Oils 101 – Defendant #1: Rice Bran Oil!

If there is anything more confusing than how to eat Paleo (i’m not Paleo, but I am Paleo-ISH!), it has to be what constitutes as ‘good’, edible Oil, versus those that are ‘bad’, edible oils. So in an effort to shed light on this, I’m going down the scientific study paper route of getting rid of the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) around what edible oils you should have more of, and those you should avoid, one oil at a time!

Here’s my disclaimer: One size does not fit all! This is the Core Health Dynamics over-riding principle for all things health, fitness, and nutrition. Some people may tolerate these oils better than others due to genetics, environmental factors, and their current health status. So we will try to bring an even argument to each oil in question, then go with the majority of the evidence as to whether it’s good or bad!

Without further ado: Rice Bran Oil!

Matt Gajdos from the WordPress Blog ‘Mr G Kids‘ took me up on my offer of wanting more information on a particular health and fitness Post, requesting the following:

“Can you do a post about the truth about rice bran oil?”

When I asked Matt why such a specific subject, it turns out his Dad is espousing the virtues to Matt of Rice Bran oil, and to be honest, I think Matt wants to shut him up!:)

So Matt, this one’s for you!

What is Rice Bran Oil?

It is the ‘germ’, or inner husk of a grain of rice that makes the oil, and the outer husk that makes the Bran.Put them together, and you have Rice Bran Oil. So far so good!

How is it manufactured?

But here’s where it all goes bad.The Oil is extracted using chemicals (solvents), the residue of which ends up in the finished product. Ultra high heat is also used, which means that many potential nutrients would be neutralised. To quote from Patent US2727914-A ‘Rice Bran Oil Extraction Process:

“…rice bran solvent extraction process in which the rice bran which has been so heat-treated and crisped is counter currently contacted with substantially separate portions of solvents while it is supported on the bed of a continuous filter, and the residual solids removed from each portion of solvent by filtration.”

This process yields 18% oil from the bran itself.[1]

What’s good about Rice Bran Oil?

It has a very high smoke point, meaning it can be used for frying without it turning carcinogenic. Most oils have a lower smoke point, particularly the really good oils like Olive Oil. If Rice Bran Oil is cold pressed, it should be ok to cook with. It also appears to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol), and enhance HDL (good cholesterol). Which is why I am guessing that Matt’s Dad is a fan, he most probably was told by his GP/MD to reduce his nutritional intake of bad cholesterol raising foods and condiments.

Without going into detail, the whole good/HDL versus bad/LDL cholesterol information which we’ve taken as gospel for decades, is now also being challenged. This is a whole separate Post though, so let’s stay on track.

What’s bad about Rice Bran Oil?

The oil itself is fine. It’s how they extract the oil that makes this not just bad, but potential cancer bad!

Most Rice Brain Oil IS NOT Cold Pressed. Cold Pressed is basically using means to extract the oil without chemicals and ultra high heat treatment, both of which not only damage the finished product, but also make it potentially carcinogenic.

Chemical extraction to product Rice Bran Oil is particularly malevolent, most notably due to  Polycyclic Biphenol (PCB), Polychlorinated Dibenzozofurans (PCDF), and Polychlorinated-p-dioxines (PCDD) as the chemicals (solvents) of choice. All of these are known Endocrine Disruptors. Your Endocrine system basically regulates every metabolic process in your body. You don’t want it disrupted!

As for the effects of these chemicals on the finished product, the following is an extract from Japanese study titled ‘Carcinogens;Binding effect of environmental carcinogens on rice bran fiber examined’:

The researchers concluded, “It was suggested, therefore, that mutagens and carcinogens were available for the fecal excretion of residual chemicals and their metabolites, and also for the fecal excretion of PCBs, PCDFs and related compound residues in patients of Yusho disease, who suffered food poisoning due to rice oil contaminated with PCB in Japan.” [2] (2012), H.Tokiwa

So interpreting the above, chemical residue was found in the poop of the subjects who consumed Rice Bran! How much of this was taken up by the body before being excreted?

Rice Bran Oil is also an Omega-6, or Linoleic Acid. An over consumption of this is strongly linked to diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart disease. About 1/3 is Oleic Acid, similar in reputed benefits to Linoleic Acid, but has also strong links to Breast Cancer[3] and therefore inflammation.

The Verdict: Rice Bran Oil, you are found GUILTY of perverting the cause of good health! 

This oil is like the kid who grew up in a good home, with a good family, in a good neighbourhood, but then went bad due to outside influences! Due to the chemicals used to produce the finished product, Rice Bran Oil would retain lots of undesirable elements that could really have a longer term negative impact on your health by promoting inflammation, and introducing carcinogens to the body.

