Antioxidant Activity of gamma-Oryzanol: A Complex Network of Interactions
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gamma-oryzanol (Orz), a steryl ferulate extracted from rice bran layer, exerts a wide spectrum of biological activities. In addition to its antioxidant activity, Orz is often associated with cholesterol-lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-diabetic effects. In recent years, the usefulness of Orz has been studied for the treatment of metabolic diseases, as it acts to ameliorate insulin activity, cholesterol metabolism, and associated chronic inflammation. Previous studies have shown the direct action of Orz when downregulating the expression of genes that encode proteins related to adiposity (CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs)), inflammatory responses (nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kappa B)), and metabolic syndrome (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs)). It is likely that this wide range of beneficial activities results from a complex network of interactions and signals triggered, and/or inhibited by its antioxidant properties. This review focuses on the significance of Orz in metabolic disorders, which feature remarkable oxidative imbalance, such as impaired glucose metabolism, obesity, and inflammation.