Rice Bran Oil: 8 Health Benefits, Uses, And Side Effects

A healthy alternative to your regular cooking oil, especially if you want to make fries

Medically Reviewed by Staci Gulbin, RD, LDN
By Ravi Teja Tadimalla, Professional Certificate In Food, Nutrition & Health

It is an undeniable fact that cooking oil greatly impacts your health. With increased health consciousness, less refined and low-fat oils, like rice bran oil, are gaining popularity. The benefits of rice bran oil have been well researched in recent times. The oil also adds a unique flavor to your dishes. Understand more about this oil, its benefits, and if it is worth the hype. Continue reading further.

What Is Rice Bran Oil? How Is It Good For You?

Rice bran oil is the oil extracted from the rice husk or the hard outer brown layer of rice. Rice bran oil has a high smoke point (450o F) and is quite suitable for dishes involving high temperatures.

The goodness of rice bran oil comes from its components. It contains y-oryzanol, a potent antioxidant, and other organic chemical compounds like tocopherols and tocotrienols, which have properties of vitamin E. Most of the benefits of this oil come from these compounds, which is what we will discuss now.

What Are The Benefits Of Rice Bran Oil?

1. Rice Bran Oil Boosts Heart Health

Also known as a heart-friendly oil, it can lower cholesterol levels – thanks to the optimum levels of oryzanol. In fact, this antioxidant reduces cholesterol absorption and increases cholesterol elimination. This oil also has the best combination of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats amongst all vegetable oils.

One Iranian study states that taking rice bran oil as part of a healthy diet can cut the risk of cardiovascular disease (1). In another interesting study, we find that it is rice bran oil, and not fiber, that has more effects on cholesterol reduction (2).

2. Can Be Beneficial For Diabetics


In one study, rice bran oil was found to lower blood sugar levels by as much as 30% (3). Certain sources even tout rice bran oil as the most nutritious food on the planet.

3. Aids Weight Loss

Rice bran oil may help with weight loss.


As it has the ability to lower cholesterol levels, rice bran oil may also aid weight loss (4). It is also rich in natural antioxidants (like oryzanol) that boost metabolism and contribute to healthy weight loss (5).

4. Treats Dark Spots

Using rice bran oil topically has its benefits (6). It evens out the skin tone and reduces dark spots. It also helps treat the puffiness around eyes.

5. Helps Treat Eczema

The moisturizing properties of rice bran oil may help treat dry skin and eczema (7). Other dry skin conditions like dermatitis, rosacea, and even rashes could also be treated with rice bran oil.

6. Treats Acne


The oil contains oleic and linoleic acids in a balanced ratio, and this can help treat acne. This is because acne-prone skin is usually deficient in linoleic acid. The oil also contains palmitic acid, another essential fatty acid for healthy skin.

7. Helps Delay Aging

This can be attributed to the presence of squalene in the oil, which tightens skin and boosts skin health. As a consequence, it slows down wrinkle formation and delays skin aging due to its natural moisturizing action.

8. Boosts Hair Growth

Rice bran oil may boost hair growth.


Rice bran oil contains inositol, a carbohydrate compound that prevents dandruff and reduces split ends. It also promotes hair health. The oil contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (though omega-3 is only in small amounts) that help prevent premature graying of hair.

Studies show that linoleic acid and oryzanol also boost hair growth and strengthen your tresses (8).

These are the ways rice bran oil can keep you healthier. But there is something else we need to know – the many other nutrients in the oil that do the job well.

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Rice Bran Oil?

