Red Yeast Rice Cholesterol Lowering Benefits - Discussion
Are there red yeast rice cholesterol lowering effects?
Red yeast rice has been used by the Chinese for many years as a preservative, spice, and colorant. Today, it is a dietary staple in some Asian countries.
It has also been used quite a bit for medicinal purposes and has been used to treat diarrhea, improve blood circulation, and alleviate indigestion. In the United States, red yeast rice has been studied recently as a means of lowering lipids, including cholesterol.
Red yeast rice comes about when a yeast is grown on rice. It contains compounds that have been shown to slow the production of cholesterol - this explains the red yeast rice cholesterol connection.
During the fermentation process, a certain concentration of one of these compounds, monacolin K, is produced. Monacolin K is a natural form of lovastatin, which is believed to be helpful in lowering cholesterol. Lovastatin is the active ingredient in Mevacor, a statin drug that is available in generic form and has been approved by the FDA.
Another process that is used to produce cholesterol lowering elements is when the rice and red yeast are mixed with alcohol, with most of the rice gluten being removed in the process. This produces Xuezhikang, which also contains cholesterol-lowering properties.
Essentially, red yeast rice can be considered a low-dose lovastatin. Still, the reduction in LDL that the supplements offer can't be attributed completely to the monacolin K, meaning that there must be other ingredients in red yeast rice which contribute to red yeast rice cholesterol lowering effects.
Some scientists believe that HypoCol and Cholestin, which contain monacolins, antioxidants, and unsaturated fatty acids, can work together with lovastatin in order to help lower triglycerides and increase "good" cholesterol. It is also believed that Xuezhikang can lower total cholesterol by as much as 30% and lower triglycerides by as much as 25%.
However, before you try to harness red yeast rice cholesterol benefits through supplements, there are some things you should take note of. Some red yeast rice supplements can cause muscle pain, and the contents of red yeast rice pills can vary according to the manufacturer. The potency can also vary, which means that individuals might not be getting the promised amount of strength from the supplements. This is particularly worrying since dietary supplements are usually not regulated.
There are also some side effects associated with red yeast rice, too. Mild gastrointestinal upsets and a possible change in liver enzymes are just two possible side effects that can occur when taking the supplement. A muscle condition called rhabdomyolysis is also possible as well.
Although there have been a few studies conducted on the red yeast rice cholesterol lowering benefits, there are even fewer conclusions. More research should be conducted before using the existing findings as fact. Still, many individuals have experienced a reduction in their overall cholesterol levels by taking the supplements for as little as six months.
It is important to research brand names when it comes to this particular supplement, as not all brands are created equally. In some studies, even popular store brands were found lacking in potency, and some even carried toxins. Therefore, reading about others' experiences in the supplements might be beneficial in helping you choose a course of action that is right for you and your body.
Having read about red yeast rice cholesterol lowering properties, you could find out more about this food remedy by also reading the other related red yeast rice articles and pages.
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