ANCHOR LEAD: IS RED YEAST RICE THE WAY TO GO TO LOWER CHOLESTEROL? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS.
In people who need to lower their cholesterol but who have trouble taking statin medications, is red yeast rice a good choice? That issue was addressed in a recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine. Redonda Miller, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says those who chose this supplement need to understand how it’s made.
MILLER: The way red yeast rice is prepared is you actually take rice and ferment it with yeast which allows the yeast to produce numerous monacolins, in fact, monacolin K, an ingredient in a lot of red yeast rice, actually was used to produce what was lovastatin, our first FDA approved statin. So when you use red yeast rice, you’re probably really in theory, taking a statin. A little bit of a sheep in wolf’s clothing. :27
People who complain of muscle aches and pains while taking a prescription statin medication may want to try red yeast rice supplements after talking with their doctor. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.