Nutrition Facts Serving Size 218g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1927Calories from Fat 1927
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 218g335%
Saturated Fat 43g215%
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A0%
Vitamin C0%
Calorie Information
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Calories1927(8068 kJ)96%
From Carbohydrate0.0(0.0 kJ)
From Fat1927(8068 kJ)
From Protein0.0(0.0 kJ)
From Alcohol0.0(0.0 kJ)
Fats & Fatty Acids
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Total Fat218 g335%
Saturated Fat43.0 g215%
Monounsaturated Fat85.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat76.3 g
Total trans fatty acids~
Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids~
Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids~
Total Omega-3 fatty acids3488 mg
Total Omega-6 fatty acids72816 mg
Amounts Per Selected Serving%DV
Vitamin A0.0IU0%
Vitamin C0.0 mg0%
Vitamin D
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)70.4 mg352%
Vitamin K53.9 mcg67%
Thiamin0.0 mg0%
Riboflavin0.0 mg0%
Niacin0.0 mg0%
Vitamin B60.0 mg0%
Folate0.0 mcg0%
Vitamin B120.0 mcg0%
Pantothenic Acid0.0 mg0%

There are other ways you can use rice bran oil.

Any Other Uses Of Rice Bran Oil?

Rice bran oil in a bowl


  • For Cooking

Rice bran oil is particularly effective in high-heat cooking, given it has a high smoke point. You can use it while stir-frying or sautéing. It also has a light flavor and a clean texture and doesn’t overpower the food.

  • For Making Soap

Another interesting use of rice bran oil is in the soapmaking process. It is made with a combination of rice bran oil and other oils, along with organic shea butter and sodium hydroxide. You also add distilled water.

Sounds cool, doesn’t it? But wait – not everything is rosy about this oil. There is a shady side to it as well.

What Are The Side Effects of Rice Bran Oil?

  • Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Though safe in normal amounts, we aren’t sure if the oil can be taken in larger amounts during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Hence, stay safe and take the oil in moderation after consulting your doctor.

  • Gastrointestinal Issues

In case you have digestive tract issues like ulcers, indigestion, or any other type of digestive issue, stay away from the oil. The fiber from the rice bran might block your digestive tract and cause complications.

We are not sure if the same is the case with the oil as well. So, stay safe and avoid use.

Rice bran oil is one of the most nutritious cooking oils available. The health benefits of rice bran oil can be attributed to its essential fatty acids, potent antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin E. These nutrients help promote heart health. The oil is also beneficial to your hair and skin. Rice bran oil may even help manage diabetes and weight. However, excess intake may cause gastrointestinal issues. If you experience any adverse effects, limit its use and seek medical advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is rice bran oil healthier than olive oil?

Both rice bran and olive oils are healthy. Rice bran oil has a higher vitamin E content, while olive oil has a high vitamin K content (9), (10). Rice bran oil has a longer shelf life and is budget-friendly compared to olive oil.

Which is best: sunflower oil or rice bran oil?

While sunflower and rice bran oils are nutritious, their nutritional values differ. Rice bran oil is high in vitamin K and the antioxidant oryzanol compared to sunflower oil (9), (11), (12). This may make rice bran oil more effective in managing cholesterol levels and improving overall heart health.


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  1. “Effect of low-calorie diet with…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  2. “Rice bran oil, not fiber…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  3. “Rice bran lowers diabetic blood sugar”. WebMD.
  4. Pigmented rice bran and plant…” US National Library of Medicine.
  5. Evaluation of γ-oryzanol accumulation and…” US National Library of Medicine.
  6. Rice water: a traditional ingredient with…” Cosmetics, MDPI Journals.
  7. Amended final report on the safety…” US National Library of Medicine.
  8. “In vivo hair growth…”. US National Library of Medicine.
  9. “Oil, rice bran”. U.S Department of Agriculture
  10. “Olive Oil”. U.S Department of Agriculture
  11. “Sunflower oil”. U.S Department of Agriculture
  12. “Study on the composition of rice bran oil…”. Springer Link

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Ravi Teja Tadimalla is an editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over... more

Staci Gulbin

(MS, MEd, RD, LDN)
Staci Gulbin is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, health editor, and founder of LighttrackNutrition.com. She has been a registered dietitian... more