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Red Yeast Rice Lowers Cholesterol Without Side Effects

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Red Yeast Rice Lowering Cholesterol

Red Yeast Rice has been studied for its cholesterol lowering effects. A new study shows that taking red yeast rice might help prevent heart attack and stroke, especially for patients who experience side effects of cholesterol-lowering medications. Red yeast rice has been sold as a natural means to lower cholesterol.

Red yeast rice comes from yeast that is grown on rice, and is known as Zhi Tai it its powdered form, and when sold as a tincture it is called Xue Zhi Kang, and is sold over the counter as Cholestin TM It has been used for centuries in Asia for digestion and health.

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Many patients cannot take cholesterol lowering drugs, known as statins. Side effects of muscle pain and weakness make them intolerable. Researchers studied patients intolerant to statins, to see if red yeast rice could lower bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, providing an option for lowering cholesterol.

Two groups of patients were studied. One group received placebo, the other red yeast rice. Both groups were intensively involved in a therapeutic lifestyle change program.

The study found that after 12 weeks, and 24 weeks, cholesterol levels improved more in the group taking red yeast rice, including LDL (bad), and total cholesterol. Additionally, no abnormalities in liver testing were found with either group. The study suggests that red rice yeast may be an option for patients who are unable to tolerate the side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs, though the study was small.

Reference: Annals.org.