Colorado State University Scientists Seek Colorectal Cancer Survivors for a Nutritional Study on Rice Bran

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Colorado State University scientists are looking for colorectal cancer survivors to help determine whether rice bran has beneficial gut qualities. Rice bran may be a promising global public health intervention for colorectal cancer control and prevention.

Working with University of Colorado Health’s Poudre Valley Hospital Oncology Clinical Research department, CSU researchers are Elizabeth Ryan, assistant professor, and Erica Borresen, research associate, in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, and Tiffany Weir, assistant professor in Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Researchers are conducting a dietary intervention study titled Bran Enriching Nutritional Eating For Intestinal Health Trial, or BENEFIT. They are seeking 40 more individuals to participate. The study is funded through a two-year grant from the National Cancer Institute-National Institutes of Health.

Eligible study participants will be asked to substitute one meal and one snack each day for 28 days. All study-provided meals were designed and evaluated by a registered dietician. Participants will also be asked to complete a dietary food log each week of the study. There will also be three required study visits in person at the beginning, middle and end of the study.

About 20 adults have successfully completed the BENEFIT study. Interested participants should contact the study coordinator Borresen at or (970) 491-2100.

Rice bran – the discarded brown covering on white rice grains – has untapped health properties that could help millions of people.

“There is a rise in colon cancer incidences in the developed and developing world, and low-cost, highly accessible prevention strategies are desperately needed,” said Borresen, who is leading the study. “We’re still in the process of analyzing the data from our pilot study phase to determine how rice bran components are active in the gut.”

Select varieties of whole-grain brown rice have long been used for their gut anti-inflammatory properties in Ryan’s native India as part of a medicinal system known as Ayurveda. The bran could protect the human gut from disease much like it protects the rice grain from pests and pathogens in the fields, Ryan said.
“Rice bran has already been widely studied for regulating blood lipids, yet only animal studies were completed for the cancer fighting properties,” she added. “Thus, there is now a need to evaluate the nutritional effects of dietary rice bran intake in people for colon cancer control and prevention benefit.”

If you or someone you know is a colorectal cancer survivor and may be interested in participating in BENEFIT, please contact the study coordinator Borresen at or (970) 491-2100.