Cooking Black Rice

You may or may not know that one of my favorite foods in black rice.  Last week I commented on it’s anthocyanin content, and how anthocyanins might actually increase thermogenesis – Anthocyanins and Thermogenesis.  Of course that actually leads one to inquire how much anthocyanins you are actually consuming when you eat black rice.  In the previously mentioned study they were consuming 150mg’s per day, while the average American only consumes 12.5 mg’s per day in a normal diet.  Which brings us to a UC Davis study in which they measured the stability of anthocyanins in black rice after submitting it to the following preperation or cooking conditions:

  1. Presoaking the rice (to cook it faster)
  2. Cooked in an electric rice cooker
  3. Pressure cooker
  4. Cooked on the stove

In all three cooking scenarios they used a ratio of water to black rice of 1 to 1.8 or in all cases 135 grams of water with 75 grams of dry rice.  In the table below you can see the quantities per gram of rice in raw, and all cooked options.

cooked anthocyanin content study

Biotest Indigo-3G vs. Swanson Vitamin Pro3CG

As you can see in raw rice the majority of anthocyanins were cyanidin-3-glucoside (57 mg’s per 100 grams of rice), protocatechuic acid (12 mg’s per 100 grams of rice) and peonidin-3-glucoside (3 mg’s per 100 grams of rice).  I looked around for supplements with an equivalent amount of anthocyanins in general with little luck.  The Biotest product Indigo 3G says 1 serving (6 capsules) contains 600 mg’s of just cyanidin 3-glucoside, which is an impressive amount.  Still it’s currently sold for $54.95 a bottle and only contains 15 servings!  I’m not sure about you, but that’s fucking expensive to me.  That means you get about 9 grams of cyanidin 3-glucoside per bottle of Indigo 3G.  Which in reality isn’t THAT bad, if you compare it to Swanson Vitamins Pro3CG product which has 3.5 grams per bottle for $19.99 per bottle.  So you would need about 2.57 bottles to get 9 grams, which would cost (assuming you could buy 2.57 bottles) $51.37.  So in the end Swanson’s product is cheaper, but not by much.

Still I would much rather get my anthocyanins from food if I could, especially a favorite food like black rice.  Unfortunately (refer back to table) once you could black rice the cyanidin-3-glucoside significantly decreases, and we see an inverse relationship with protocatechuic acid which increases after cooking.  Once it’s cooked your only getting about 11 to 19 mg’s of cyanidin 3-glucoside.  Protocatechuic acid goes up to 32 to 41 mg’s per 100 grams of rice.

Protocatechuic Acid and Blood Doping

The cool thing about protocatechuic acid is that it’s also one anthocyanin that has been studied as erythropoiesis stimulating agent, or a factor that can increase the bloods ability to carry oxygen.  These drugs and supplements are popular especially with endurance athletes, but can even have a benefit to a bodybuilder.  Although it has yet to be studied in humans for these purposes, it has been shown to increase exercise performance in mice.  What dose is needed?  Well I’m not sure, but it may be a topic I dig further into later on here at the Prohormone Podcast.  Until then, I don’t plan on discontinuing my love for black rice, I just may have to look elsewhere (blueberries maybe?) for a sizable portion of cyanidin 3-glucoside in my food choices.

-Travis DeGraff

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