According to NaturalStandard.com, a recent study supports previous research that suggests red yeast rice may lower cholesterol.
Red yeast rice is the product of yeast (Monascus purpureus) grown on rice. A staple in some Asian countries, it contains substances known as monacolins, which inhibit the accumulation of cholesterol. In fact, monacolin K is also known as mevinolin or lovastatin--generic for Mevacor, a drug produced by Merck and Company, Inc.,
Studies of red yeast rice's cholesterol-lowering properties date back to the 1970s. Red yeast rice has been shown to lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (also called LDL or "bad cholesterol"), and triglycerides. Products containing red yeast rice extract are available for purchase over the Internet, but these products may not be standardized. Therefore, the effects may not be predictable. In other words, don't go off your medication
In the study, researchers randomly assigned 52 physicians and their spouses with high cholesterol to either take red yeast rice extract or a placebo for eight weeks.
"LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol was lowered with 36 mg/dL (22%) and total cholesterol with 37 mg/dL (15%) in the intervention group," the study reports. "This result was statistically significant as compared to the control group, in which no reduction in total cholesterol and LDL was observed."
In addition, five participants in the intervention group lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to Wikipeda, red yeast rice is uswed in traditional Chinese medicine to "invigorate the body, aid in digestion and revitalize the blood." Its use dates back to the Tang Dynasty (June 18, 618 – June 1, 907).
According to Wikipedia, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers any red yeast rice product with monacolin K a drug, and thus subject to regulation. Many companies get around this by not having any detectable monacolin content in their products. Two reviews reported that the monacolin content of red yeast rice dietary supplements can vary over a wide range.
According to Wikipedia,the dose typically used in clinical trials is 1200–2400 mg/day. This dose contains approximately 10 mg total monacolins, of which half are monacolin K.
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