1. When the yeast Monascus purpureus is cultured on rice, a series of compounds are created that slow the production of cholesterol in the liver. One of these compounds is the active ingredient used in the popular cholesterol medications called statins.
2. The use of red yeast rice in China was first documented in the Tang Dynasty in 800 A.D. It is still used today in Chinese medicine, as well as in culinary creations. In fact, Peking Duck owes its signature red hue to this dietary staple.
3. Since the 1970s, studies have shown that red yeast rice lowers total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Research conducted in June of 2009 that was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed a 20% reduction in unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels with red yeast rice supplementation alongside diet and lifestyle changes.
4. Clinical tests have shown that red yeast rice supplements are great for patients who can’t tolerate statins due to muscle problems. However, this supplement should not be taken by those who are on statins (e.g. Lipitor), macrolide antibiotics (e.g. erythromycin), antifungal drugs (fluconazole), high dose niacin, or warfarin. Pregnant women and anyone under the age of 20 should also avoid this supplement.
5. Pharmaca offers red yeast rice supplements from highly regarded manufacturers including Pharmaca’s own brand, Bluebonnet, Solaray and Thorne. Speak with one of our licensed practitioners to learn more about which product is right for you.