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Gamma Oryzanol (muscle-building supplement information)

Updated on August 7, 2007

Gamma oryzanol

Gamma oryzanol is a blend of natural sterols, and ferulic acid esters, usually derived from rice bran oil. Approved in Japan, and very popular there gamma oryzanol has started to become popular in the West as well.

Here is what makes this set of compounds appealing from a health perspective:

  • strong antioxidant activity
  • helps with menopause (esp. related anxiety and hot flashes)
  • helps with anxiety
  • helps counteract an underactive thyroid
  • helps with nausea, vomiting and stomach upset
  • like most edible plant sterols, can help lower serum cholesterol levels
  • very popular with weight-lifters and athletes for its muscle-building and endorphin-releasing properties

Alternate names: Gamma oz, gammariza, oryzanol, oz, calclate, thiaminogen, orizanol (misspelling).

Gamma oryzanol for athletes

Preliminary research seems to suggest that oryzanol can boost endorphin release, and build muscle. Additionally interesting for athletes is gamma oryzanol's reputed ability to help with muscular pain and soreness, and injuries.

Two studies have focused on ferulate (ferulic acid), one of the primary components of gamma oryzanol, for their muscle-building and endorphin-releasing activity. In the first study below, hormone levels in six male endurance runners who took 50mg per day of ferulic acid for three days were measured. While the gamma oryzanol supplements were being taken, levels of endorphins were greater than when the athletes took the placebo. In the second study, six weight lifters took 30mg of ferulic acid daily for eight weeks while four lifters received a placebo. Body weight and strength (measured by one maximum lift) increased among the lifters who took the gamma oryzanol.

  • Bonner B, et al. Influence of ferulate supplementation on postexercise stress hormone levels after repeated exercise stress. J Appl Sports Sci Res. 1990;4:110.
  • Bucci LR, et al. Effect of ferulate on strength and body composition of weightlifters. J Appl Sports Sci Res. 1990;4:110.

Gamma oryzanol is also popular among horse and dog breeders for duplicating many of the same effects of anabolic steroids without "testing positive".


Source Naturals, which carries varying sizes and dosages in its "Dietary Supplement Athletic Series", suggests:

  • For MEN: 60-180mg per day
  • For WOMEN: 60mg per day

Take once daily, preferably on an empty stomach (3 or more hours after a meal) and 45 minutes prior to a workout. May also be taken at night before retiring.


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