3 Side Effects of Brown Rice, Can It Be Prevented?

Brown rice is considered better than white rice because it is richer in fiber. However, it turns out that there are claims that the consumption of brown rice can cause certain side effects. Is that right? Check out the answer in the following review.

What are the side effects of brown rice?

Brown rice does contain more fiber than white rice. Not only that, brown rice also contains anthocyanin compounds that act as antioxidants for the body.

Unfortunately, there are some compounds that can potentially cause harm if you consume large amounts of brown rice. This is the potential side effect of brown rice that may arise.

1. Inhibits mineral intake

Brown rice contains a compound called phytic acid ( phytic acid ). In fact, this compound is also an antioxidant that can protect the body from damage caused by free exposure.

However, this phytic acid also interferes with the absorption of some minerals, such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese.

In fact, this mineral is important for forming red blood cells, maintaining immunity, and strengthening bones.

Not surprisingly, phytic acid is considered an anti-nutritional compound. The effect of phytic acid on food absorption is also described in a study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology (2015).

So, consuming too much brown rice has the side effect of inhibiting important nutrients that the body needs.

2. Exposed to heavy metal displays

Apparently, brown rice is susceptible to heavy metal contamination, such as arsenic.

Research published in the Oriental Journal of Chemistry (2018) found that some brown rice in Medan, North Sumatra, contained 3.71 mg of arsenic in every 1 kg.

The amount of arsenic in brown rice actually exceeds the metal contamination threshold (ten times higher) set by WHO, which is 0.3 mg in every 1 kg of rice.

This exposure comes from fertilizers, pesticides, water for irrigation, and the soil used to grow rice.

The side effect of brown rice caused by exposure to arsenic is an increased risk of cancer in the organs in the body.

3. Contaminated with poisonous mushrooms

Contaminated with poisonous mushrooms

Aspergillus fungus often grows on corn, rice, and peanuts. In brown rice, the type of Aspergillus fungus that appears is Aspergillus section Flavi.

Indonesia has hot temperatures with high humidity making it easier for fungus growth.

The contamination of the Aspergillus section Flavi fungus turned out to give rise to a toxic substance called aflatoxin. Why is it considered toxic? Aflatoxins are carcinogenic or have the potential to cause cancer.

In addition, the aflatoxins in brown rice have the potential to cause other side effects, such as immune system disorders and liver, kidney, reproductive, and digestive tract failure.

Is it okay to eat brown rice every day?

After knowing the risk of side effects, you may be worried about choosing brown rice as a staple food source.

Actually, you can still eat brown rice every day. Brown rice is still the choice of quality carbohydrate sources, easy to obtain, and versatile.

Brown rice is safe for consumption as long as it is not excessive or eaten in large quantities at once. To measure the right portion, you can follow the amount of daily carbohydrates needs as recommended by the Ministry of Health.

In addition, it is important to continue to consume brown rice along with vegetables and side dishes to meet the daily protein and vitamin and mineral needs.

If you want to completely prevent the side effects of brown rice, you can try certain processing methods.

How to reduce the risk of brown rice side effects

The danger of brown rice comes from contamination or the content of substances in brown rice itself. Indeed, these various side effects endanger the health of the body.

However, you can minimize the effect. So, how to reduce the side effects of brown rice?

Yes, you can soak and wash the rice before cooking it. Not just any washing, there are some things you should pay attention to.

Make sure you soak the brown rice for at least 24 hours. Make sure the water temperature used is 50° Celsius or lukewarm.

This process helps remove the levels of phytic acid and arsenic present in brown rice.

The cooking process actually reduces levels of phytic acid which can trigger one of the dangers of brown rice.

So, it can be concluded that the impact of phytic acid and arsenic contamination is at high risk when you consume raw brown rice.

Of course, you don’t eat raw brown rice, so side effects can be avoided.


1. The side effects of brown rice come from the compounds contained or contamination with toxic substances.
2. The risk of side effects can be reduced by proper treatment.
3. The process of cooking brown rice can eliminate the contamination of harmful substances.
4. Brown rice is safe to consume every day as long as it is in reasonable quantities.

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