Red yeast rice benefit and uses -

High Cholesterol Levels and Atherosclerosis
Red yeast rice may benefit people at risk of high cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis. Hyperlipidemia is a well-known
risk factor for atherosclerosis and statins are widely used to treat patients with elevated levels of lipids in their plasma.
Notwithstanding the proven benefits of statin drugs on both primary and secondary prevention of heart disease, the
high cost of statin treatment, in addition to possible side effects such as liver function abnormalities, may limit their
widespread use.

Researchers have studied the long-term effects of red yeast rice extract on serum lipids and severity of atherosclerosis
in rabbits. In the study, rabbits were fed with the red yeast rice extract extract together with 0.25% cholesterol for 200
days. It was found 25% and 40% reductions in total cholesterol with respect to doses of 0.4 and 1.35 g/kg/day of the
red yeast rice. It was also observed a reduction of serum LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and atherosclerotic index. [7]

There are a few clinical studies about the red yeast rice benefits on cholesterol levels. In most studies, subjects are
either patients suffered from hyperlipidermia or coronary artery disease. All studies show the efficacy of red yeast rice
on cholesterol-levels.

A recent clinical study has demonstrated that ingestion of a red yeast rice extract (Xuezhikang) led to rapid reduction of
C-reactive protein levels within 24 h and lipid profile within 2 weeks. In the study, 48 consecutive patients were randomly
assigned with stable angina to a red yeast rice extract dosage of 1200 or 2400 mg/day. It was found that the red yeast
rice extract reduced total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, median plasma C-reactive protein levels
and in mean plasma C-reactive protein levels significantly. The higher dosage of the red yeast rice extract (2400
mg/day) resulted in significantly greater reductions in total cholesterol TC and low-density lipoprotein LDL cholesterol
compared with 1200 mg/day group (p<0.05, p<0.01, respectively. While, they observed a less reduction in triglycerides
(TG) levels and no significant difference in mean high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels compared with
baseline. [5]

In another study, patients with coronary heart disease at a red yeast rice extract dosage of 1200 mg/d for 6 weeks also
experienced the reduction of lipid levels and improvement of inflammation. [8] According to
University of Maryland, the
dosage of supplemental red yeast rice is supposed to be 6,000 - 9,000 mg per day, however, it also depends on the
physical properties of the users.

Cholestin, a dietary supplement, is prepared from rice fermented with red yeast (Monascus purpureus), which has been
shown to significantly decrease total cholesterol levels in hyperlipidemic subjects. A recent study of 62 people who
stopped taking statins because of side effects, reported a significant cholesterol-lowering effect of a commercially
available nonprescription red yeast rice product. The average drop in cholesterol was 43 points at 12 weeks. The
participants took three 600-milligram vials of red yeast rice twice a day. Each vial had only one milligram of lovastatin,
so they took about 6 mg a day. The participants also followed a lifestyle change program, including education on
nutrition, exercise and relaxation techniques. [AA1]

Supplements of fish oil and red yeast rice, coupled with lifestyle changes in diet and exercise habits, are able to reduce
cholesterol as much as standard cholesterol- lowering medications known as statins, according to a new study. [AA2]

Mechanism
A red yeast extract was found to have a direct inhibitory effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity (78-69% of control). In
the study, researchers found this red yeast extract (25-100 microg/mL) were significantly reduced cholesterol levels in
human hepatic cells HepG2in a dose-dependent manner (81-45% of control, respectively). They found an association
of this reduction with the decreased synthesis and secretion of both unesterified cholesterol (54-31 and 33-14% of
control, respectively) and cholesteryl ester (18-6 and 37-19% of control, respectively). Thus, one of the
anti-hyperlipidemic actions of the red yeast rice in the study was a consequence of an inhibitory effect on cholesterol
biosynthesis in hepatic cells. [9]
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RED YEAST RICE BENEFITS OTHER THAN CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING ACTIVITIES
According to the website of Mayo Clinic, red yeast rice may improve blood flow and benefit cardiovascular system. It
may further offer benefits to people at risk of diabetes. However, more studies are needed to support this claim.
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Discussion
Red yeast rice is available in commercial preparations, and Cholestin has been studied extensively. Moreover, FDA
required the manufacturer to remove the product from the market. The current formulation, according to the website of
The
University of Maryland, does not contain red yeast rice.

