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RED YEAST RICE EXTRACT

Many people take statin drugs to lower cholesterol, These drugs help to lower cholesterol and are effective in preventing heart attacks, but they are very expensive. Wouldn't it be nice if you could get supplements that do the same job, are safe, and cost far less than prescription drugs? Several research papers show that Chinese red yeast rice extract can do the same thing as and is supposed to be at least as safe or may be even safer. You can go to your local store and buy Chinese red yeast rice extract without a prescription for much less than cholesterol lowering drugs from your doctor.

There's one problem. A study from UCLA Medical School shows that the Chinese Red Yeast Rice Extract that you buy in health food stores may not lower cholesterol and may even harm you. How can this be when solid scientific research shows that Chinese red yeast rice extract lowers cholesterol, is safe, and is cheaper than prescription drugs? The UCLA study showed that only one of 9 red yeast rice supplements bought in health food stores contained all the monacolins that lower cholesterol. AND seven of nine brands contained measurable concentrations of citrinin, a toxic byproduct of the fermentation process to make the preparation. The authors state, "Standardized manufacturing practices should be established for Chinese Red yeast rice to insure equivalence of active ingredients in preparations being sold to the public and to limit the production of unwanted byproducts of fermentation such as citrinin." The authors did not provide the brand names of the products they found to be satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

An analysis of nine proprietary Chinese red yeast rice dietary supplements: Implications of variability in chemical profile and contents. D Heber, A Lembertas, QY Lu, S Bowerman, VLW Go. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2001, Vol 7, Iss 2, pp 133-139Address Heber D, Univ Calif Los Angeles, Ctr Human Nutr, Sch Med, Warren Hall Room 12-217, 900 Vet Ave, Los Angeles,CA 90095 USA

An analysis of nine proprietary Chinese red yeast rice dietary supplements: Implications of variability in chemical profile and contents. D Heber, A Lembertas, QY Lu, S Bowerman, VLW Go. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2001, Vol 7, Iss 2, pp 133-139Address Heber D, Univ Calif Los Angeles, Ctr Human Nutr, Sch Med, Warren Hall Room 12-217, 900 Vet Ave, Los Angeles,CA 90095 USA

Reported 5/10/01; checked 8/9/05

May 21st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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