Is Red Yeast Rice A Drug Or A Supplement
Well, briefly put, it depends on the amount of monacolin K present in the red yeast rice. The FDA has decided that if a red yeast rice product contains a substantial amount of monacolin K, then it is considered an unapproved new drug, not a natural dietary supplement.
Monacolin K is also called lovastatin and is used in prescription drugs. But since red yeast rice is actually a natural substance, it may also be seen as a natural supplement. Hence the confusion.
The FDA has actually asked that red yeast rice products that contain substantial amounts of monacolin K to be removed from the market, as they will also automatically thus contain lovastatin. However, despite this withdrawal, many people continue to bring red yeast rice back from their overseas travels, or they just buy it online in order to obtain the benefits without having to take the medications.
Cooper Complete Red Yeast Rice Supplements
Physician formulated, Cooper Complete recommends two capsules containing 1,000 mg Red Yeast Rice twice daily, or as recommended by your health care professional.
It is best to take Red Yeast Rice with food. If you only take Red Yeast Rice once per day, taking at bedtime may be more beneficial to allow more of the product to reach the liver because the liver generally makes most cholesterol at night when dietary intake is lowest. Dont take Red Yeast Rice if youre pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breast-feeding. As with statins, Grapefruit and drinking grapefruit juice may increase the risk of side effects. You should not take it with St. Johns Wort. You should consult with your healthcare provider if you plan to take Red Yeast Rice supplements. Taken over the long term by healthy adults, Red Yeast Rice supplements may help lower blood cholesterol.
Are There Side Effects To Taking Red Yeast Rice
The side effects of Red Yeast Rice supplements may not be as adverse as those of prescription statin drugs. The side effects of a prescription statin drug may be mild headaches, heartburn, and upset stomach. Adverse side effects may include muscle pain, stomach upset, liver damage, liver inflammation or increased blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Dr. Chapman recommends his patients that take either statins or red yeast rice take 50-100 mg CoQ10 to reduce side effects. Dont drink alcohol if you are taking red yeast rice, because the combination might increase the risk of liver damage. Inform your doctor if you experience any side effects, because more extensive research needs to be done before we can know about the long-term safety of red yeast rice extract.
Also Check: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
Who Should Take Red Yeast Rice
To be clear, the person who may benefit most from the cholesterol-lowering effects Red Yeast Rice include those at low cardiac risk and those who have no history of heart attacks, coronary stents, or strokes. In addition, those who are unable to tolerate the side effects of statins frequently take Red Yeast Rice. Consult with your doctor before trying alternatives if a prescription statin drug was advised.
May Have Anticancer Properties
Although current research is limited to animal and test-tube studies, some evidence suggests that red yeast rice may help reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells.
One study found that giving mice with prostate cancer red yeast rice powder significantly decreased tumor volume compared with a control group .
However, more research is needed to evaluate the effects of red yeast rice on other types of cancer in humans.
Specifically, further studies should be done to determine how the potential anticancer effects of red yeast rice may affect the general population.
Red yeast rice may decrease your risk for heart disease and metabolic syndrome, reduce inflammation in the body, and potentially possess anticancer properties. However, more research is needed.
However, there are some potential downsides to red yeast rice as well. They include:
Recommended Reading: Cholesterol Deficiency Symptoms
Now Foods Red Yeast Rice
This contains 60 capsules of 1.2 grams of red yeast rice, yeast, cellulose, and silica. It is manufactured in such a way as to avoid Citrinin, which is a toxic byproduct of the process of fermentation. It contains magnesium stearate from the vegetable source. The requirement is to take 2 vegetable capsules as a dietary supplement 1 2 times daily with meals. It can also be taken with CoQ10 capsules, chewable lozenges, and soft gels for better results. .
Reasons to Avoid:
- No source to declare it as a cholesterol-lowering supplement
- No recommendations
Red Yeast Rice Lowers Total And Ldl Cholesterol Levels
Studies show that serum cholesterol levels in people with hyperlipidemia decreased when they took red yeast rice. Over a 2-month period, participants who took it daily saw a drop in total serum cholesterol by 22.7 percent and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 30.9 percent.2
In another study, researchers gave 2.4 g of red yeast rice as a daily supplement to otherwise healthy test subjects with hyperlipidemia. None were on any kind of lipid-lowering drug treatment. They experienced a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol as well as total cholesterol levels at the end of the 8-week treatment period. The good high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels did not change significantly.3
You May Like: Does Shrimp Have High Cholesterol
Could Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal immune response designed to protect your body against acute infections and foreign invaders.
