Red yeast rice (RYR) has been used for more than a thousand years in traditional Chinese medicine to enhance digestion and circulation. But RYR has a well-deserved reputation for its capacity to reduce cholesterol levels in the West. Most type 2 diabetics struggle with high cholesterol.
Red fermented rice (RYR) is sometimes referred to as went rice, red rice koji, akakoji, red koji rice, or Anka. The Japanese word “koji” means “grain or bean overrun with a mold culture,” which is an accurate translation.
Red yeast rice is made by fermenting rice with a kind of yeast called Monascus purpureus. It turns a vivid reddish-purple color when the fermenting yeast is added to the rice.
In Asia, people consume daily amounts of 15 to 55 grams of naturally occurring RYR. Foods including tofu, beef, fish, cheese, vinegar, and pastries are colored with RYR powder in Chinese cultures all over the world. In order to give them a reddish tint, it is also added to alcoholic beverages such as Korean rice wines and Japanese Saki.
Supplements containing red yeast rice are made using red yeast rice extract (RYRE).
Taking statins incorrectly
In order to lower blood cholesterol levels and hence reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, doctors frequently prescribe statins. According to studies, taking statins can reduce your chance of having a heart attack, having a stroke, or even dying from heart disease by 25% to 35%.
There are two types of cholesterol:
1. HDL (the “good” cholesterol)
prevents plaque buildup by bringing the bad (LDL) cholesterol out of the blood to the liver, where it is eliminated from the body, and
2. LDL (the “bad” cholesterol)
causes plaque to form in your arteries and significantly raises your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Due to its negative effects, statins can be challenging for some people to take, including this author. As an alternative, I daily take 10mg of Ezetimibe Teva and 1000mg of cod liver oil. Another drug to decrease elevated cholesterol levels is ezetimibe, available from Teva.
Statins can cause a number of negative side effects, such as depression, cancer, pancreatic rot, neuropathy, heart failure, fainting, and muscle discomfort and weakness. I found statins to be an unpleasant cognitive slowdown. RYR has substantially less unpleasant and more tolerable side effects.
Monacolins, which are organic substances, are present in RYR. The synthesis of cholesterol is suppressed by minerals. One of these monacolins, monacolin K, which is occasionally present in RYR supplements, is an active statin-like substance with the same chemical composition as prescription statins like lovastatin and mevinolin.
Red yeast rice’s capacity to decrease cholesterol
It is highly improbable that red yeast rice’s ability to decrease cholesterol is due solely to the monacolin present in it since it contains less of it than the comparable chemicals included in modern statins.
RYR includes unsaturated fatty acids as well as other plant substances like phytosterols and isoflavones. So it stands to reason that these elements contribute to red yeast rice’s capacity to lower cholesterol.
It is known that the red yeast (monascus purpureus) used to create RYR prevents the action of an enzyme that aids in the synthesis of cholesterol in the human body, hence lowering cholesterol levels in general.
Beyond lowering excessive cholesterol, red yeast rice has many more advantages:
- lower high cholesterol
- minimizing tired muscles
- to increase insulin sensitivity
- lowering obesity
- decrease in oxidative stress
- Red yeast rice and cholesterol-lowering
- The main purpose of red yeast rice supplements is to reduce hyperlipidemia or excessive cholesterol.
Numerous research supports the effectiveness of RYR extracts on cholesterol. Taking into account inconsistencies, the following benefits were discovered by analyzing the findings of numerous studies:
- LDL cholesterol levels decreased by 26% in 8 weeks using 1.2 grams per day.
- In just 12 weeks, 2.4g a day reduces total cholesterol by 16% and LDL cholesterol by 22%.
- The effects of RYR supplements on 25 patients who couldn’t take statins were investigated in a 2010 study that appeared in the American Journal of Cardiology. The outcomes… On average, LDL cholesterol decreased by 19%, while total cholesterol decreased by 13%. Also, the RYR was favorably received.
- The results of RYR on 79 patients with high cholesterol ranged in age from 23 to 65, according to a 2007 study published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Interventions and Rehabilitation. A placebo was given to certain subjects while others received 600 mg of RYR twice a day for 8 weeks.
weariness in the muscles and red yeast rice
As this writer can confirm, many statin users lament physical soreness, pain, and a genuine sense of weakness. According to estimates, 10% to 15% of statin users develop muscle weariness.
