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Friday, November 19, 2010

More on red yeast rice and cholesterol

The Archives of Internal Medicine published a study which evaluated different red yeast rice supplements and found them highly variable in the amount of monacolin (sometimes spelled monocolin) they contained. This ingredient is the active ingredient lowering cholesterol, which is similar to that in lovastatin. They also found that some of the supplements contained a compound toxic to the kidneys.

The important distinction here is between red yeast rice and red yeast rice supplements. This study evaluated 12 supplements in capsule form. While the study raises a caution about purchasing extract supplements in capsule form, I stand by my previous post on the subject with respect to the whole grain. Buying the whole grain red yeast rice and preparing it just as one would prepare any other type of rice should not be subject to regulation as a drug.

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