What it is. A dietary staple in several Asian countries, red yeast rice has been used to treat gastric problems since 800 A.D.
Added Benefits. Substances in red yeast rice called monacolins may help lower cholesterol. Similar monacolin derivatives are used to make statin drugs. In fact, a large study of patients who had recently suffered heart attacks showed that red yeast rice extract reduced the risk of repeat attack by 45 percent and cardiovascular mortality by one-third. Likewise, research in 2008 suggested that a combination of lifestyle changes and supplementing with fish oil and red yeast rice may reduce LDL cholesterol by 42 percent. The research, however, did not indicate which component was responsible for lowering patients’ cholesterol.
How to take it. As a general rule, adults may take 1,200 mg of concentrated red yeast rice powder in capsules twice a day with food. Don’t take red yeast rice if you are taking immunosuppressants or lovastatin, or if you have liver disease. As with all supplements, talk with your health care provider before starting any supplement regimen.
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By Kaitlyn Curtin, Delicious Living