The effects of using simvastatin or RYR on 60 people with high cholesterol levels and low to moderate cardiovascular disease risk were studied in a research published in May 2018 by the National Institutes of Health in the USA. The evaluation process then included looking at the safety profile, physical activity, serum lipid profile, and muscular exhaustion score.
The fatigue score significantly increased in patients receiving simvastatin after 4 weeks of either the statin (33 patients) or the RYR (27 patients). Patients who received red yeast rice, however, showed no discernible improvement. In addition, simvastatin group patients had considerably lower levels of physical activity than red yeast rice group patients. Both groups experienced similar lipid-lowering results. After the therapies, the safety profile was unaffected.
The research found that RYR worked equally as well as a statin but with less exhaustion.
Using red yeast rice to increase insulin sensitivity
RYR can support appropriate blood sugar levels.
When given to individuals with metabolic syndrome in a dietary supplement that also contains berberine and policosanol as opposed to those who were only given a placebo, RYR extract can help to maintain normal levels of blood glucose, according to a 2012 study published in the World Journal of Cardiology.
A combination of any three of the following conditions, including abdominal obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar, raised triglyceride levels, or low HDL (the “good” cholesterol), is known as metabolic syndrome.
In comparison to those taking a placebo, those taking the supplement experienced a significant drop in insulin resistance, as well as LDL and total cholesterol, after 18 weeks.
Obesity can be decreased using red yeast rice.
Two prevalent health issues—obesity and high cholesterol—are frequently encountered together. RYR is effective in treating both of these disorders, according to research done on animals.
In a 2015 study that was published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, scientists divided animal subjects into 5 groups: a normal diet, a high-fat diet without RYR, and three high-fat groups given varying levels of RYR. Researchers discovered that patients’ atherogenic indices were improved and weight gain was averted by the addition of RYR.
Information on cholesterol ratios in the body is provided by the plasma atherogenic index. It serves as a predictor of the likelihood of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Using red yeast rice too
Free radicals and antioxidants in your body are not balanced, which causes oxidative stress. Oxygen-containing molecules known as free radicals readily interact with other molecules. Oxidation is the name for these processes. They might be helpful or dangerous. The development of disease is significantly influenced by oxidative stress.
50 patients with metabolic syndrome participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized experiment to examine the benefits of a supplement containing both RYR and an olive extract. The results were released by the US Library of Medicine (NIH) in July 2017. According to the trial, using RYR and olive extract supplements significantly reduced the levels of two important oxidative stress or damage biomarkers.
People who have metabolic syndrome—which includes the majority of us diabetics—had lower rates of these two markers, which has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Red yeast rice preparation
You can easily find RYR supplements online or at your local health food store. It’s difficult to determine the ideal daily dosage, though.
The majority of research employs a normal dosage of 2,400 mg of extract per day, divided into two or four doses of 1,200 mg twice daily or 600 mg four times daily. However, I have never come across any clinically supported arguments in favor of this “norm.” These can be the advised doses, though, as there isn’t a substitute proposal.
All RYR supplements ought to be consumed with food. A coenzyme Q10 deficiency can be avoided by taking it with at least 90 to 120 mg of CoQ10.
The yeast strains and fermentation techniques used by various RYR supplement producers vary. As a result, the number of monacolins will differ between brands and can be anywhere between zero and 0.6% of the finished supplement. To succeed, carefully read the labels.
Red yeast rice has potential negative effects
Red yeast rice side effects can include headache, upset stomach, heartburn (acid reflux), gas, or vertigo. These side effects are often minimal if present at all.
Additionally, possible side effects include sore muscles and weakening in the muscles, particularly if the RYR supplement contains a lot of monacolins. Stop using the supplement and see your doctor if you have these issues.
RYR should not be taken if you are also taking statins or other cholesterol-lowering medications, antifungal medications, immune-suppressing medications, the antibiotics azithromycin, and clarithromycin, or protease inhibitors used to treat HIV, according to received medical opinion.
In addition, you should abstain from red yeast rice if you suffer from kidney, liver, thyroid, musculoskeletal, or cancer-related conditions, have a major infection, have had an organ transplant, consume more than two alcoholic beverages daily, or have an allergy to rice, red yeast, or any yeast.
Supplemental RYE should not be taken by anyone under the age of twenty. The same goes for women who are breastfeeding, pregnant, or attempting to get pregnant, regardless of their age.
Before beginning to take EYE supplements, it could be a good idea to speak with your doctor. You should inquire with him about switching to RYR supplements if he is currently giving statins.