Nutrigenomic effects of germinated brown rice and its bioactives on hepatic gluconeogenic genes in type 2 diabetic rats and HEPG2 cells

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Chronic sustained hyperglycemia underlies the symptomatology and complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus, and dietary components contribute to it. Germinated brown rice (GBR) improves glycemic control but the mechanisms involved are still the subject of debate. We now show one mechanism by which GBR lowers blood glucose.

Methods and results:

Effects of GBR, brown rice, and white rice (WR) on fasting plasma glucose and selected genes were studied in type 2 diabetic rats. GBR reduced plasma glucose and weight more than metformin, while WR worsened glycemia over 4 weeks of intervention. Through nutrigenomic suppression, GBR downregulated gluconeogenic genes (Fbp1 and Pck1) in a manner similar to, but more potently than, metformin, while WR upregulated the same genes. Bioactives (gamma-amino butyric acid, acylated steryl glycoside, oryzanol, and phenolics) were involved in GBR's downregulation of both genes. Plasma glucose, Fbp1 and Pck1 changes significantly affected the weight of rats (p = 0.0001).


The fact that GBR downregulates gluconeogenic genes similar to metformin, but produces better glycemic control in type 2 diabetic rats, suggests other mechanisms are involved in GBR's antihyperglycemic properties. GBR as a staple could potentially provide enhanced glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus better than metformin.

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