The Concept of Genetically Modified Rice

If rice is one of your favorite staples to include with almost every meal, then you may be quite excited about the results of a study that shows that with some modifications, a special blend of rice can actually successfully fight your allergy symptoms.

Genetically modified rice is basically what it sounds like. It's a grain that's been altered genetically to give it medicinal properties. In fact, the rice study, which was conducted by scientists in Japan, reveals that it's possible change a crop of rice in this way in order to increase people's tolerance to a certain type of Japanese pollen that carries high allergy risk.

Genetically Modified Rice Study Findings

The genetically modified rice study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2009, was done using a group of monkeys that were fed the genetically modified rice in steamed form on a daily basis over the course of 26 weeks. At the end of study period, the genetically modified rice did improve allergy symptoms without causing any significant problems. It's also interested to note that how the genetically modified rice was prepared didn't seem to affect its benefits. This means that you can still serve this type of rice in your favorite format, such as boiled, steamed or mashed.

Second Generation of Modifications

You might be interested to know, though, that this isn't the first such attempt to add strategic benefits into common foods. Earlier efforts focused on keeping foods free of bugs and other pests, while this Japanese study took the concept an extra step to provide the medicinal properties.

Promise for the Future

The rice study results are seen by many experts as a breakthrough in the field of making genetically modified improvements to the world's food supply that can have such widespread implications. Further, the potential for this technique can go far beyond improving allergies to incorporating a host of other health benefits.

Finally, keep in mind that the findings revealed that this attempt was safe for the animals involved, but researchers still need to do further work to confirm that this effort is safe for humans and for the environment, too.


Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry