Background: Rice is a dietary staple worldwide, especially pre-germinated brown rice has recently been widely served in Japan because of its abundant nutrition. Relationship between lactation and pre-germinated brown rice has attracted interest in terms of mental health and immunity.
Aim of the study: To demonstrate that Japanese foods are beneficial for psychosomatic health, the effects of pre-germinated brown rice on the mental status and immunological features during lactation were investigated.
Methods: Forty-one breast-feeding mothers were recruited, and randomly divided into two groups. One group took pre-germinated brown rice and the other white rice (control) as their staple diet for 2 weeks. The Profile of Mood States (POMS) and salivary amylase activity as psychological indices and secretory IgA (s-IgA) and lactoferrin (LTF) in breast milk as immunological indices were determined before and after dietary intervention, and changes were investigated.
Results: In the psychological assessment, the scores of depression, anger-hostility, and fatigue were decreased on POMS analysis in the pre-germinated brown rice diet group, resulting in a significant decrease in total mood disturbance (TMD). The salivary amylase activity measurement suggested that resistance to stress was increased in the pre-germinated brown rice diet group. On the immunological assessment, the s-IgA level was significantly increased in the pre-germinated brown rice diet group.
Conclusion: We have shown that pre-germinated brown rice may have beneficial effects on psychosomatic health.