However, sustained inflammation is thought to contribute to chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease .
Studies show that supplementing with red yeast rice may help reduce inflammation and promote better health in the long term.
For example, a study in 50 people with metabolic syndrome showed that taking a supplement containing red yeast rice and olive extract for 8 weeks reduced levels of oxidative stress a key cause of chronic inflammation by up to 20 percent .
Similarly, one study found that giving red yeast extract to rats with kidney damage reduced levels of specific proteins involved in inflammation in the body .
Red Yeast Rice Dosage
Taking the correct red yeast rice dosage ensures that you get just the right amount of lovastatin in your body. Too much can increase the risk of the side effects, while not enough will usually be far less effective than you had hoped for.
One study found that 2.4 grams of the red yeast rice on a daily basis helped to cut down the total cholesterol by 16% and LDL cholesterol by as much as 22%. All of this in just 12 weeks.
Another study revealed that taking 1.2 grams on a daily basis helped to cut down LDL cholesterol by as much as 26% in only 8 weeks.
However, most doctors recommend taking only 1.2 grams of the red yeast rice per day, with only 7 or 8 milligrams of lovastatin being contained in the rice. This will ensure that there is not too much of the lovastatin ingested, but that enough is consumed to actually have an effect on the cholesterol.
However, The Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources added to Food takes a very cautions stand and says that the Panel was unable to identify a dietary intake of monacolins from RYR that does not give rise to concerns about harmful effects to health, for the general population, and asappropriate, for vulnerable subgroups of the population.
So if you are planning on trying red yeast rice, do check with your their doctor beforehand, as red yeast rice act like drugs. Make sure to ask your doctor what the recommended red yeast rice dosage is according to your physical condition.
You May Like: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
How Well Does Red Yeast Rice Lower Cholesterol
Studies have shown that certain red yeast rice products that contain statin can significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and specifically LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. One showed that taking 2.4 grams per day reduced LDL levels by 22% and total cholesterol by 16% in 12 weeks. Another study showed that taking 1.2 grams per day lowered LDL levels by 26% in just eight weeks.
However, the results of these studies depend on the amount of statin that is in the extract, and it can vary widely. The FDA considers extracts that contain statins to be illegal in the U.S., but many are still available.
What Is Red Yeast Rice Extract
RYRE is a substance that’s extracted from rice that’s been fermented with a type of yeast called Monascus purpureus. It’s been used in China and other Asian countries for centuries as a traditional medicine. It’s also used as a food coloring, additive, and preservative.RYRE naturally contains several ingredients that may help control cholesterol levels. These include a number of monacolins, most importantly monacolin K. It also contains sterols, isoflavones, and monounsaturated fatty acids, or “healthy fats.”
Don’t Miss: Does Shrimp Have High Cholesterol
What Are Risks Of Red Yeast Rice Use
Red yeast rice is often marketed as a natural supplement however, its use can carry risks:
- May cause muscle, liver, and kidney problems similar to those caused by statins
- Should not be used by people who have liver or kidney disease
Studies Showing The Benefits Of Red Yeast Rice Extract
Studies in the United States have shown that high doses of red yeast rice extract can reduce your total cholesterol level as much as 20-25%, although usually less.
The effects of red yeast rice extract were also tested in China in a study that included almost 5,000 patients. All patients had coronary artery disease , and the study looked at how many people had a major cardiovascular event, like a heart attack, or died from CAD. Patients were randomly chosen to take at least 600 mg of red yeast rice extract twice a day or a placebo. Patients took part in the trial for an average of 5 years. The study showed that patients who took red yeast rice were 30-33% less likely to die from CAD or any other cause. They were also about a third less likely to need revascularization, such as angioplasty.
Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, Section Head of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation at Cleveland Clinic, says, To my knowledge, this trial is the only one of its kind monitoring hard outcomes like heart attack, stroke and death risk in a randomized trial with red yeast rice extract. For this reason, the study is significant. However, the fact that the study only involved Chinese patients makes it difficult to know if the results would be the same for people of other races and cultures who eat a different diet than the Chinese.”
Read Also: Is Mayo Bad For Cholesterol
Contents Of Red Yeast Rice
Sure, in order to know whether red yeast rice is really effective for lowering the cholesterol or not, we need to know what the substances inside it are. That is something good for you to know about that. Actually, there are so many substances that we can find in red yeast rice. Still, the most essential one which is really affecting to the cholesterol is about the Statin, monacolin, and lovastin or it is said as HMG-CoA. That is believed as the substance which is really effective on lowering the cholesterol, including the triglyceride and LDL in the body. By getting such the substance from its natural source, which is red yeast rice, it might be completely great for the body because of course it will be low of risk and might be really effective than consuming the chemical products as like medication with Zocor and Lipitor which can have a side impact to the function of liver and also the muscles. Sure, no one of us is expecting to any side impacts. That is why consuming the natural medication will be such a good idea.
