What is rice bran embryo extract and how can it help your horse?

What Is Rice Bran?

Rice bran is the outer brown layer of the rice kernel that is removed during the milling process, which yields white rice. Rice bran has become increasingly popular as a feed ingredient in the equine industry due to its fat content (around 18-20%). However, rice bran is also very unstable and will go rancid quite quickly if not refined/stabilised almost immediately after separation from the rice kernel. Without stabilisation, much of the valuable fat content will have been lost after 24 hours (especially in hot, humid conditions).

Rice Bran Hull

What Is Zanobolic Concentrate?

ZanoBOLIC concentrate is a refined rice bran embryo extract, also known as gamma oryzanol. Gamma oryzanol is a crystalline powder separated and extracted from rice bran oil and rice embryo oil. The gamma oryzanol molecule has a similar molecular structure to a testosterone molecule, thus giving it anabolic properties. Gamma oryzanol contains two molecules – sterol and ferulic acid. Ferulic acid is a compound that possesses very strong antioxidant properties, while sterols have many biological functions – throughout nature they are the starting point for the creation and synthesis of hormones, which are pivotal to cell, muscle and body function.
Gamma oryzanol has a two-fold effect on high performance athletes:
Anabolism – Gamma oryzanol has a stimulant effect on growth, lean muscle mass and strength. It has an effect on the body’s endocrine (hormonal) system resulting in increased metabolism of fat and increased synthesis of protein. In horses, the effects of gamma oryzanol supplementation can be seen as an improved muscle to fat ratio (greater muscle definition over the withers, shoulders and hind quarters).
Antioxidant – During high intensity exercise, free radicals are released into the muscles and damage cell membranes. Antioxidants, such as the ferulic acid in gamma oryzanol, help to protect the membranes from the deleterious effects of free radicals.

Zanobolic Core Function

  • ZanoBOLIC concentrate is designed to target working muscles to assist in lean muscle development.
  • The gamma oryzanol, combined with exercise and a balanced high-quality diet, enables the body to increase lean muscle mass.
  • The strong antioxidant effect of the refined rice bran embryo extract aids in reducing muscle damage in hard working horses.
  • Can be used to improve coat condition and darken coat colour.
  • Stimulates and maintains appetite.

Why Should I Feed Zanobolic?

  • Yearlings: Increase muscle mass and definition + topline + improved and darkened coat = top dollar in sale ring
  • Performance horses: Well developed muscle + topline + increased appetite = stamina, strength and winning edge
  • Show Horses: Topline + well defined muscles + coat condition = show stopper appearance
  • Racehorses in training: Increase appetite + increase muscle mass and strength = speed, stamina and race wins


  • Concentrated – only have to feed 10 – 30g per day! (No wastage)
  • Builds topline
  • Omproves muscle mass and definition
  • Increases muscle strength and endurance
  • Improves performance
  • Highly palatable apple flavour / easy to feed
  • Stimulates and maintains the appetite
  • Coat enhancer / produces a winning appearance

Will Zanobolic Heat Up My Horse?

Rice bran has a high energy value due to its high fat content. However, fat provides slow release energy and is therefore considered to be a source of “cool” energy (i.e. does not heat horses up). On the other hand, starch provides a readily available source of energy in the form of glucose. A peak in blood glucose following a meal can cause behavioural issues in some horses (similar to giving lollies to kids!). Starch is found in highest quantities in grains such as barley and corn.

Rice bran contains moderate levels of starch, ranging from approximately 20-30%. Bagged rice bran feeds are added to a horse’s diet at rates of around 500g to 2kg per day and are used as an additional energy source to supplement or reduce grain addition. Depending on the source of rice bran, the starch levels of bagged rice bran feeds can vary significantly between different products and batches.

Rather than being produced with gamma oryzanol in mind, bagged rice bran feed products are designed as a source of unsaturated fats. These fats contain elements such as glycerol and essential fatty acids, which have links to skin and coat quality. These rice bran products are also a good source of phosphorus and B vitamins. In contrast to rice bran feed products, ZanoBOLIC is a refined rice bran embryo extract designed to provide a concentrated source of gamma oryzanol to improve lean muscle mass. ZanoBOLIC is fed at a rate of 10-30g per day and does not contribute to energy intake. Therefore, ZanoBOLIC WILL NOT cause excitable, fizzy or hot behaviour in horses.