Fermented rice husk could prevent cancer: NTU professor

The China Post staff

Rice husk, if fermented, can enhance human immunity against cancer, a National Taiwan University (NTU) professor emeritus claimed yesterday. Tung Ta-cheng, an 87-year-old honorary professor at NTU’s College of Medicine, said rice husk, which has usually been mixed with rice to serve as feeds for pigs and chickens, contains Hemi cellose, a property that can enhance immunity against cancer. Nevertheless, Tung stressed that rice husk cannot not be consumed by humans directly.

“It should be fermented in order to extract the cancer-fighting Hemi cellose,” he explained. According to Tung, rice husk cannot be digested in the human body. “If humans were to directly eat rice husk, they would suffer diarrhea,” he warned. Tung further said he had experimented with the rice husk extract’s effectiveness in controlling cancer cells on 300 laboratory mice. “The experiment showed that rice husk extracts can really control and kill cancer cells in mice,” Tung claimed, adding that he hopes similar experiments can be conducted on humans in the future. Tung, a former bladder cancer patient, announced about three years ago that a variety of local beans, called pai-feng, possess properties that can help prevent and cure cancer. The beans grow wild in southern and eastern Taiwan.

As Tung is already retired, he couldn’t obtain research grants to support experiments needed to turn extracts from pai-feng beans and rice husk into cancer-fighting drugs for humans.