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Lower Cholesterol and Red Rice Yeast: A Woman's Heart

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As someone who has high cholesterol, I’m always on the lookout for new information that might help me eliminate this risk factor for heart disease. I’m not exactly lazy but it certainly would be nice to come across a magic bullet that would help for those days when I can’t seem to eat quite right or manage to make that 30-minute workout happen.

I don’t know about you, but I personally dislike taking drugs unless it’s absolutely necessary so anytime I can find something natural with a potential to produce results, then I want to know more. My journey for information this week led me to an article about Red Rice Yeast and its benefits in lowering cholesterol. I’ve never heard of Red Rice Yeast so “Inquiring Mary” wanted to know more.

What Is Red Rice Yeast?
Red Rice Yeast is fermented from Monascus purpureus or red yeast, hence the name. It’s been used by the Chinese for centuries for multiple purposes including: food preservative, food coloring (Ever wondered why Peking Duck is red?), spice, and as an ingredient in rice wine. Chinese medicine also uses Red Rice Yeast to improve blood circulation and to relieve indigestion and diarrhea. More recently, researchers have been working with Red Rice Yeast on products to lower your blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides).

What are the Forms of Red Rice Yeast?
Red Rice Yeast comes in three different forms:

1. Zhitai – Produced by fermenting a mixture of several strains of Monascus purpureus and whole grain rice. It consists primarily of rice and yeast.

2. Cholestin or Hypocol – Produced by using a “proprietary” fermenting process (they are keeping this one a secret from us girls!) using “selected” strains of the Monascus purpureus yeast. This proprietary process, combined with the selected strains of Monascus purpureus produce Monacolin K. Monacolin K was first discovered in 1977 by Professor Endo from Japan. This is the ingredient that researchers believe is the cholesterol lowering mechanism. It is believed to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, which is an enzyme necessary to produce cholesterol.

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Great article - had been very interested in trying it but just last week read a comment from Dr. Mercola, an MD who uses the least toxic treatments he can find. His site is the largest traditional/alternative site out there - filled with gems to help us keep our health ahead of the challenges of life.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/09/10/Why-You-Should-Avoid-Red-Rice-Yeast.aspx. I like that he explains everything so clearly and often has a short video to introduce a topic.

October 1, 2009 - 6:07pm

Thorough article on red yeast! I have heard lots of positive reports from those taking red yeast to lower cholesterol. I reviewed a study this year of 62 people who took took 1,800 milligrams twice a day of red yeast rice for 24 weeks. Those that took the red yeast rice had an average drop in LDL cholesterol of 43 points at the end of 12 weeks.
The researchers who published in the Annals of Internal Medicine were surprised at the degree to which red yeast rice lowered the cholesterol.

It also includes a great video on red yeast rice that shows where red yeast rice comes from, what it looks like and what to look out for when you are shopping for it.

September 30, 2009 - 8:02pm
EmpowHER Guest

If you are looking for another nutritional tool for cholesterol management, you might like to try the Kardea gourmet nutrition bars---1g plant sterols with soluble fiber to lower cholesterol. 7g protein and only 150 calories. Limited supply of free samples from customerservice@kardeanutrition.com.

September 30, 2009 - 7:10pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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