Monday, November 24, 2008

Red Yeast Rice and Cholesterol level in Blood

What is red yeast rice?

Red yeast rice is rice that has been fermented by the red yeast, Monascus purpureus. It has been used by the Chinese for many centuries as a food preservative, food colorant (it is responsible for the red color of Peking duck), spice, and an ingredient in rice wine. Red yeast rice continues to be a dietary staple in China, Japan, and Asian communities in the United States, with an estimated average consumption of 14 to 55 grams of red yeast rice per day per person.

Red yeast rice also has been used in China for over 1,000 years for medicinal purposes. Red yeast rice was described in an ancient Chinese list of drugs as useful for improving blood circulation and for alleviating indigestion and diarrhea.
Recently, red yeast rice has been developed by Chinese and American scientists as a product to lower blood
lipids, including cholesterol and triglycerides.

What is the present status of red yeast rice?

Small scale studies using pharmaceutical-grade red rice yeast have continued to demonstrate efficacy and safety. However, in the United States it is no longer legal to sell supplements containing red yeast rice, and the active ingredients of red rice yeast have been removed from Cholestin marketed in the United States. (Hypocol, another product containing red yeast rice is no longer being sold in the United States.)
The reasons the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed red yeast rice from the market in the United States were several.

First, statin drugs are associated with muscle and kidney injury when used alone or combined with other medications. There is concern that patients who already take statin drugs with or without these other medications may increase their risk of muscle or kidney injury.
Second, the FDA considers the products containing red yeast rice to be new, unapproved drugs for which marketing violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Uses of red yeast rice for:

· Help treat indigestion, diarrhoea, and abdominal pains
· Help reduce cholesterol especially LDL cholesterol levels
· Substitute dietary supplement to regulate elevated serum cholesterol and triglycerides
· Increase levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol
· Help promote health of the cardiovascular system

What are the different preparations of red yeast rice?

There are three major preparations of red yeast rice:
Zhitai, Cholestin® or Hypocol™, and Xuezhikang.
In 1977, Professor Endo in Japan discovered a natural cholesterol-lowering substance that is produced by a strain of Monascus yeast. This substance inhibits HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that is important for the production of cholesterol in the body. Professor Endo named this substance moncacolin K. Since then, scientists have discovered a total of eight monacolin-like substances that have cholesterol-lowering properties.

Monacolin K is lovastatin, the active ingredient in the popular
statin drug, lovastatin (Mevacor™), which is used for lowering cholesterol.

How effective are red rice yeast in lowering lipids?
Chinese scientists conducted most of the animal and human studies on this issue, using red rice yeast. The results of some 17 studies involving approximately 900 Chinese subjects with modestly elevated cholesterol levels have been published. In eight of these studies, there was a control group that received a placebo (a pill with no active ingredients) for comparison purposes. In nine of the studies, there was no placebo control group.

These studies consistently showed that red rice yeast:

· lower total cholesterol (by an average of 10% to 30%),
· lower LDL cholesterol (by an average of 10% to 20%),
· lower triglycerides (by an average of 15% to 25%), and
· increase HDL (by an average of 7% to 15%).

Scientists at the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition studied red rice yeast in a 12-week, double blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 83 American adults with borderline-high to moderately elevated cholesterol. They found that red rice yeast reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels but had no effect on HDL cholesterol.

Lowering LDL and increasing HDL cholesterol prevents atherosclerosis (a build-up of plaque) of the heart's arteries. Since atherosclerosis causes heart attacks, lowering the LDL and increasing HDL cholesterol should lower the risk of heart attacks. In fact, several large, long-term, placebo-controlled clinical trials have shown clearly that lowering LDL cholesterol with diet and statin drugs [
pravastatin (Pravachol), lovastatin (Mevacor), and simvastatin (Zocor) reduces the risk of heart attacks. However, animal studies are underway at UCLA comparing red yeast rice to a statin drug (such as Mevacor™) for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.


Stroke is a “brain attack” cutting off vital supplies of blood and oxygen to the brain. It can damage brain cells that control everything we do – from thinking, to speaking, to walking to breathing.Symptoms include:

· Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
· Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
· Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
· Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
· Sudden severe headache with no known cause

A stroke happens when an artery leading into the brain becomes blocked or ruptures. These arteries can be blocked by blood clots formed in the heart or elsewhere in the body or by the gradual build-up of plaque and other fatty deposits such as cholesterol.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fatty material found in the bloodstream and in all of yourbody’s cells. Your body naturally makes all the cholesterol it needs for use to form cellmembranes, some hormones and vitamin D. Certain foods (such as egg yolks, liver or foods fried in animal fat or tropical oils) contain cholesterol and also saturated fats which increase blood cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol can not dissolve in the blood on its own. It has to be delivered to and from the cells by tiny particles called lipoproteins. The two main lipoproteins that have a direct effect on cholesterol levels are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).

How does cholesterol affect stroke risk?

High cholesterol may indirectly increase stroke risk by increasing your risk for heart disease – an important stroke risk factor. In addition, plaque formation in the carotid arteries to the brain may also block normal blood flow and cause a stroke.What is LDL cholesterol? LDL cholesterol is also often referred to as “bad” cholesterol due to its artery clogging properties. LDL carries cholesterol in the blood stream to the tissues, where it can be used or stored in your body.