The only caveat here is that if you can find Cold Pressed Rice Bran Oil, and don’t use it for every meal you fry with, you should be OK. Keep in mind that Butter, Ghee, and Coconut Oil are healthier alternatives.


Sources and Notes:

  • US Patent US2727914 A, Dec 20, 1955
  • [2]Carcinogens;Binding effect of environmental carcinogens on rice bran fiber examined’:H. Tokiwa, Kyushu Women’s University, Laboratory Environmental Hlth, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 8078586, Japan. (Apr 9, 2005): 1471.
  • [3]Pala, V.; Krogh, V.; Muti, P.; Chajes, V.; Riboli, E.; Micheli, A.; Saadatian, M.; Sieri, S.; Berrino, F. (2001). “Erythrocyte Membrane Fatty Acids and Subsequent Breast Cancer: A Prospective Italian Study”. JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute 93 (14): 1088–95
  • Proquest.com, 18/08/2014.

Hello! My name is Rich, and my Son has Autism!

That’s what it feels like most of the time telling someone you have a child who is on the Autism Spectrum. Sometimes it’s like admitting you have a problem, like being an alcoholic or drug user, who is trying to sober up or stay clean. It’s like a confession; like you’ve admitted to some deeply held secret.

And then you wait for the face. The other persons face. The eyes instantly narrow a little as the mouth opens slightly, and from it comes the sound “oh'”! Pure pity. The other person, whether it be a stranger, or a friend, or family member learning of your child’s “terrible bad luck”, that first moment they hear that word ‘Autistic’, they look at you with pity. Then they stumble over what to say next. It’s awkward, for you and especially for them. Especially if they have kids who are excelling at school, on the sporting field, at dancing, singing, gymnastics. Anything really. Suddenly they stop telling you about how their Son is acing it at school, or how many goals he scored last Saturday, or anything good or positive about their own kids. I actually like hearing other people’s stories of how well their children are doing. It makes me feel like we have a connection, this other person and I: we both have children! But when the ‘A’ word comes up, the shutters come down and the pity switch is turned on. Which is a shame, because every Parent should be proud of their kids regardless of their academic or sporting achievements. Or any ‘Disability’ they may have.

Disability. Disabilities. Dis-ability. Not able.

What is my Son not able to do? He cannot carry on a normal conversation. He cannot make eye contact, or at least very rarely. He cannot think abstract thoughts. He cannot learn at a regular school due to him not being able to do the standard education curriculum, or stay mentally or emotionally in control all of the time. Both of these things naturally make the other children uncomfortable round him. He’s different, so he gets bullied. So he cannot easily make friends. Can you imagine not having friends when you were a 7-year-old? Perhaps he doesn’t notice, that’s what people say. I’m his Dad. He notices.

But, what can he do?  He can breathe. He can walk. He can eat and drink. He can use a computer, read a book, run in the park, and kick a ball. He can ask me what he is having for dinner, for a drink, or for a new toy for his Birthday.There are some kids who are so ill they can’t even do that. My heart breaks for their Parents.

My Son can also smile, and he can laugh. And when he laughs, it is pure joy and happiness. That’s one thing about Autism: it’s difficult to lie due to the abstract thought thing. I’m not saying you can’t lie with Autism, I’m just saying it doesn’t come as naturally as it does to the rest of us. So when there is emotion involved, whether its outcome is negative such as lying, or positive such as laughter, it’s true, and honest.

My Son’s smile makes my heart smile.

Has my Son got a Disability? “Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus, disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.” – World Health Organisation. (2012)

The society my Son lives in. Pockets of goodness with large doses of narcissism, ego-driven greed and power, and total disregard for the long or even short term impact of getting your priorities in order. I made a decision to spend the remaining time I have here on this morally misaligned planet to help other people in all forms of their life as much as I am able. I’m not perfect either, but I’m an optimist, despite my comments above. But i fear for my son in this world. In this society in which he has to interact. What happens to him when I am not here anymore?

I have been asked whether I would change my Son. As in, if I could, would I want to take his Disability away? I’ve been asked this more than once, which surprises me for various reasons. And it would seem an obvious answer, right? My Son has Autism. My God, how will he cope? How do you as a Father cope? So. If I had a chance to change my Son, would I do it?


At least not for me. Let me explain.

