Pre-germinated brown rice could enhance maternal mental health and immunity during lactation

Eur J Nutr. 2007 Oct;46(7):391-6. doi: 10.1007/s00394-007-0678-3. Epub 2007 Sep 20.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Female
  • Germination
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / analysis
  • Lactation / immunology*
  • Lactation / psychology*
  • Lactoferrin / analysis
  • Mental Health*
  • Milk, Human / immunology*
  • Oryza / chemistry*
  • Saliva / enzymology


  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Amylases
  • Lactoferrin