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Red Rice Yeast Supplements
How Effective Are They?

Red Rice Yeast Supplements...What is it really?

As you consider various nutritional supplements that lower cholesterol, this is one you will hear a lot about. This is a substance that has received a lot of attention in the past and even today is very popular. So what is all the fuss is about.

Before you go off to try some of these cholesterol supplements yourself, you'll find that there is some information that you should be aware of, so keep reading for some important facts.

We discuss food and diets to lower cholesterol here.


What Is Red Rice Yeast?

This substance comes from red rice that has been fermented with a yeast called Monascus purpureus. This fermented rice has been used for centuries in many parts of the world.

It was first used in China more than a thousand years ago. It has been described in many different Chinese texts as a cure for health concerns ranging from indigestion to blood circulation to spleen problems.

Red rice yeast was most often used in a dried powdered form, though the extract could be mixed into alcohol. Because of it's effectiveness as a cholesterol supplement, it has found its way very easily into today's dietary supplements, either as an primary ingredient or a secondary one.


Does It Really Lower Cholesterol?

The Short answer is yes. When red rice is fermented it produces several compounds that together are known as monacolins. Monacolins are known to help reduce the production of cholesterol, and it is worth noting that this is something that has been scientifically tested.

Monacolin K, for example, which is also known as mevinolin or lovastatin, is very effective. It is so effective in fact, that it works the same way as statin drugs work to lower cholesterol. Herein lies the problem.


A Drug Or A Supplement?

When the FDA realized in 1999 that red rice yeast contained the same active ingredient as statin drugs they decided that rather than being a cholesterol supplement, it was now a drug that needed to be regulated. They immediately ordered all red rice yeast products containing monacolin k to be removed from the shelves.

After a couple years in the courts, the FDA won the final ruling in 2000 and the order stands that any product that includes this substance is a drug and may not be sold as a supplement.

This battle has been a contentious one and for many people, and in many ways, the fight about whether this monacolin k is a drug or a supplement is still very much up for debate.


Why Do I Still See It Around?

If you are looking around at the various dietary supplements, you may be puzzled to see that it is still available. What you are actually seeing though is the supplement without monacolin K.

You will never see a supplement that has this substance, or its more common name, lovastatin, listed on the label. You will however still find red rice yeast on the shelves of the supplement aisle. Keep in mind, though, that without monacolin K this supplement will no longer be as effective as it once was when it comes to reducing your cholesterol!

One of the most accepted and safe substances that reduce cholesterol are plant sterols. The FDA, alternative medicine practicianers, as well as the traditional medical community all agree on the ability of plant sterols to reduce cholesterol.

Visit the Lipi-Rite website to learn about a product that contains high levels of plant sterols and other proven ingredients for lowering cholesterol.

Information On More Than Red Rice Yeast On Our Cholesterol Supplements Page