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Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are thought to be involved in oxidative damage and contribute to the aging process. It has been reported that unpolished rice or brown rice contained valuable nutrients such as vitamins, gamma-oryzanol, ferulic acid, phytic acid, and most significantly, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which was intensely increased in germinated brown rice. In this study, we determined the effects of pre-germinated black glutinous rice (PGR) (Oryza sativa var. glutinosa) on antioxidant enzyme activities such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase (CAT) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in plasma and the hippocampus of male aged rats. Male Sprague-Dawley rats aged 12 months were randomly divided into three diet groups comprising of normal diet, normal diet with non-germinated black glutinous rice (NGR), and normal diet with PGR, respectively for 36 days. At the end of the experiment period, blood and the hippocampus tissue samples were assessed lipid contents (cholesterol, triglyceride), malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, and the enzyme activity of SOD, GPx, and CAT. The SOD activity in plasma of aged rats fed PGR was significantly increased (p<0.05) compared with the control and the NGR groups, but no significant changes were seen in the hippocampus from aged rats in different diet groups. Moreover, GPx and CAT activities in plasma and brain remained unchanged. The data also demonstrated that the plasma level of MDA in rats fed PGR was significantly decreased (p<0.05) compared with the control although no statistically significant differences were found in the hippocampus. The present study demonstrated that supplemented with PGR diet could improve lipid profile and antioxidative status in aged rats by decreasing plasma LDL cholesterol and MDA contents as well as increasing SOD activity, respectively. In conclusion, it suggests that PGR diet could be beneficial as a functional food to modulate the lipid contents and also as dietary antioxidants, nevertheless it is necessary to verify their roles through further study on the lipid profile and antioxidative mechanisms.
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