A fragrant type of rice grown in remote northeast India, known as Joha rice, not only prevents type 2 diabetes but is also rich in unsaturated fatty acids, which act against heart disease, found in scientists.
Diabetes is a major global health problem, affecting an estimated 537 million adults aged 20 to 79 years by 2021, according to the International Diabetes Federation. The number is predicted to rise to 783 million by 2045.
Early onset type 2 diabetes is on the rise but the condition can be reversed through lifestyle and dietary changes, including moderate consumption of white rice. Rice is a staple in many countries but it can affect blood sugar levels and increase the risk of diabetes.
Joha rice, a short grain, winter variety known for its unique aroma and taste, has attracted the attention of researchers at India’s Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST) because of the popular belief that those eat it regularly to avoid diabetes. and cardiovascular diseases.
“Such claims that indicate essential nutraceutical properties [health benefits] of Joha rice calls for scientific validation and that is how we started investigations in our laboratories,” said Rajlakshmi Devi, research leader and professor at IASST’s Life Sciences Division in Guwahati, capital of the northeastern state of Assam.
The IASST investigations show the presence of two unsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6) and linolenic (omega-3) acid, which are important for human health and should be included in foods because they are not naturally occurring. made by the human body, says Devi.
Joha rice has also been proven effective in lowering glucose levels and preventing the onset of diabetes in so-called “in vitro” laboratory tests and in mice.
This type of rice has been found to contain many antioxidants making it a “nutraceutical of choice” in diabetes management, according to India’s Department of Science and Technology. It says that many bioactive compounds found in Joha are reported to have antioxidant effects, control blood sugar levels and protect the heart.
“Since rice is a staple in the Asia Pacific region and is also widely consumed around the world, we believe that popularizing a type of rice with strong anti-diabetic activity like Joha will greatly help reduce prevalence of type 2 diabetes,” said Devi. SciDev.Net.
The failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin, a hormone that maintains blood sugar levels and regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, results in type 2 diabetes, an extremely common condition.
In most cases, type 2 diabetes causes hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) or hyperlipidemia (high levels of lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides).
In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas responsible for making insulin so that the hormone is no longer produced. Unlike type 2 diabetes there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, with treatment limited to regular monitoring and maintenance to ensure normal blood sugar levels.
According to Putlih Adzra Pautong, a researcher on nutrition at the International Rice Research Institute, the top ten countries for the prevalence of diabetes in 2021 have rice as their main food.
He believes the next big thing in rice research is nutrition, specifically finding diabetes-friendly low-glycemic rice varieties to reduce type 2 diabetes and related diseases in populations that consumes rice.
Rats induced to become diabetic were cured when placed on a Joha rice diet and showed higher levels of insulin in their blood and improved sugar metabolism, compared to diabetic rats fed other different from rice, says Devi.
Convincing rice farmers
Efforts are now underway to increase demand for Joha and encourage farmers to grow more of the variety.
“Farmers are not ready to cultivate it because they do not have full knowledge about the nutraceutical potential of Joha rice,” explained Devi.
“It would be very helpful if there were government policies to increase awareness of the potential of Joha rice among farmers and also give them incentives to grow it.”
Abdul Fiyaz R, senior scientist at the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, says that popularizing Joha rice should not be difficult because it “not only offers a good option for diabetics but also delights the senses with attractive aroma and tender texture, which make it a culinary. treasure.”
“Several studies have shown that the aromatic compounds found in Joha rice not only enhance its flavor profile but also have potential health benefits – the combination of aroma and beneficial nutrients makes it a attractive option,” said Fiyaz, who has expertise in rice varieties and plant breeding. , told SciDev.Net.
“Among other traditional foods endemic to India, Joha rice is known to lower blood glucose and prevent the onset of diabetes,” said Ganesh Bagler, professor of computational gastronomy at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology in New Delhi.
“Given the diabetes burden facing India – 77 million individuals have diabetes in India in 2019 which is expected to rise to over 134 million by 2045 – it is important that Joha rice and similar foods, which is known to work against the condition to be reached, to be popular and included in dietary interventions,” Bagler told SciDev.Net.
Citation: Indian rice variety found to have valuable antioxidants, helps prevent diabetes (2023, July 10) retrieved 10 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-indian-rice- variety-valuable-antioxidants.html
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