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
Q: How Can I Reduce Cholesterol Naturally
Q:How can I reduce cholesterol naturally?
A: here are a number of things that are recommended. One is to reduce total caloric intake. If you are obese, achieving a healthy body weight is also extremely important.
Then there’s increasing fiber intake to 25 to 30 grams per day. If you smoke, quit. Beyond that, there are a number of natural supplements that have been used for people with moderately high cholesterol. Among these, one of the most effective is Chinese Red Yeast Rice.
Subject Accrual And Retention
Eighty-eight patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to the treatment groups. Of the patients assigned, 83 completed the study, 4 subjects discontinued early, and 1 was dropped for protocol violation. One subject withdrew from the red-yeast-ricetreated group and 3 withdrew from the placebo-treated group. Follow-up visits were conducted within 3 d of the target date.
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Dosage And How To Use
Red yeast rice is available in many formulations, such as an extract, capsule, or tablet. People can follow the instructions on the packaging as a guideline for dosage.
Some sources suggest that people can take 2001000 mg two or three times daily. However, it is more important for people to be conscious of the monacolin K content.
As the monacolin K content can vary significantly, many consumers may be of how much is present in red yeast rice products.
Red Yeast Rice Fish Oil Fight High Cholesterol
By Anne Harding, Reuters Health
4 Min Read
NEW YORK – A regimen of supplements and lifestyle coaching is just as effective as statin medication for reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol, and more effective in helping people lose weight, new research shows.
A store worker walks past rows of herbal, vitamin and mineral pill products at a suburban pharmacy in Sydney, Australia, April 29, 2003. REUTERS/David Gray
People with high cholesterol who took red yeast rice and fish oil daily and received counseling on diet, exercise and relaxation techniques showed the same 40 percent drop in LDL cholesterol seen among people taking 40 milligrams of simvastatin daily, Dr. David J. Becker of the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems Chestnut Hill Hospital and colleagues found. And they pared off an average of 10 pounds over 12 weeks, compared to less than a pound for patients taking the statin.
Becker has run a lifestyle program for people at risk of heart disease for 13 years. People had a uniform desire to get off statins, and when they did their cholesterol was only going down maybe 5 percent at most, he told Reuters Health. The cardiologist decided to launch the current study after seeing many patients have success in lowering their cholesterol with red yeast rice and fish oil.
People in the red yeast rice group lost an average of 4.7 kilograms , compared to 0.3 kilograms in the statin group.
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Risks Of Red Yeast Rice Extract
Because red yeast rice extract contains lovastatin, it can cause the same side effects as chemically created statins. These side effects include higher than normal liver function test results and muscle weakness . Because the extract contains less lovastatin than prescription statins do, side effects are less common with the extract.
Red yeast rice extracts are not monitored by the FDA. The lack of FDA regulation means the product could contain ingredients besides the extract that could cause side effects or safety issues. In the past, some manufacturers of red yeast rice extract added chemically created lovastatin to boost the power to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. The FDA made the companies stop this practice, as the altered product was no longer completely natural. Also, different brands of the product may work better than others and there can even be differences among batches from the same manufacturer. A higher cost does not guarantee a better product.
It is important to talk to your doctor before taking red yeast rice extract or any other medication or supplement and to have regular follow-up visits with your doctor. It is not recommended to take red yeast rice extract and prescription statins together.
But The Fda Has Banned The Sale Of Monacolin K
While red yeast rice may have some compelling health benefits going for it, theres a caveat. The US Food and Drug Administration deems monacolin K a pharmaceutical drug. It has warned against the use of all red rice yeast products and bans the sale of any that contain non-negligible levels of monacolin K.
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Plant Stanols To Lower Cholesterol Levels
Dr. Hazen recommends plant stanols as another nonprescription way to help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Unlike statins and red yeast rice extract, which prevent the body from making cholesterol, plant stanols keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. In one study, plant stanols , helped reduce LDL levels by 15-18%. However, a typical range is 4-14%.
Red Yeast Rice: Benefits Side Effects And Dosage
Its turned up on pharmacy shelves only within the last few decades, but red yeast rice has been prized for its powerful medicinal properties for hundreds of years.
As one of the top natural remedies for high cholesterol levels, red yeast rice is one of the few natural supplements that contain active ingredients virtually identical to those found in prescription medications.
Plus, the benefits of red yeast rice extend beyond lowering cholesterol levels, with emerging research showing that it may also benefit inflammation, metabolic syndrome, blood sugar levels, and more.