Clinical studies show the benefits of red yeast rice on cholesterol levels, while it is unclear whether it is safe to use red
yeast rice for long term. Further, do not take red yeast rice together with other cholesterol-lowering agents,
anticoagulants, and grapefruit juice.

Please, also note that red yeast is the product of rice fermented with Monascus purpureus yeast. Red yeast
supplements are different from red yeast rice sold in Chinese grocery stores.
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RED YEAST RICE SIDE EFFECTS AND BENEFITS
December 09, 2011
RED YEAST RICE SIDE EFFECTS
According to Drugs.com, September 23, 2011, common red yeast rice side effects may include stomach upset,
heartburn, gas, bloating, headache or dizziness. Serious red yeast rice side effects are muscle pain, tiredness, and
difficulty in urination. While, serious allergic reaction may occur after breathing in red yeast. [WedMD.com, September
23, 2011] As mentioned in the overview, low-quality red yeast rice product may contain citrinin; citrinin may cause
kidney damage. Further, rice yeast rice, just like statins, can lead to liver damage. Now, we are going to discuss a few
cases about red yeast rice side effects:

Researchers from Catholic University of Rome reported that a sixty-three year old woman presented with severe
hypertransaminasemia. For six months she had been taking Equisterol, an over-the-counter lipid-lowering product
containing guggulsterol and red yeast rice extract. After she stopped to take Equisterol, her liver functions returned to
normal. [AA3]

Red yeast rice side effect is dose-proportional. Researchers from Taipei Medical University evaluated the effect of high
doses of red yeast rice on coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels in the tissues of 85 ICR mice. They found that CoQ10 levels
in liver and heart declined dramatically 30 minutes after the ingestion of red yeast rice. And, the effect persists for 24
hours and it is dose proportional. [4]

Red yeast rice side effects are "revisible". Researchers at James H. Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State
University reported that a middle-aged man presented with joint pain and muscle weakness. Three months before the
presentation, he took red rice supplements. Laboratory testing revealed a moderately elevated creatine
phosphokinase level. Symptoms and laboratory abnormalities resolved with discontinuation of the red rice. Eight
months later, he resumed the product and his creatine phosphokinase level rose again. The researchers believed that
the active ingredient, i.e. lovastatin, in the red rice was the cause of his myopathy. [6]

Because the active ingredient of red yeast rice is lovastatin, theorically the side effects of red yeast rice should be
similar to the side effect of the prescription lovastatin (i.e. Mevacor). Rhabdomyolysis is a known complication of
hepatic 3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMG-CoA) inhibitor (statin) therapy for post-transplant hyperlipidemia,
and thus monitoring for this effect is indicated. Researchers from University of Toronto reported a case of an herbal
preparation-induced rhabdomyolysis in a stable renal-transplant recipient, attributed to the presence of red yeast rice
(Monascus purpureus) within the mixture. The condition resolved when consumption of the product ceased. [AA4]

Discussion
One of the red yeast rice side effects is alternation of the CoQ10 level. Thus, manufacturers market red yeast rice
product containing CoQ10 to support healthy cardiovascular and immune system function. Further, red yeast rice
actually contains lovastatin, a drug. Its side effects can be very serious. Users must consult with their medical doctors
before taking red yeast rice supplements and they must consult with their medical doctors if they experience any side
effects.