What To Do Instead
To lower your LDL, eat a heart-healthy diet that includes plenty of fiber from whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and beansand limit your intake of saturated fat-laden red meats and full-fat dairy products. Losing excess weight, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking have all been shown to increase HDL, or good cholesterol, and have been associated with reduced risks of heart attack and stroke.
If you do need the power of a drug to lower your cholesterol, you are better off taking a prescription statin that is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. That way, your doctor will be able to choose the correct medication for your condition. You will also know exactly how much of the active ingredient each pill contains, along with the risk factors and potential effects associated with it. For more information about statins, see our Consumer Reports Best Buy Drug report.
Taking prescription statins is also gentler on your wallet. A months worth of some generic statin drugs can cost as little as $4 at pharmacies like Kroger, Sam’s Club, and Walmart, and statins are covered by most insurance plans, according to Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs. Meanwhile 30 days worth of red yeast rice can cost about $13, and won’t be covered by your insurance.
Don’t Miss: Is Shrimp Bad For Your Cholesterol
Which Red Yeast Rice For Cholesterols Work Best
The items that are dealt with by your business are probably different sizes, weights, heights, etc. Because of this, a device that can accommodate these variables is a must. Despite its size and cost, it is a quality product despite being small and cheap.
Today, there are multiple ways to accomplish common office tasks using red yeast rice for cholesterols.
Red Yeast Rice: A Better Alternative To Statins
Red yeast rice , a staple of Chinese medicine and a traditional Asian seasoning, is made by fermenting polished rice with various strains of the yeast monacus purpureus. It contains a naturally occurring statin called monacolin-K.
Monacolin-K effectively lowers cholesterol by acting as an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitorthe same mode of action as synthetic statin drugs. Bioactive compounds found in RYR complement monacolin-Ks lipid-lowering effects, including unsaturated fats.12 These act both as cholesterol-lowering and anti-inflammatory agents.13
Mainstream medicine has been slow to embrace red yeast rice as an alternative treatment therapy because the FDA does not regulate the supplementand because many doctors remain unaware of its lipid-lowering ability and safety profile. This constitutes a great disservice to the millions of Americans now taking synthetic statin drugs. There is a wealth of compelling evidence indicating RYRs power to lower low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride levels and raise high-density lipoprotein without unwanted and sometimes dangerous side effects.
In one of the largest studies of its kind, a meta-analysis of 93 randomized controlled trials involving almost 10,000 Chinese patients found that RYR could significantly lower levels of total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, and raise levels of HDL compared with placebo.14
You May Like: Is Shrimp Bad For Cholesterol
Red Yeast Rice Also Contains Other Nutrients That Lower Cholesterol
Besides monacolins, red yeast rice also contains isoflavones, phytosterols, and unsaturated fatty acids. All of these could also have a part in the cholesterol-lowering effect of the food. Researchers studying red yeast rice found that it had less monacolin than is typical in statin drugs but it was able to produce a comparable effect. For instance, red yeast rice contains an average of 0.2 percent of monacolin K per 5 mg. Prescription statin drugs like lovastatin come in doses of 20 to 40 mg.5 This led them to believe that these other compounds may also have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels.6
In addition, red yeast rice also has plant sterols called beta-sitosterol and campesterol that modulate your bodys absorption of cholesterol in the intestine. It also contains fiber, magnesium, and B complex vitamins like niacin that help decrease serum lipid levels.7
Legal Status Of Red Yeast Rice
In 1998, the FDA determined that a red yeast rice product that contained a substantial amount of monacolin K was an unapproved new drug, not a dietary supplement. On several occasions since then, the FDA has taken action against companies selling red yeast rice products that contain more than trace amounts of monacolin K, warning them that it is against the law to market these products as dietary supplements.
Despite the FDA actions, some red yeast rice products currently on the market in the United States may contain monacolin K. Other products may contain little or none of this component. Consumers have no way of knowing how much monacolin K is present in most red yeast rice products, and therefore have no way of knowing whether a particular product is safe, effective, or legal. The labels on these products usually state only the amount of red yeast rice that they contain, not the amounts of monacolin K or other monacolins.
Recommended Reading: Pork Cholesterol Amount