Red Yeast Rice, Shown To Be Effective In Controlling Cholesterol, Hard To Find Now
One natural medicinal supplement is so effective that drug companies have attempted to restrict its sale and non-prescription use, and even the FDA has stepped in and made it difficult to obtain the “real thing”. While certain safety factors are cited as reasoning for restricting the sale of this supplement, is this really the whole story?
Red yeast rice is a natural supplement that is extracted from fermented rice – specifically, rice fermented with a variety of yeast called Monascus purpureus. This remedy has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine in China and other Asian countries, and has shown to be quite effective as a potential remedy for certain conditions.
Here is where it gets sticky. Red yeast rice has several ingredients that potentially can help control cholesterol levels. One of these ingredients is called monacolin K, also known as lovastatin. Lovastatin is the active ingredient in a prescription drug called Mevacor. The pharmaceutical company that manufactures Mevacor believes that it should have the exclusive rights to market the ingredient lovastatin. However, it is a naturally occurring remedy, so go figure?
Since red yeast rice has an ingredient that is technically classified as a prescription drug, the US FDA has made efforts to control the sale of this natural supplement. In 2007, the FDA requested that three red yeast rice products be removed from the over the counter market because they contained lovastatin. The reasoning was that there was potential for developing severe muscle problems that could possibly lead to kidney disease.
Currently, red yeast rice supplements sold in the USA may not contain more than trace amounts of known cholesterol lowering substances. Despite this, some consumers still manage to obtain traditional red yeast rice supplements from overseas sources.
Watch this video from ABC News that details some of the benefits of red yeast rice. Please share if you find this interesting!