Rice Bran Fiber found to bind effectively to toxic Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) more than other tested natural substances


A polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) is an organic chlorine compound that were used as lubricants and coolants in transformers, capacitors, and electronic equipment because of a high resistance to heat.

Unfortunately PCBs do not break down in the environment and bio-accumulate in animals and humans due to it being a very stable compound. 

As a result, and because of PCBs’ environmental toxicity and classification as a persistent organic pollutant, PCB production was banned from use in the US in 1979 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, due to the persistence of PCBs in the environment, PCBs continue to leach into soil and groundwater from hazardous waste sites and landfills.

Humans are exposed to PCBs through our food chain by eating fish, meat and dairy products.  PCB’s are fat soluble and are not excreted by the body but instead are stored in fat cells, resulting in accumulations of PCBs over a lifetime.  This long term bio-accumulation increases a person’s body burden of PCBs.

A number of symptoms in humans of PCB exposure have been identified:

  • Severe acne
  • Rash
  • Eye irritation
  • Liver damage
  • Weakened immune system
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Fatigue
  • Certain cancers
  • Developmental disorders


You can test for PCBs in your blood from Genova Diagnostics (GDX):

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) Profile

A study published in the Journal Of Nutritional Biochemistry in January 2005 found that rice bran flour (RBF) was effective in binding and accelerating the fecal excretion of polycyclic biphenyl (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), polychlorinated-p-dioxines (PCDDs) and various mutagens and carcinogens.  RBFs binding effects were related to its high lignan content.  1

Other dietary fibers were testing and compared to RBF.  These other dietary fibers included:

  • corn
  • wheat bran
  • spinach
  • Hijiki (a kind of seaweed)
  • sweet potatoes
  • burdock fibers

The binding effects to RBF and pulp lignin were obtained at ratios of over 90%, while corn fiber and cellulose were at ratios of 4-30%.

It was also found that RBF was capable of binding even conjugates containing mutagens such as glucuronides and sulfates, as well as metabolites in urine.