Red yeast rice – The long-standing warrior in combating high cholesterol
Did you know? The liver produces about 80 percent of the cholesterol that we need, with the other 20 percent coming from food sources or our daily diet. Everyone needs a certain amount of cholesterol for the body to function properly. Cholesterol is found in all cell membranes and it helps in the production of hormones.
High levels of blood cholesterol, especially low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) cholesterol, is a contributing factor for cardiovascular diseases, which include angina (chest pain), atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack and high blood pressure.
Red yeast rice, which is derived from fermentation of rice with red yeast (Monascus purpures) containing monacolins that may lower cholesterol and promote an overall healthy serum lipid levels by inhibiting activity of the enzyme hydroxymethyglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. Monacolin I (Lovastatin), which appears to be the principal bioactive substance in red yeast rice, is known to lower plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, the total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio and theLDL-C/HDL-C ratio and may also produce a modest increase in HDL-cholesterol. It has also been used for treating indigestion, diarrhoea and improving blood circulation.
Thus taking red yeast rice will help reduce and maintain healthy cholesterol levels and promote blood circulation, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Becker D. J. et al. (2008) Simvastatin vs therapeutic lifestyle changes and supplement: randomised primary prevention trial. Mayo Clinic Proceedings 83 (7): 758-764.