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All Red Yeast Rice Products Are Not Created Equal—or Legal

      The American Journal of Cardiology recently published a reported titled “Lipid-Lowering Efficacy of Red Yeast Rice in a Population Intolerant to Statins.”
      • Venero C.V.
      • Venero J.V.
      • Worthham D.C.
      • Thompson P.D.
      Lipid-lowering efficacy of red yeast rice in a population intolerant to statins.
      The investigators reported that 25 patients with known histories of intolerance to statin drugs, when treated with red yeast rice, averaged a 21% decrease in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, with few side effects. In this uncontrolled study, patients were allowed to purchase their own choices of red yeast rice products, and their selections were not reported. The “Discussion” section ends with the recommendation “Producing red yeast rice under controlled conditions could provide a widely available and safe dietary supplement for lowering cholesterol.”
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      References

        • Venero C.V.
        • Venero J.V.
        • Worthham D.C.
        • Thompson P.D.
        Lipid-lowering efficacy of red yeast rice in a population intolerant to statins.
        Am J Cardiol. 2010; 105: 664-666
        • Li Y.G.
        • Zhang F.
        • Wang Z.T.
        • Hu Z.B.
        Identification and chemical profiling of monacolins in red yeast rice using high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detector and mass spectrometry.
        J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2004; 35: 1101-1112
        • Heber D.
        • Lembertas A.
        • Lu Q.Y.
        • Bowerman S.
        • Go V.L.
        An analysis of nine proprietary Chinese red yeast rice dietary supplements: implications of variability in chemical profile and contents.
        J Altern Complement Med. 2001; 7: 133-139
        • Becoat W.C.
        Warning Letter: Swanson Health Products, Inc..
        (Accessed on April 13, 2010)
        • Vitillo O.D.
        Warning Letter: Sunburst Biorganics.
        (Accessed on April 13, 2010)

      Linked Article

      • Lipid-Lowering Efficacy of Red Yeast Rice in a Population Intolerant to Statins
        American Journal of CardiologyVol. 105Issue 5
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          Chinese red yeast rice is a dietary supplement containing monacolins, unsaturated fatty acids, and phytosterols capable of lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Few studies have reported on its use in clinical practice or in statin-intolerant patients. We reviewed approximately 1,400 clinical charts and identified 25 patients treated with red yeast rice for ≥4 weeks. The patients were included if they had pre- and post-treatment lipid levels without simultaneous changes in other lipid-lowering medications.
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