When you're sneezing or suffering from excessive itching, you probably rely on antihistamines and other allergy medications to bring you relief. But what if you could head off your next allergy attack by changing what you eat? Scientists now believe that adding black rice bran into your diet can be a potential allergy treatment.

Black Rice Benefits

In some countries, white and brown rice are regular staples. But the allure of black rice bran (the bran is the outer husk of the rice grain) hasn't yet become widespread. This may soon change as more start to know about this super food.

Research Findings on Black Rice Bran

A study included in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in September 2010 found that black rice bran inhibits the release of a chemical called histamine and heads off inflammation. Korean scientists injected a group of mice with black rice bran extract directly into their skin. A second group was given a placebo to compare the results. In mice that received the bran, there was a 32 percent reduction in skin inflammation that didn't occur in the control group.

The scientists also fed mice a diet made of 10 percent black rice bran and discovered that its consumption also seemed to be related to an improvement in allergic dermatitis symptoms, such as swelling.

Such findings reinforce black rice bran's anti-inflammatory benefits and hold much promise for it to prevent future allergic reactions, asthma symptoms, and other inflammatory conditions.

Future Uses of Black Rice

Increasing attention has also been paid to the important nutrients and antioxidants black rice and black rice bran contain. In summer 2010, researchers from Louisiana State University suggested that food manufacturers begin including black rice bran in certain foods including cereals, cakes, cookies, and drinks in order to boost nutrients and bring about related health improvements.

What You Can Do

You don't have to wait for the foods on your grocer's shelves to be fortified with black rice bran to reap the benefits. You can find this inexpensive food at many health food stores and websites and it's easy to add into your diet. The Louisiana researchers suggest that one spoonful a day mixed in your food can make a difference.

Ask your doctor if this amount is appropriate for you, and if black rice bran can improve your allergies and help you feel better, too.


"ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: Black Rice Bran May Help Fight Disease-Related Inflammation." American Chemical Society. ACS, 20 Oct. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2010.

Eiji Domon et. Al. "26-Week Oral Safety Study in Macaques for Transgenic Rice Containing Major Human T-Cell Epitope Peptides from Japanese Cedar Pollen Allergens." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. ACS Publications, 2009, 57 (12): 5633-5638 Web. 7 Nov. 2010.

"News Release: Black Rice Rivals Pricey Blueberries as Source of Healthful Antioxidants." Eurekalert.org. American Chemical Society, 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 10 Nov. 2010.