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Pakhala, diet based on fermented rice, contains a molecule that helps boost immunity, a preliminary study conducted by Bhubaneswar’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has found.
Balamurugan Ramadass, the head of the institute’s Centre of Excellence for Clinical Microbiome Research who has been conducting the study since 2019, cited the preliminary research and added Pakhala contains short-chain fatty acids known to improve gut health and boost immunity.
“As at AIIMS we treat stunted children, we usually give complex carbohydrates with supplements such as short-chain fatty acids that give a lot of energy and have anti-inflammatory properties. The search was for food that is affordable and easily accessible by everybody. After a lot of research, we zeroed in on Torani, the water in the fermented rice,” said Ramadass, whose team has analysed at least 20 samples collected from households from different locations and socio-economic backgrounds.
Ramadass said the study is yet to be published as he is awaiting more funds for further research. “We just have preliminary data as of now.”