If you have prediabetes or diabetes, you have probably heard of insulin resistance. It’s a condition in which cells don’t properly respond to the hormone insulin, which is produced by the body when glucose (sugar) is released after digesting carbs. Studies show there are many factors that contribute to insulin resistance, especially relating to pre- and postnatal nutrition. For example, eating a high fat diet during pregnancy has been shown to increase risks of insulin resistance and prediabetes in both the mother and infant.
A January 2017 study wanted to find out if supplementing a mother’s high fat diet with germinated brown rice (rice that’s sprouted to improve flavour and increase nutrients) would affect insulin in a pregnant mother and her offspring.
In this animal study, pregnant rats were fed either a high fat diet alone or a high fat diet with sprouted brown rice throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding. The offspring were followed for eight weeks. Results showed that both mothers and babies in the brown rice group had lower weight gain, fewer changes in their blood sugar, lower fasting insulin, and higher adiponectin (which helps regulate blood sugar and break down fat) compared with the high-fat-no-rice-diet group.
The researchers concluded that germinated brown rice may be used as an effective ingredient to improve high fat diet-induced insulin resistance.
Adamu HA, Imam MU, et al., “In utero exposure to germinated brown rice and its oryzanol-rich extract attenuated high fat diet-induced insulin resistance,” BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Jan 21;17(1):67.