Red Yeast Rice Supplements Reviewed by ConsumerLab

Hi, I'm Dr Tod Cooperman, President of ConsumerLab

com I'm going to talk to you about red yeast rice, which is a very powerful — or can be a very powerful supplement if you choose the right brand, for lowering cholesterol ConsumerLab has recently tested these various popular red yeast rice supplements and have just published a report online showing the results for these products, and I want to talk to you a little bit about what we found, and about red yeast rice as well Red yeast rice contains, naturally, a compound known as lovastatin, which can dramatically lower cholesterol levels Clinical trials — good studies actually — have shown red yeast rice to lower cholesterol by approximately 18% in terms of total cholesterol and LDL — kind of "bad" cholesterol — by about 23%, and if you're combining that with an improvement in your diet, a Mediterranean diet etc

, I mean you can lower your LDL cholesterol by about over 40% through a combination of diet and red yeast rice However, the problem with red yeast rice is that the products themselves are not allowed really to tell you how much lovastatin is in them, which is this naturally occurring statin compound also known as monacolin K and KA and, as we recently found, many of these products really don't have enough lovastatin in them to lower your cholesterol significantly, others, however do, and what we actually found in testing them is that in a two-capsule dose, and all of these actually come in capsules — one of them comes as a tablet — but a two-capsule dose, basically that will contain about 1,200 milligrams of red yeast rice, and here's an example of what that looks like on a label So you can see there "red yeast rice" Monascus purpureus 600 milligrams, that's per capsule Typically you wan to take one to four of these capsules, it really depends on the product and their suggestions, but if you just took two capsules from each one of these products, tested them in the laboratory to determine their lovastatin compound content, what we found is that, you know, these capsules contain anywhere, in a dose of two capsules, actually contain anywhere from just half a milligram to over six milligrams, so that's about a 15-fold difference between products You really need about at least five, preferably 10 or more milligrams, of lovastatin to be effective

If you take prescription lovastatin, it's sold generically now — in fact it's a little less expensive than a number of these products — you're going to take about ten milligrams to 20 milligrams a day, and it's better to divide that dose so you're taking some of the dose in the morning and some in the evening, because it actually may be more effective if you take it in the evening But again, the concern is that many of these products really don't have enough lovastatin to be effective, and really the reason for that is a legal reason The FDA will go after companies if they claim, if they actually state, the amount of lovastatin on their label, and they've done that because lovastatin is a prescription drug and so, to the FDA, that makes a product — if they claim the amount of lovastatin and not just the amount of red yeast rice — that makes the product an "unapproved drug," so, as a result, you're not going to find out how much lovastatin is in these products even though that's the thing you really want from them But that's really why ConsumerLab has tested them, and that's why we test lots of different supplements and other healthy foods like olive oils, etc, to tell you really what's in them

Another concern that we have, based on our recent findings, is that four of these products are products that we actually tested four years ago as well — other similar, products, just a different bottle from four years ago When we tested it four years ago, we found that many of these products actually contained a lot more lovastatin than they do now We found reductions of over 80% for some Reductions ranged from about thirty some-odd percent to eighty percent, so we're finding that the amounts of lovastatin is actually falling in red yeast rice products, and that's of concern because if you've been relying on a red yeast rice product to reduce your cholesterol and you notice that you're still doing the same things but your cholesterol is rising, it may simply be because the product has become less potent, and we've heard that a number of manufacturers are also actually doing this intentionally because they're trying to not run into trouble with the FDA about having lovastatin in their supplements Personally, you know there's really no point in even selling the product if if it's going to contain such a small amount of lovastatin — as I mentioned, you know, a couple of these products only had about half a milligram of lovastatin in a two-capsule serving when, again, you want to get at least ten in the two-capsule serving

Cost-wise, we also found a big variation in cost: You can get a good daily dose for as little as about $050, but for some others you might have to pay, you know, a couple of dollars even up to seven dollars to get the same amount of lovastatin that you would get from a product that had a lot of lovastatin in it Other things to be aware of with red yeast rice are that it can cause some gastrointestinal side effects like other statin drugs; it can interact with a number of drugs; you don't want to take it with grapefruit or St John's wort as that will affect the lovastatin levels; as well, when you take red yeast rice you need to be aware that, like a statin drug, it can potentially cause muscle breakdown, which can cause issues with your kidney, even there's some evidence it can cause some liver effects — you will get that with other statin drugs as well There is a little evidence, fortunately, showing that there might be a diminished effect with these adverse effects with taking red yeast rice, you may be less likely to get these problems with red yeast rice

In fact, some people even do better on red yeast rice than on a statin drug, possibly because of the combination of different statin compounds that are in red yeast rice, while a drug only has a single compound So I hope that gives you a little information Again, we encourage you to, you know, subscribe to ConsumerLab online You'll access this report, all of our reports on everything from CBD oils to multivitamins and other products We've been doing this since 1999

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Anthony DiClementi



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