Rice protein is extracted from rice and used in some protein supplements. Vegetarians may prefer it over protein supplements made from animal sources (such as whey or casein, which are milk proteins). Since rice is rarely involved in food allergies,1 rice protein may also be preferred by people with food allergies, and may be suitable to use in hypoallergenic infant formulas.2 Rice protein is not a complete protein, however, due to insufficient levels of the amino acids lysine and threonine.3, 4 Therefore, these amino acids are often added to rice protein products to correct this imbalance.
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3 StarsReliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 StarsContradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 StarFor an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
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Though not yet proven in clinical research, animal studies suggest that rice protein–based diets result in less buildup of atherosclerotic plaque compared with animal protein–based diets.
Animal studies suggest that rice protein–based diets result in less buildup of atherosclerotic plaque compared with animal protein–based diets. This effect may be due to mechanisms involving antioxidant function, cholesterol metabolism, or insulin function. Controlled human studies are needed to determine whether consuming rice protein can prevent or treat atherosclerotic disease.
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Some athletes believe rice protein may also improve blood flow to muscle to enhance growth and repair. However, no research has investigated the effects of rice protein on athletic performance.
Compared with other protein supplements, rice protein has more of the amino acid arginine, and since arginine is a vasodilator that can enhance blood flow to tissues, some athletes believe rice protein may also improve blood flow to muscle to enhance growth and repair. However, no research has investigated the effects of rice protein on athletic performance.
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Rice protein may be a good choice for dieters who are vegan or sensitive to dairy and want to boost protein in their diet.
Researchers have found plant-based protein supplements can help reduce appetite and improve blood glucose control, support cardiovascular health, and may help promote weight loss while preserving muscle mass. Dieters who are vegan or sensitive to dairy may benefit from supplementing with rice protein. Animal research suggests rice protein may induce weight loss by improving fat metabolism.
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1. Moro GE, Warm A, Arslanoglu S, Miniello V. Management of bovine protein allergy: new perspectives and nutritional aspects. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2002;89(6 Suppl 1):91-6 [review].
2. Koo WW, Lasekan JB. Rice protein-based infant formula: current status and future development. Minerva Pediatr 2007;59:35-41 [review].
3. Murata K, Nishikaze M, Tanaka M. Nutritional quality of rice protein compared with whole egg protein. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1977;23:125-31.
4. MacLean WC Jr, Placko RP, Graham GG. Postprandial plasma free amino acid changes in preschool children consuming exclusively rice protein. J Nutr 1979;109:1285-9.
5. Koo WW, Lasekan JB. Rice protein-based infant formula: current status and future development. Minerva Pediatr 2007;59:35-41 [review].
6. Hojsak I, Kljaić-Turkalj M, Misak Z, Kolacek S. Rice protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome. Clin Nutr 2006;25:533-6.
7. Reche M, Pascual C, Fiandor A, et al. The effect of a partially hydrolysed formula based on rice protein in the treatment of infants with cow's milk protein allergy. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2010;21:577-85.
8. Koo WW, Lasekan JB. Rice protein-based infant formula: current status and future development. Minerva Pediatr 2007;59:35-41 [review].
Last Review: 05-12-2015
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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2023.