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Home > Living Well > Health Library > Gamma Oryzanol for Sports & Fitness
Some athletes say that gamma oryzanol helps increase muscle size and strength gains and reduce fatigue.
Gamma oryzanol and its related compound ferulic acid are thought to affect hormone function in the body, resulting in anabolic effects on muscle growth as well as reduced sense of fatigue. Early studies appeared promising, but a recent double-blind trial cast doubt on any real benefits.
It appears that gamma oryzanol is very poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
Gamma oryzanol is a mixture of sterols and ferulic acid esters. Despite claims that gamma oryzanol or its components increase testosterone levels, stimulate the release of endorphins, and promote the growth of lean muscle tissue, research has provided little support for these claims and has also shown gamma oryzanol to be poorly absorbed.1 A nine-week, double-blind trial of 500 mg per day of gamma oryzanol in weight lifters found no benefit compared with placebo in strength performance gains or circulating anabolic hormones.2 However, a small, double-blind trial using 30 mg per day of ferulic acid for eight weeks in trained weight lifters did find significantly more weight gain (though lean body mass was not measured) and increased strength in one of three measures compared with placebo.3
Some research suggests that gamma oryzanol taken in moderately high amounts (up to 600 mg per day) for several months can cause dry mouth, sleepiness, hot flushes, irritability, and light headedness in some individuals.4
Gamma oryzanol is a natural component of rice bran, corn, and barley oils. Gamma oryzanol is also available as a supplement.
Last Review: 06-01-2015
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