J Nutr Health.  2020 Apr;53(2):99-110. 10.4163/jnh.2020.53.2.99.

Phytosterols content of Keunnunjami germ and its antioxidative effects in adult rats

  • 1Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea
  • 2International Agricultural Training Center, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, Korea


The rice germ fraction is a better source of protein, lipid, and fiber than the rice endosperm. Furthermore, the rice germ is rich in bioactive phytochemicals such as γ-aminobutyric acid, tocopherols, tocotrienols, phytic acid, and so on. In this study, the phytosterol content and antioxidant activity of Keunnunjami germ (KG) or normal rice germ supplement were investigated in healthy adult rats.
In vitro, quantitative assessment of phytosterols, including β-sitosterol, campesterol, cycloartenol, and stigmasterol, was performed. Comparative antioxidant activities of 2 rice germs were measured based on DPPH radical scavenging activity, reducing power, and ABTS radical scavenging capacity. In vivo, male Spraque-Dawley rats (30-weeks-old) were randomly assigned a diet of normal control (NC, AIN-93M diet), AIN-93M diet supplemented with normal rice germ 3% (NG3), or AIN-93M diet supplemented with KG 3% (KG3) and fed for 8 weeks.
KG contained significantly higher campesterol and stigmasterol contents and antioxidant activity than normal rice germ. The KG3 group exhibited significantly lower body weight gain as well as inguinal and total white adipose tissue weights. There were no significant differences in plasma glucose, insulin, C-peptide, or homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance level among the 3 groups. The plasma tumor necrosis factor-α concentration was significantly lower while leptin, advanced oxidation protein products, and interleukin-6 showed downward trends in the KG3 group. In addition, the superoxide dismutase level of the KG3 group was significantly higher compared to the NC and NG3 groups.
This study indicates that KG can be considered as a valuable source of phytosterol components. Lastly, KG has strong antioxidant properties and may have potential to ameliorate elevation of proinflammatory cytokine production with age.


antioxidants; functional food; cytokines; phytosterols; rice
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