General Question

dutchchic's avatar

Does red yeast rice lower cholesterol?

Asked by dutchchic (57points) February 12th, 2010

how much to take?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

18 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Yes. There is a least one study that finds it does lower cholesterol. I don’t believe it’s been published yet, but it should be out soon. I was not told how much to use.

How did you hear about it?

EmpressPixie's avatar

According to this it has been sold as such.

gailcalled's avatar

I have been using it for about 5 years, very successfully. I take one 600mg tab in the morning, after food, and one at bedtime. I also add a CO-Q-10 enzyme tab (1 60 mg/daily)to balance it out.

I heard about it from my ex. My sis and her husband are taking it also. We buy the Chinese Red Yeast Rice from the health food store. Solgar and Nature’s Way are reliable brands.

shilolo's avatar

Yes, they do. 1200 mg of red yeast rice (2 capsules) are equal to ~ 5 mg of statins (like mevacor or lipitor). However, there is some debate as to whether the red yeast rice currently sold in the US has this ingredient.

gailcalled's avatar

@shilolo: My numbers for the past several years (I do exercise regularly and am a vegetarian) make me the poster child for C R Y R.

The medical profession is waffling, I know, on the purity of the various brands, but my young intern has no objections.

marinelife's avatar

My husband and I have had a similar experience to @gailcalled. My husband’s numbers dropped significantly.

gailcalled's avatar

@marinelife: And thee, dear heart?

marinelife's avatar

@gailcalled Mine also dropped, but his were the ones in the dangerous zone.

Dilettante's avatar

Agree with many, gailcalled,etc. I’ve been taking two separate doses of 600mg RedYeastRice daily, for several years, along with appropriate CO-Q10 for height, weight, also Hawthorne, garlic, and of course omega 3–6-9 fish oil in suggested doses. I am 63 yrs old, eat just about anything I want, in moderation (well, mostly) and my cholesterol is 157, LDL/HDL levels in correct ranges, ratios, triglycerides too. That’s how I judge things, by the results.
I’ve investigated the brand names I use, and all are reputable. Re the recent debate about Red Yeast Rice, the trick is to STAY AWAY from ONLINE buying of unknown nutritional/medical suppliers. Any reputable health food store, Whole Foods, etc, even drug stores who carry the reputable brands, can be relied upon to supply you with the right Red Yeast Rice. A friend of mine told me his MD had a sign posted in his office “Warning” about Red Yeast Rice,” in a blanket statement, not distinguishing between the good stuff and the scams found online. Well, what would you do, if you could sell cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs at hundreds of dollars per Rx, (too bad about side effects, such as, “death” lol) or let your patients go buy something for ten bucks that does the job, but you and your community don’t make any MONEY off it?
Oh, don’t get me started again LOL Rant over. Gee, I’m glad I found fluther, such a nice way to vent! I will omit my whole “expose’ ” about the health care industry,,,maybe later? Well, you see, what happens is this: LOL

dutchchic's avatar

Thank you for all the info! My cardi is giving me until summer to get it down… it is
240 now so kinda high..well, not kinda… but it runs in the fam. so just took my
first RYR pill today… wish me luck.. eating right and started exercising again, so… we will see! Feel free to add any more info that would help me get this under control!
thanks all!

shilolo's avatar

@Dilettante I hope you are aware that red yeast rice indeed has a chemical called a statin in it. That means it certainly isn’t “safe”, and more importantly, your blood work (including muscle enzymes and liver function tests) have to monitored on red yeast rice (i.e. the side effects are the same). That’s the thing about “alternative” medicines. There are lots of chemicals in each one. That doesn’t meant that they are safe.

Dilettante's avatar

BS…you’ve been reading too much BigPharm propaganda, re statins, etc.
Of course my very progressive GP doctor and I discuss, monitor, everything I do.
He says I should join the circus…the amazing 63 year old man…re my entire bloodwork printout…all in normal ranges, all the time. Again, I say…“The proof is in the pudding.” Talk is cheap. I have my printed bloodwork reports…get it? Put your money where your mouth is.
Are you, by the way, aware of how many of these “studies” are funded by BigPharm? That they in fact pay their handpicked “researchers” to “study” their own products?
Are you aware of how many doctors receive kickbacks, other bennies, from the Pharmaceutical companies whose drugs they prescribe? LOL

shilolo's avatar

@Dilettante Ha. BS indeed. Your knowledge about this comes from where exactly? Pharmacology? Physiology? The reason red yeast rice is effective is that it contains a natural statin (the same chemical as lovastatin). It works by the same mechanism, and thus has the same side effects. No one denies that it works (if the formulation has the statin in it), but some people need more than the roughly 5 mg of statin in the pills, while others will suffer the same side effects as people taking prescription statins. Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about it, including a commentary about the side effects. More importantly, when you buy something that hasn’t been verified, you really don’t know what it contains. There can be batch-to-batch and producer-to-producer variation in the content of the active ingredient.

You know what they call alternative medicines that “work”?

That’s right….medicine.

Dilettante's avatar

Exactly. We are saying the same thing. Remember, however, that, others, have vested interests in what they report upon as well. Try this site, my fine feathered friend, we call it, “Critical Thinking” :

Do yourself a favor and have a nice long look at it.

Dilettante's avatar

Again, talk is cheap. Shall we publish our bloodwork printouts here?
As far as my credentials: BA Business Admin, MFA Creative Writing, M. Lit, Enlish Literature, PhD, English Literature…which, again, allows me to think critically. What are your credentials? “And your knowledge about this comes from where?” Fox News?
Or, as your profile says, “Scientific stuff, golf and beer?”

Dilettante's avatar

Oh, I left out, BA, English Literature/Creative Writing Emphasis, minor in journalism, stringer for a major metropolitan newspaper, which provides me with the ability to “read between the lines.” You?

shilolo's avatar

@Dilettante B.S. in Chemistry, with Honors. Ph.D. Immunology, MD with specialization in Infectious Diseases, full time scientist at a major academic medical center (If you don’t believe me, check out all of my responses over the past 2 years). From a critical thinking standpoint, I think I have you covered. Also, from a scientific and medical standpoint.

I don’t see how being a “writer” means you are a critical thinker also (do your quips reflect the grammar and organization of a seasoned writer)? Look up lovastatin, research its effects as an HMG CoA reductase inhibitor, understand the cholesterol synthesis pathway, and learn how statins affect the muscles and liver before you celebrate being so progressive. Let me state this as clearly as I can, You are taking a non-pharmacalogical formulation of a statin.

Congratulations on saving some money on prescriptions, but that is what you are taking in essence. You can keep patting yourself on the back, but most doctors wouldn’t support it’s use if they didn’t already know the pharmacology behind its effects. For what it’s worth, I’ve encouraged some of my patients to try it (particularly those averse to “traditional medicines”, even though I know that this is just a traditional medicine packaged and marketed as a “natural” alternative to statins).

shilolo's avatar

@Dilettante Also, I would expect someone with all of those literature “degrees” to know the first thing about reporting. For instance, my profile says that my areas of expertise are science and medicine (not “scientific stuff”) and my interests are soccer, golf, beer, wine, poker. Don’t be disingenuous in an attempt to be “critical” or funny. It isn’t working.

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