I would change my Son for his sake. No matter what he does for the rest of his life, he is now labelled. He has Autism. He is Autistic. He is on the Autism Spectrum. Cue the ‘pity face’! He will never be able to just go for a drink at the pub, ask for a train ticket, speak to a neighbour socially, buy a movie ticket, or apply for a regular job without the other party working out within seconds that something is different about him. And the instant that happens, he will be judged, then he will be labelled. He is labelled now by society because he has Autism. I label him every time the subject comes up. My Son has Autism. Boom, one label thanks! The world will not be kind to my Son.

So let me rephrase the question: Would I change my Son, for my Son’s sake? Absolutely.

But. Would I change my Son for me, his Father?

No. Not ever. Everything about my Son is genuine. Or to phrase that very much overused word by Management guru’s everywhere, “authentic”! You want authentic? Come see my son. He feels everything, it’s all absorbed, mixing and tumbling in his fragile little brain, then spat back out any way he can. Which is part of the problem of having Autism where you can’t interpret your environment like the rest of us can, and you basically freak out. But it’s because of this that there is no lie with my Son. What you see is what you get. So the bad can be really bad, but good is so pure and “authentic”. His disability becomes part of his personality, part of who he is. It’s all part of his character, his head, heart, and soul. And I love my Son’s character. I love his personality. I love him till the end of my days and beyond. So the answer to the question of whether I would change my Son?

No. Not ever.

My Son is imperfectly perfect. My Son has Autism. My Son makes me a better person.

Supplements 101| Natural anti-inflammatory’s!

Inflammation has been shown to be a pre-cursor of a lot of modern-day illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular related sickness! Additionally, inflammation around your bodies joints can take a real toll on you when trying to physically workout, or even just to move functionally.

The anti-inflammatory supplements blog has all the right information on the top 6 natural supplements which can help! I take Turmeric tablets twice a day, and add it to my Paleo Bone Broth too. Does it work? After having a knee reconstruction years ago, and a permanent pinched nerve in my shoulder, I still manage to do weights, kettlebells, trail running, swimming, and body weight sessions week in, week out. I’m sure that the Turmeric helps with alleviating some of the inflammation and therefore pain.

So Yes, I think it works!

And ginger is great for digestion and immunity!


To see the rest of the recommendations, read on!


Antiinflammatory Supps


Sources and Notes:


The ‘Burnt out, I feel like crap’ equation (and solution)! (Updated and Reposted)

This Post originally appeared on the Core Health Dynamics Blog way back in August this year (2014). It had a good response at the time, and seeing as we’re heading into the crazy Xmas season, is probably more relevant for a lot of you than what it was back then.

I’ve updated the three points around combating Adrenal Dysregulation and added some strategies you can try implementing.
Hope you enjoy this and you find it useful!


Do you feel constantly fatigued, yet unable to sleep?
Do you find it hard to concentrate on one thing, without a dozen other things trying to crowd your thoughts for attention?
Do you feel ‘tired but wired’? That is, you feel like you need to sleep for a week, but when you try to get a decent, deep sleep, your body and mind just won’t switch off?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these, then congratulations my friend, you are on the cusp of burning out, or some sort of physical, mental, or emotional breakdown! And that ain’t good!

But, far from being all doom and gloom in this Post (when has this Blog ever been all doom and gloom?), we have a solution for you in mathematical form!

Dr.Sara Gottfried, author of ‘The Hormone Cure‘, came up with this great little equation below all about Adrenal Dysregulation, which is usually (but not always) the cause of burn out, and that ‘tired but wired’ feeling.

The simple solution to combat this?

1. Get some decent sleep time.

  • Try and go to bed and wake at the same time each day.
  • Remove ALL electronic devices (yes, including your iPhone!) from your bedroom.
  • Have a notepad and pen beside your bed so you can ‘download’ any of those crazy thoughts that come into your head. Get them out of your head, and onto the paper; you’ll sleep better with less to worry about, but won’t forget about things in the morning.

2. Workout.

  • Keep the duration of your workouts to 20 minutes
  • Keep the intensity of your workouts to moderate intensity or less
  • Do something you can use as both exercise, but also as a form of zoning our or meditation (see Point #4!).

3. Eat well.

  • Sugar is not your friend, limit your consumption.
  • Eat and drink  lots of fresh vegetables, organic where possible.
  • Eat grass-fed, free range red meat three times per week and boost those B vitamins.

4. Have an outlet as your meditation. It can be whatever you want it to be, as long as you are losing yourself in that moment (mine’s surfing by the way! What’s yours?).

Remember that stress is not always a bad thing! It’s an in-built chemical and emotional reaction to prepare you to take on a challenge. The key is to harness this stress, and not let it harness you!

Good luck, let me know if you need some help on any of these areas, and as always, Enjoy!





Sources and Notes:

Gottfried, S. (2013) The Hormone Cure