Elevated cholesterol levels are one of the most common health conditions. Red yeast rice is a natural and effective way to lower blood cholesterol levels.

What is red yeast rice

   Red rice yeast is a traditional Chinese culinary and medicine that has been used for many centuries. It is produced by the fermentation of the yeast Monascus purpureus, which is found in red rice.

   The main activity of the red yeast rice is due to a group of substances containing so-called monacolins. In particular, monacoline K is a substance that has identical chemical structure with the common anticholesterolemic drug lovastatin, a common statin drug.

   Based on this property, many supplements with red rice have been released in recent years. The composition of supplements varies according to the species and the cultivation.

Action of monacolin

   Like lovastatin, supplements containing monacolin K are used to lower total cholesterol and bad cholesterol – LDL levels in blood. The way monacolin K works is by reducing the endogenous production of cholesterol in liver. In particular, it has been shown that dietary supplements containing monacolin K can reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 10-33%, a signifiacant but much lower effect than that of common statin drugs.

   However, after chemical analysis of red yeast rice, it has been found that, in addition to monacolin K, there are plenty of other substances that can help lower cholesterol levels, such as isoflavones, polyunsaturated fats and phytosterols. For this reason, the precise mechanism of lowering cholesterol has not yet been clarified.

   Red yeast rice may also have also plenty of other actions that need to be proven. It therefore appears to contribute to the increase of good cholesterol – HDL, while in animal studies seems to help treat fatty liver and lower blood glucose levels. Briefly supplements with red yeast rice contribute to:

  • Reduction of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels
  • Improvement of cardiovascular function
  • Improvement of blood circulation

Dosage

  As daily dose is defined 600 mg, 2-4 times a day, for up to 12 weeks.

Safety and interactions

   Taking red yeast rice supplements may have some side effects such as headaches, heartburn, muscular disease, weakness, rhabdomyolysis and liver toxicity. Attention should be given to renal function.

Contraindications

  Pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as minors should not take supplements with red yeast rice. People with liver disease, thrombotic problems, kidney disease, musculoskeletal disorders and cancer or people who are take cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins), antioxidants, antiplatelet and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, should not take supplements with red yeast rice.

   In Vita4you you can find a great variety of supplements with red yeast rice.