Here are the benefits, side effects, and dosage recommendations for red yeast rice.
Its been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries for its powerful health-promoting properties.
Red yeast rice contains the compound monacolin K the same active ingredient found in prescription cholesterol-lowering medications like lovastatin .
For this reason, its often used as a cost-effective alternative to pricey medications to help reduce cholesterol levels and support heart health.
Research has shown other beneficial effects as well, ranging from reduced cancer cell growth to improved blood sugar and insulin levels.
Today, red yeast rice is commonly sold as an over-the-counter supplement marketed to help manage cholesterol and improve overall health.
The potential benefits of red yeast rice include:
- improved heart health
- reduced risk of metabolic syndrome
- reduced cancer risk
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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 The Present Status Of Red Yeast Rice
Small scale studies using pharmaceutical-grade red rice yeast have continued to demonstrate efficacy and safety. However, in the United States it is no longer legal to sell supplements of red yeast rice that contain more than trace amounts of cholesterol lowering substances. For example, the active ingredients of red rice yeast have been removed from Cholestin marketed in the United States.
The reasons the Food and Drug Administration has ruled that it is illegal to sell red yeast rice that contains more than trace amounts of the cholesterol-lowering substances and to promote red yeast rice for lowering cholesterol levels.
- First, statin drugs are associated with muscle and kidney injury when used alone or combined with other medications. There is concern that patients who already take statin drugs with or without these other medications may increase their risk of muscle or kidney injury.
- Second, the FDA considers the products containing red yeast rice with high levels of cholesterol lowering substances to be new, unapproved drugs for which marketing violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
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May Help Treat Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that increase your risk for chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Some of the criteria for metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, excess body fat, increased blood sugar, and alterations in cholesterol or triglyceride levels .
Several studies have found that red yeast rice may help treat some of these risk factors and could be used as a natural treatment to aid in their prevention .
One of its most well-documented effects is its ability to lower cholesterol. Research shows that it can effectively reduce both total and LDL cholesterol levels.
Another small, 18-week study found that a supplement containing red yeast rice was able to reduce blood sugar, insulin levels, and systolic blood pressure in people with metabolic syndrome .
Plus, an 8-week study looked at the effects of red yeast rice on mice fed a high fat diet compared with a control group. It found that red yeast rice was able to prevent increases in cholesterol levels and body weight .
Ranking The Best Red Yeast Rice Supplements Of 2022
Red yeast rice is a supplement that is used to lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
Its derived from traditional Chinese herbal medicine practices: freshly harvested rice is left to soak in water, and is inoculated with a specific kind of yeast that turns the surface of the rice a deep red and produces a number of biologically active compounds.
These compounds appear to manipulate the same biological pathways as statins, which are prescription medications that lower cholesterol.
Red yeast rice can be remarkably effective at improving heart health, but there are a lot of concerns about quality control during the manufacturing process.
If you want a high-quality red yeast rice product thats both pure and effective, our researchers have investigated the top brands and ranked the best red yeast supplements for improving heart health.
Arazo Nutrition Red Yeast Rice is an excellent option when it comes to both purity and potency.
Tested with strict standards for the presence of toxins, you can be assured that this red yeast rice supplement is both safe and effective.
Its got 600 mg of red yeast rice per capsule, making it very easy to follow the usual clinical trial protocols for heart health. In terms of all-around utility for heart health, its our top pick.
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How Do Plant Stanols Help Lower Cholesterol Levels
When we digest food, the gallbladder releases bile into the intestines. The bile contains cholesterol and other compounds that help us digest and absorb lipid nutrients in the food we eat. The bile and cholesterol are reabsorbed in the lower parts of the intestines. Plant stanols keep the intestines from absorbing the cholesterol, and the cholesterol leaves the body through the stool.
Plant stanols work best when they are combined with a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Even patients who eat a 100% plant-based diet with very limited amounts of cholesterol can lower LDL cholesterol levels by taking these supplements.
Plant stanols are most effective when they are taken with food. It is recommended to take them 3 times a day with meals.
Using Red Yeast Rice Extract Instead Of Prescription Statins
Dr. Hazen states, When I have a patient who is adamant about not wishing to take an FDA-cleared drug, but is agreeable to taking a “natural” intervention to lower LDL cholesterol, I have, on these rare occasions, used red yeast rice extract and monitored the patient for side effects and ordered liver function tests. In general, when a patient takes a large amount of supplements, I also recommend getting a complete blood cell count with differential to check for eosinophilia higher than the normal level of a type of white blood cells called eosinophils or other abnormalities. If there is a significant jump in eosinophils, I recommend that the patient stops taking the supplements.”
