Red Yeast Rice Supplement
The topic of health in today's world is widely discussed in all parts of the world. We're always looking at ways to become more healthy and reduce our illness and disease risks. One element of health we tend to become more focused on as we get older is our cholesterol. If you're not aware of this, it's a form of fat located in your blood. As we age, this can build up and cause us a lot of side effects.
Usually, our liver produces cholesterol, but we can get a lot from overeating foods like red meat and dairy products full of fat. While we can restrict this completely, sometimes it's unavoidable. One of the ways which are believed to help reduce our cholesterol levels is by taking the red yeast rice supplement. To know more, please check out our top 10 Red Yeast rice supplements.
What is red yeast rice?
Red yeast rice originates from China and is commonly used for culinary purposes. As the name suggests, it's rice, but it's been fermented. Its fermentation process is enjoyable as it involves mold. The mold involved in this process is known as Monascaceae mold, also known as a yeast called Monascus purpureus. Usually, this mold grows inside a controlled environment to become it's best and most robust. This mold is prevalent in Asia countries to treat a range of diseases.
It's gained a lot of popularity in Asia and now worldwide as it has similar properties to a heavily prescribed drug in the western world, known as a statin. Typically statins are defined by many physicians each year to reduce cholesterol levels. They also help decrease your levels of strokes and heart disease.
In addition to the Monascaceae mold, red yeast rice contains isoflavones and a fatty acid known as monounsaturated fatty acids.
As you can imagine, as soon as these facts were discovered, the demand for red yeast rice increased as it's natural. Its medicinal properties are also commonly used as an additive, preservative, and for coloring in food. One of the most common foods it's used in China is Peking Duck.
The way red yeast items are made can depend on the strain and how much Monascaceae mold is in it.
Red Yeast Rice Supplements
As mentioned above, red yeast rice has similar properties to statins, especially a type of statin known as lovastatin. Some supplements contain more potent strains than others. When you're looking to take a red yeast rice supplement, it can either come in tablet or capsule form.
Most of the time, these supplements contain other forms of ingredient such as omega-3 and CoQ10. Unlike some supplements, you can easily get them from a physician, local pharmacy, or even online.
Red Yeast Rice supplements tend to come in many doses varying from 200-4,800mcg. Many popular red yeast rice supplement companies advise you to take 1,200mg to 2,400 mcg, across divided between multiple doses a day. It's recommended that you take red yeast rice for a maximum of 4.5 years orally.
Best food sources
Depending on where you're located in the world, you might find red yeast rice in your food. If you live in the Asian continent, you could find this in certain foods like Peking duck, a food coloring in fish, alcohol, chicken, and more.
However, specific countries like the USA where the Food and Drug Administration in 1998 have banned Red Yeast Rice for dietary intake. They banned it because when it was being sold, they could not determine how much monacolin K was in the supplements.
Similarly, most of the supplements that were sold in the USA only indicated how much red yeast rice there was in them. It did not state the levels of monacolin K, which was potentially dangerous as it could lead to serious side effects.
Red yeast rice benefits
There is a range of benefits to red yeast rice apart from just lowering your cholesterol levels. If you take red yeast rice, you could experience the following:
- It could help your heart health: Red yeast rice can reduce cholesterol and a lipid found in your blood known as triglycerides. As a result, it causes your heart to function better and reduces your risk of strokes and heart attacks.
- May reduce inflammation: Many human and animal studies increase, indicating that red yeast rice can decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. Therefore reducing your risk of getting chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and asthma.
- Has anti-cancer properties: Studies in this field are slowly increasing; however, there is some evidence that red yeast rice might reduce cancer chances. There have been mice studies where mice have been administered red yeast rice, and their tumors decrease by a tremendous amount.
- Can help your metabolism: Because red yeast rice has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels, it also reduces blood sugar levels and can make your metabolism work more efficiently.
As red yeast rice has similar effects to statins, it's believed they also provide similar side effects. Generally, the side effects of red yeast rice tend to be mild such as:
- Gastrointestinal issues - Sometimes, users can experience a frequent passing of gas, bloating, and stomach pain.
In addition to these side effects, its also essential that you're getting properly fermented red yeast rice. If you buy a supplement that isn't appropriately fermented or happen to breathe in the powder, you can develop a bad allergic reaction and kidney damage.
Likewise, if you don't stick to the dosage guidelines mentioned above, you could put yourself at risk of muscle spasms, muscle pain, muscle damage, and liver damage.
If you're pregnant or have a child, it's also not recommended you take or give red yeast rice supplements. It's essential if you don't provide when pregnant, as there have been some red yeast rice studies in animals that have caused mutations and defects. Because of this, there's still limited research out there.
Plus, if you want to give it to your child, you must speak to a physician first. It's also not advised to take this supplement in combination with any form of statin. Finally, it should not be taken as the go-to solution to treat a specific health problem; you should always consult with your physician first.
Interactions with red yeast rice
Alongside side effects, it can react with many of the following:
- Hepatoxic drugs.
- Niacin (Vitamin B).
Red yeast rice is an exciting supplement used regularly in the Asian continent for dietary and food-based purposes. It's often linked to lowering cholesterol, speeding up your metabolism, having anti-cancer properties, and reducing inflammation.
This supplement is banned in the USA as the FDA can't determine how much monacolin K is in each supplement. Likewise, this supplement can contain mild side effects such as gastrointestinal issues, headaches, dizziness, and more. However, before you take red yeast rice, you should always consult your physician first.
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