This type of cholesterol can cause a build-up of plaque, a thick, fatty substance that can clog arteries. The plaque can eventually cause narrowing of the arteries or block them completely, causing a heart attack or stroke.What is HDL cholesterol? HDL has the opposite effect of LDL cholesterol.

HDL transports cholesterol from the tissues to the liver, where it is expelled from the body. High levels of this type of cholesterol tend to protect against heart attack and stroke, and it is therefore known as “good” cholesterol.
A low HDL level may indicate a greater risk of heart attack or stroke.

What increases blood cholesterol levels?

Blood cholesterol levels may be affected by a variety of factors, including:

· Foods high in saturated fat
· Being overweight
· Lack of exercise
· Inherited health traits
· Age (Most but not all people experience gradual increases in blood
· cholesterol as they become older)
· Gender – Before the age of 50, women tend to have lower cholesterol levels than men.

However, once women reach menopause, their LDL “bad” cholesterol tends to rise and their HDL “good” cholesterol tends to fall. After the age of 50, women tend to have higher cholesterol levels than those of men of the same age.

Throughout life, women’s HDL cholesterol remains higher than that of men. This difference may help explain why women under the age of 80 usually experience lower rates of heart disease and stroke than men.

Should I be checked for high cholesterol?

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Cholesterol Education Program, all adults 20 years of age or older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years. Your cholesterol should be checked more frequently if you are older than 45 or have a family history of high cholesterol or heart attacks. A simple blood test can determine your cholesterol levels.

What do my cholesterol levels mean?

According to the NHLBI, for people over age 18, a high cholesterol level is considered to be over 200 mg/dL for your total cholesterol, which combines both LDL and HDL levels. If the total blood cholesterol number is higher than 200, or if your HDL is lower than 45, you generally have an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Your doctor can determine if you are at greater overall risk.

Total Blood Cholesterol Levels

· Desirable: less than 200/mg/dL
· Borderline: 200-239 mg/dL
· High: 240 mg/dL or higher

HDL-Cholesterol Levels

· Desirable: 45 mg/dL or higher

LDL-Cholesterol Levels

· Desirable: less than 130mg/dL
· Borderline: 130-159 mg/dL
· High: 160 mg/dL or higher

If you have had a stroke or previous heart attack, your cholesterol levels may need to be even lower than as indicated here.

What can I do to lower my cholesterol levels?

A low-fat diet:
A diet with 30 percent or fewer calories from total fat, and low in saturated fat is important for lowering cholesterol levels. Your diet should also include vegetables, fruits, lean meats such as chicken and fish, low-fat dairy products and a limited number of egg yolks. Adding fiber such as whole-grain bread, cereal products or dried beans to the diet may also help reduce cholesterol levels by 6 to 19 percent, according to published studies. Along with the diet, there should be a change in cooking habits, with an emphasis on baking, broiling, steaming and grilling rather than frying foods. If you do fry foods, use non-stick cookware and non-stick spray.

Active people generally tend to have lower cholesterol levels. Regular exercise also seems to slow down or stop the clogging of blood vessels by fatty deposits. Your doctor may recommend a program of regular exercise to help lower your cholesterol.

Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. For the best results, you should take part in some aerobic activity most days of the week, for at least 20 or 30 minutes each time. This can be achieved by a brisk walk with a friend, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from your destination.


Although many people can successfully control their cholesterol levels through diet and exercise alone, a number cannot. For these people, medication may be prescribed by a doctor to lower cholesterol levels. If your doctor decides you need to add medication to help control your cholesterol, be sure to take it as directed, even on days you feel fine. You and your doctor may have to try several different medications before you find the one that’s right for you. This is very common, so don’t be discouraged.

Statins, are a widely used class of cholesterol lowering medications that may help reduce the size of the plaque that causes hardening and clogging of the arteries. New studies have also shown that some statins may prove to be effective in reducing the risk of stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA) in patients who have had a heart attack, even though they have average or only slightly elevated cholesterol levels.

Several other cholesterol-lowering drugs are also available and may prove effective in certain individuals. Talk with your doctor about which medication is right for you.

How safe are red yeast rice products?
Animal studies have been conducted in China using high doses of red yeast rice products. No damage to the kidneys, liver, or other organs were demonstrated in these studies.

Human trials in China and in the United States reported only rare and minor side effects of heartburn or indigestion with the use red yeast rice products. No liver, kidney, or muscle toxicity has been reported.

Scientists conducting the studies generally believe that red yeast rice is safe in the long-term since it has been a food staple for thousands of years in Asian countries without reports of toxicity. They attribute the safety of red yeast rice products to the process of preparation that does not involve the isolation and concentration of a single ingredient. Although it is true that isolation and concentration enhance the potency of a single ingredient, these factors also increase the risk of side effects.

Are there any precautions in consuming red yeast rice products?
Not all red yeast rice products contain the same concentrations of the cholesterol-lowering ingredients. Some red yeast rice products may have little or no cholesterol-lowering effects. Certain products also may contain unacceptably high levels of an undesirable and toxic substance called citrinic acid. We have the best red years rice products with abundance of statin factor.


Price: 10 USA Dollars or 25 RM for 100 gram red rice yeast in container.

15 USA Dollars or 45 RM for 100 capsule 500 mg.

Delivery: Will be charged accordingly

Payment: Via CIMB Account No. 14081158239009 and thereafter email me at ( of a copy of the receipt as proof of payment.