The havoc induced by Covid-19 has affected sleep, and increased stress and anxiety, impacting physical as well as mental health of people. Natural antioxidant Gamma Oryzanol may help improve sleep and anxiety, say health experts.
Gamma Oryzanol is a mixture of antioxidant compounds in the bran's oil fraction.
Isolation, loss of work, economic and health worries during the pandemic has dramatically altered the sleeping pattern of many.
While the treatment of insomnia mostly involves pharmaceutical drugs, it comes with its own side effects and many people are not really open or they don't want to take pharmacotherapy because of the side effects.
However, many studies are being done to find out certain natural substances, which can help in the treatment of insomnia and Gamma Oryzanol is one of them.
"There are several antioxidants available for enhancing our overall health. Recently discovered Gamma Oryzanol preliminarily extracted from rice bran, is an important antioxidant," said Dr Nand Kumar, Professor at the Psychiatry Department of AIIMS, New Delhi.
"Gamma Oryzanol is a great natural antioxidant which has been derived from rice bran. Many studies have been done on this which have proved that Gamma Oryzanol is good for the treatment of insomnia," added Dr Pratibha Dogra, Head, Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, W Pratiksha Hospital, Gurugram.
Dogra said a 2017 study in Korea proved that it is a natural sleeping aid.
The Covid-19 outbreak in early 2020 disrupted people's routines, lifestyle and sleep quality. Disruption in work, school and home has increased stress, anxiety, and depression.
"Managing stress level becomes really important as stress over a period of time can lead to many diseases like sleeplessness, depression, panic attack, high blood pressure, heart diseases and diabetes etc. Stress and related medical conditions can be naturally managed by lifestyle modifications, Dietary changes little medication and consumption of natural antioxidants," Kumar said.
Gamma Oryzanol also helps alleviates high fat diet-induced anxiety behaviour through downregulation of dopamine and inflammation, he said, citing a recent scientific study.
Further, the natural antioxisdant also significantly improves the symptoms of dementia, without compromising cognitive function or causing other major side effects, Kumar noted.