothesized therefore that if BR and GBR were to improve antioxidant status, they would be better for rice consuming populations instead of the commonly consumed WR that is known to promote oxidative stress. This will then provide further reasons why less consumption of WR should be encouraged. We studied the effects of GBR on antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic rats, induced using a high-fat diet and streptozotocin injection, and also evaluated the effects of WR, BR and GBR on catalase and superoxide dismutase genes. As dietary components, BR and GBR improved glycemia and kidney hydroxyl radical scavenging activities, and prevented the deterioration of total antioxidant status in type 2 diabetic rats. Similarly, GBR preserved liver enzymes, as well as serum creatinine. There seem to be evidence that upregulation of superoxide dismutase gene may likely be an underlying mechanism for antioxidant effects of BR and GBR. Our results provide insight into the effects of different rice types on antioxidant status in type 2 diabetes. The results also suggest that WR consumption, contrary to BR and GBR, may worsen antioxidant status that may lead to more damage by free radicals. From the data so far, the antioxidant effects of BR and GBR are worth studying further especially on a long term to determine their effects on development of oxidative stress-related problems, which WR consumption predisposes to.
PMCID: PMC3497306  PMID: 23202932
antioxidants; diabetes; electron spin resonance; germinated brown rice; white rice; nutrigenomics

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