Millions of people are on a statin-drug to reduce their cholesterol levels however some of the serious side-effects includes muscle pain and weakness. Are there natural options available if diet and lifestyle changes aren’t helping yet the medications are not an option?
Red yeast rice is an alternative that has been around for many, many years. It gets its reddish color from the mold, Monascus purpureus that is grown on it. Research has shown that it has cholesterol lowering abilities like a statin-drug but without the harmful side effects making it a real potential for those who can not tolerate the medication.
In one study, the red yeast rice lowered total cholesterol by 18%, LDL by 22% and triglycerides by 7%. Another study found it lowered LDL by 27% in 12 weeks. In a study of 5000 participants, red yeast rice reduced the risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction by 62% and coronary disease mortality by 31%.
The dosage ranges from 1200mg (in divided doses) to 2400mg (in divided doses) in the studies. Some practitioners recommend taking 50-100mg of CoQ10 along with it.
If you want to try red yeast rice, please talk with your healthcare provider as your kidney and liver markers still need to be monitored while checking your cholesterol levels. It has not yet been researched in those under 18 years old nor should it be taken at the same time as a statin-drug.
A simple online search will come up with thousands of responses for ‘red yeast rice,’ so if you decide to try this product, make sure you get it from a reputable source that has the GMP stamp (Good Manufacturing Practices) and can prove that what’s in the capsule is actually red yeast rice at the appropriate level.
Additionally, stick to a cholesterol lowering diet that includes lean protein, fiber, and vegetables. Avoid high fat, trans-fat, and fried foods. Make sure you are exercising at least 30 minutes most days of the week that includes cardio and weight lifting.
1. Lin CC, Li TC, Lai MM. Efficacy and safety of Monascus purpureus Went rice in subjects with hyperlipidemia. Eur J Endocrinol. 2005;153:679-686.
2. Becker DJ, Gordon RY, Morris PB, et al.