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Reference  [2] Patrick L and Uzick M Cardiovascular disease: C-reactive protein and the inflammatory disease paradigm: HMG-CoA
reductase inhibitors, alpha-tocopherol, red yeast rice, and olive oil polyphenols. A review of the literature. Altern Med Rev. 2001
Jun;6(3):248-71. [3] Herbs and atherosclerosis. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2001 Jan;3(1):93-6.  [5] Li JJ et al, Effects of xuezhikang, an extract
of cholestin, on lipid profile and C-reactive protein: a short-term time course study in patients with stable angina. Clin Chim Acta. 2005
Feb;352(1-2):217-24.  [7] Wei W et al, Hypolipidemic and anti-atherogenic effects of long-term Cholestin (Monascus purpureus-fermented
rice, red yeast rice) in cholesterol fed rabbits. J Nutr Biochem. 2003 Jun;14(6):314-8. [8] Zhao SP et al, Xuezhikang, an extract of cholestin,
protects endothelial function through antiinflammatory and lipid-lowering mechanisms in patients with coronary heart disease.
Circulation. 2004 Aug 24;110(8):915-20. Epub 2004 Aug 16. [9] Man RY et al, Cholestin inhibits cholesterol synthesis and secretion in
hepatic cells (HepG2). Mol Cell Biochem. 2002 Apr;233(1-2):153-8. [AA1] A Substitute for Those Who Can't Take Statins? HealthDay Mon
Jun 15, 2009 [AA2] Fish Oil, Red Yeast Rice Cut Cholesterol WebMed July 23, 2008 [AA3] Grieco A, Miele L, Pompili M, Biolato M, Vecchio
FM, Grattagliano I, Gasbarrini G.Acute hepatitis caused by a natural lipid-lowering product: when "alternative" medicine is no "alternative"
at all J Hepatol. 2009 Jun;50(6):1273-7. Epub 2009 Mar 31 [AA4] Prasad GV, Wong T, Meliton G, Bhaloo S. Rhabdomyolysis due to red
yeast rice (Monascus purpureus) in a renal transplant recipient.Transplantation. 2002 Oct 27;74(8):1200-1Reference [2] Patrick L and
Uzick M Cardiovascular disease: C-reactive protein and the inflammatory disease paradigm: HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors,
alpha-tocopherol, red yeast rice, and olive oil polyphenols. A review of the literature. Altern Med Rev. 2001 Jun;6(3):248-71. [3] Herbs and
atherosclerosis. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2001 Jan;3(1):93-6. [4] Yang HT et al, Acute administration of red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus)
depletes tissue coenzyme Q(10) levels in ICR mice. Br J Nutr. 2005 Jan;93(1):131-5.  [6] Smith DJ and Olive KE Chinese red rice-induced
myopathy. South Med J. 2003 Dec;96(12):1265-7.  [AA1] A Substitute for Those Who Can't Take Statins? HealthDay Mon Jun 15, 2009 [AA2]
Fish Oil, Red Yeast Rice Cut Cholesterol WebMed July 23, 2008 [AA3] Grieco A, et al G.Acute hepatitis caused by a natural lipid-lowering
product: when "alternative" medicine is no "alternative" at all J Hepatol. 2009 Jun;50(6):1273-7. Epub 2009 Mar 31 [AA4] Prasad GV, et al.
Rhabdomyolysis due to red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus) in a renal transplant recipient.Transplantation. 2002 Oct 27;74(8):1200-1
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This website discusses the benefits and side effects of various supplements, herbs and drug products. Different people may experience different
side effects and benefits of a product. You are encouraged to report adverse side effects to FDA, its website is
www.fda.gov., or report the adverse
side effects to the manufacturer, you should be able to find the contact information on the label.

There are always new information. Please, send me an email (
zhion@zhion.com) to correct my mistake(s). Reasonable care has been taken in
preparing this document and the information provided herein is believed to be accurate. The information is not intended to be a substitute for
professional advice. It is important to seek the advice of a physician about any medical condition or symptom or the benefits and side effects of a
supplement or a drug product, it is also important to seek the lawyer's advice on any legal claim.


                                                       ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2011
Red yeast rice review
Red Yeast Rice is a unique natural product native to China that's been used in Asian traditional medical systems since approximately 800 A.D. It is
produced by the fermentation of red yeast (Monascus purpureus) with white rice. However, manufacturers need to carefully produce the product to
avoid the presence of citrinin, a toxic by-product of the fermentation process. According to
Sloan-Kettering, red yeast rice contains lovastatin, fatty
acids, starch, fiber, protein, water, magnesium, calcium and other minerals.

Red yeast rice has been shown to have the benefits of
cholesterol-lowering activities, as it contains lovastatin (a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor which
inhibits cholesterol synthesis in the body) as well as other cholesterol-lowering compounds. [2] Red yeast rice is likely to be able to directly impact
the process of atherosclerosis consequently, it may carry the benefits of cardiovascular diseases. [3]
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