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What Is The Correct Dosage Of Red Yeast Rice Extract
Keep in mind that the amount of monacolin — perhaps the most important ingredient — in a red yeast rice extract can vary a lot. There are many different strains of the yeast. Different types of fermentation are used. One study of different brands of red yeast rice supplements showed that the amount of monacolin ranged from 0% to 0.58%.So even though studies have shown that RYRE can lower cholesterol, you can’t really know if the supplement brand you’re using will have that effect.
If You Are Considering Red Yeast Rice
- Do not use red yeast rice to replace conventional care or to postpone seeing your health care provider about a health problem.
- Do not use red yeast rice dietary supplements if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or nursing a child. If you are considering giving a child a red yeast rice dietary supplement, it is especially important to consult the childÃ¢â¬â¢s health care provider.
- Do not take red yeast rice in addition to prescription statin drugs.
- Many websites, including sales sites, have information about red yeast rice. Be cautious when you evaluate information from the web not all of it is trustworthy. For more information, see the NCCIH fact sheet Finding and Evaluating Online Resources.
- Federal regulations for dietary supplements are very different fromÃ¢â¬âand less strict thanÃ¢â¬âthose for drugs. For more information about dietary supplements, see NCCIHÃ¢â¬â¢s fact sheet Using Dietary Supplements Wisely.
- Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
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Is Red Yeast Rice Extract A Drug Or A Supplement
So on one hand, the extract is a traditional remedy that helps lower cholesterol. On the other, the pharmaceutical manufacturer of Mevacor argues that it owns the rights to the ingredient lovastatin.
This confusion extends to how the supplement is sold in the U.S. Because red yeast rice extract contains a substance classified as a prescription drug, the FDA has requested that several RYRE products be withdrawn from the market because they contained monacolin K. The FDA cited a risk of severe muscle problems that could lead to kidney disease.
Despite the FDA’s attempts, many people in the U.S. still manage to get similar red yeast rice extracts from other countries or on the Internet.
May Promote Heart Health
Heart disease is a serious condition that affects millions and is estimated to account for 31.5% of deaths around the world .
High cholesterol one of the main risk factors for heart disease can cause arteries to narrow and stiffen, leading to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke .
Red yeast rice is commonly used as a natural remedy to help lower cholesterol levels and promote heart health, and can sometimes have fewer adverse side effects than prescription drugs used to treat high cholesterol .
One review of 21 studies found that red yeast rice was effective at reducing levels of total and LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides and blood pressure, when combined with statin drugs .
Additionally, the monacolin K may also help improve endothelial function, or the flexibility and adaptability of your blood vessels, which is key to maintaining your vascular and heart health .
High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol
When RYR alone was used to treat hyperlipidemia, it significantly increased HDL-C levels in patients compared with using nutraceuticals and placebo , and was comparable to using a statin . On the other hand, when combining RYR with statins in the treatment of hyperlipidemia, there was no significant difference compared with statins alone . However, patients treated with RYR in combination with a nutraceutical showed significantly increased levels of HDL-C compared with the nutraceutical alone .
Red Yeast Rice Supplements For High Cholesterol
I’m taking red yeast rice capsules to lower my cholesterol, and I noticed that some brands recommend taking it with food, while others don’t. What should I do?
Take the red yeast rice supplement before you go to bed, whether your belly is full or not. Because the body naturally produces more cholesterol at night, you’ll wind up benefiting more from the supplement this way.
There’s no doubt that red yeast rice helps lower cholesterol. Like prescription statins, red yeast rice supplements work by blocking production of a liver enzyme that generates cholesterol. A UCLA School of Medicine study of 83 adults found that it lowered cholesterol levels by 16% in 8 weeks. Research in China involving thousands of people showed a 30% reduction in heart disease risk in those who took the supplement for 4 years.
More From Prevention
Despite these benefits, statins may be a safer bet. The FDA doesn’t regulate dietary supplements, so you may have a hard time selecting an effective red yeast product, while statins are FDA monitored, the dosing is better regulated, and you get more predictable cholesterol-lowering results. Depending on dosage, statins can cut cholesterol levels by as much as 45%.
Source: Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, head of preventive cardiology and rehabilitation at the Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland.
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