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Baodhan wards off cancer, diabetes, claims GU scientist

Baodhan wards off cancer, diabetes, claims GU scientist

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 Aug 2017 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, August 6: Red-grained deep water paddy – Baodhan (red rice) – prevents many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, corory heart diseases and what not, claims GU Professor AK Handique.

Baodhan is cultivated mostly in flood-prone Brahmaputra basin in India. It is known for warding off a number of degenerative diseases.

Prof. Handique is the HOD of Biotechnology, Gauhati University. Prof. Handique, in his one-to-one with The Sentinel, has revealed his findings based on his research on indigenous land races of Baodhan and other paddy. Not only local cultivars of paddy, his research group has been working on nutritive values of a large number of local wild, semi-wild and lesser known leafy vegetables and such food plants for the last twenty years.

In so far as red rice from India is concerned this is the first report that claims presence of its pigment called anthocyanin. His report was published in 2008. Studies have also revealed that anthocyanin content has a strong positive co-relation with lipid (fat) content. However, normal white kernels (common white rice) of deep water rice and other groups of rice also contain very small amount of anthocyanin.

“Anthocyanin is also a tural antioxidant. Its health protective characteristics contribute to human health and help prevent diseases like cancer and diabetes from occurring. Anthocyanin is a tural substance. It imparts a typical red and red/purple colouration and is generally found in leaves, flower and fruits with red purple colour. Red coloured baodhan can be considered as medicil rice,” Prof. Handique said.

However, it is not a medicine itself; it acts as a health-protective and health-promoting factor, the professor cautioned.

“Till recent times anthocyanin was limited to academic interest as they have no major physiological functions except imparting colourations like purple, reddish purple etc., to flower, fruit, leaf and stem. However, interest on them was revived and intensified after the discovery of their role as dietary antioxidant in scavenging free radicals. They can considerably reduce the emergence of cardiovascular diseases. It can reduce age associated oxidative stress and has cancer chemo-preventive property. Red kernel or red rice is fairly common among the land races of deep-water paddy although it is occasiolly found in paddy of other categories,” Prof. Handique said.

“Seven indigenous land races of deep-water paddy with red kernel (Baodhan) mely Negheri, Jool, Bamkokua, Do-Kokua, Kolioi, Gotha and Bawla were taken for study. Two other land races, mely Ronga and Adoliabao, were taken for comparison since they have white kernel and considered to be without pigments. Peel of the apple variety ‘Red Delicious’ with scarlet red peel was taken as standard since it is known to contain anthocyanin. One indigenous-scented rice land race ga Joha (joha) was also taken for the study since it has red kernel. Against this, two other scented rice land races mely Kola and Hungjoha with white kernel were taken for comparison,” Prof. Handique said.

The professor said that the findings convincingly demonstrated that red rice, particularly Baodhan, contain tural antioxidant and received acclaim from the scientific fraternity. “The finding is significant because a number of synthetic antioxidants like BHT, BHA etc., are generally used in food processing and in recent times evidences are accumulating that their bio-safety is questioble,” he added.

The land races of Baodhan like Negheri contains 12.08 per cent crude protein and has calorific value of 368 kcal/100 gm, Bam- Kokua has 12.35 per cent crude protein and calorific value- 384.75 kcal/100 gm, Do- Kokua has 13.22 per cent crude protein and calorific value- 381.53 kcal/100 gm, the highest among other varieties in so far as nutritive value is concerned.

tural flood that regularly occurs in the Brahmaputra basin and its tributaries is required to sustain Baodhan cultivation. But in recent times it is not flood but flash flood that devastate paddy, including Baodhan. It is a matter of concern.

Assam has around 0.48 million hactres of lands under deep-water paddy cultivation, mostly in the Upper Assam and central Assam districts in the Brahmaputra valley. The need of the hour is to market this medicil rice. The State Government and other entrepreneurs should come forward to help the farmers.

It is worth mentioning that Prof. K. K Baruah, currently in Tezpur University, also studied the nutritive values of several Baodhan and reported their findings in 2006.

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