Composition of Chinese red-yeast-rice dietary supplement

More recently, red yeast rice extract, taken in a supplemental form, has been found to lower cholesterol. More specifically, the extract is a source of a number of compounds known as statins - the compounds largely held responsible for reducing cholesterol levels. It appears to accomplish this by blocking a key enzyme in the liver. As such, red yeast rice gained recognition in the United States as a cholesterol-lowering agent. Red yeast rice extract was introduced to the U.S. around the late 1990s and was originally sold under a product name called "Cholestin." However, in 2001 red yeast rice extract, a "natural" unregulated nutritional supplement was withdrawn by the FDA when it was determined that red yeast rice supplements were too similar in chemical structure to the strictly regulated prescription statin known as Mevocor. In fact, red yeast rice is almost identical to lovastatin, which is the key ingredient in the statin drug Mevacor.

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Red yeast rice supplements may interact with some drugs. These include:

Rice Supplement - College Confidential

This research study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (Human Subject Protection Review Committee) of the University of California, Los Angeles. Procedures followed were in accord with the ethical standards set forth in the Helsinki Declaration of 1975 as revised in 1983. As required by the Human Subject Protection Review Committee, all subjects were told about possible rare side effects of liver and muscle toxicity observed with cholesterol-lowering drugs. All subjects provided written, informed consent to participate. Patients were randomly assigned to the Chinese red-yeast-rice dietary supplement– (Cholestin, Pharmanex, Inc, Simi Valley, CA) and placebo-treated groups.

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Studies in humans have been conducted in China with both more and less concentrated extracts of the red yeast rice than in our red-yeast-rice–treated group. In 324 hypercholesterolemic subjects treated with Xuezhikang (1.2 g/d containing 13.5 mg total monacolins) for 8 wk, serum cholesterol concentrations decreased by 23%, triacylglycerols decreased by 36.5%, and HDL-cholesterol concentrations increased by 19.6%. Two to 4 wk before the initiation of this study, subjects were instructed to cease taking all medications and were provided with dietary counseling (). In a second study, an earlier version of the red-yeast-rice supplement containing 10–13 mg total monacolins was given to 101 hypercholesterolemic subjects. Total cholesterol decreased by 19.5% and triacylglycerol decreased by 36.1% in the treated group. HDL-cholesterol concentrations increased by 16.7% in this study (). These and other Chinese studies were similar to this study in showing a marked effect of the constituents of this dietary supplement on cholesterol concentrations. However, there were differences in the ethnicity and serum lipid concentrations of the populations studied. Furthermore, a rice placebo was used in the present study in a double-blind fashion, whereas the Chinese studies used different natural preparations in the comparison group rather than a matched placebo capsule.

red yeast rice supplements - Mayo Clinic
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Red Yeast Rice Supplement Review - Cleveland Clinic Wellness

The Oregon State researchers also filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the FDA with several questions about the identity of red yeast rice supplement manufacturers, and which of these are in compliance with FDA cGMP regulations.

Red Yeast Rice Supplements - Swanson Health Products

Purple Rice Supplement - Doctor insights on HealthTap

Red yeast rice supplements can be found online or at your local natural health store. You can buy them alone or combined with other ingredients such as CoQ10. But when it comes to purchasing red yeast rice supplements, the saying 'buyer beware' rings true. Because it's illegal for red yeast rice supplements to contain more than trace amounts of lovastatin in the U.S., most supplement manufacturers no longer include actual monacolin amounts on their labels. As a result, while a product may specify it contains a certain amount of red yeast rice, there's no way to know the actual monacolin content or how the ingredients were processed.

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Background: We examined the cholesterol-lowering effects of a proprietary Chinese red-yeast-rice supplement in an American population consuming a diet similar to the American Heart Association Step I diet using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospectively randomized 12-wk controlled trial at a university research center.