Red yeast rice : Health benefits-Interactions


Red yeast rice

Red yeast rice is a product of yeast (Monascus purpureus) that is grown on white rice. The powdered yeast-rice mixture is a dietary staple in Asia, and it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Red yeast rice is available as an oral supplement.

Red yeast rice might contain compounds that lower cholesterol levels. One of these compounds is monacolin K, which is also found in the prescription cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin (Altoprev).

People take red yeast rice as an oral supplement to improve cholesterol and heart health.

Red yeast rice : Health benefits

  • In recent years, melatonin has become a popular supplement among those struggling with sleep problems. While it is commonly known for its ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles, many people are not aware of the other health benefits that melatonin has to offer. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and protect against various diseases. In addition, some studies have shown that melatonin may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.Red yeast rice is another supplement that has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits. It is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for centuries to lower cholesterol levels and improve blood circulation. Red yeast rice contains a substance called monacolin K, which is similar to the active ingredient in statin drugs that are commonly prescribed for high cholesterol. However, red yeast rice is a natural alternative that may have fewer side effects and be more accessible to those who cannot afford or tolerate prescription drugs.

  • Red yeast rice is another supplement that has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits. It is a fermented rice product that contains compounds similar to statins, which are commonly used to lower cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that red yeast rice may be effective in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Additionally, it may also have antioxidant properties that can help protect against cell damage and inflammation.


Studies on the use of red yeast rice for specific conditions show:

  • High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia).A study has shown that red yeast rice may lower your total blood cholesterol level, your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad) cholesterol level, and your triglyceride level.

Our take


Red yeast rice can lower blood cholesterol levels. While the supplement is generally considered safe, it might have the same side effects as statin cholesterol drugs.

Red yeast rice might be cheaper than a statin, but there is no guarantee of quality or the amount of active ingredient in the product. Some red yeast products might contain only a small amount of monacolin K and may have little effect on cholesterol. When levels are adjusted, the machine will move to the next step.

Safety and side effects

Red yeast rice can cause mild side effects, such as:

Some red yeast rice might contain a substance called monacolin K. This substance is the same ingredient as in the prescription cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin. Lovastatin can cause liver damage and muscle disorders (myopathy).

Don't consume red yeast rice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

An older study raised the concern that some red yeast rice products may contain a contaminant called citrinin which can cause kidney failure. However a more recent study that analyzed 14 red yeast rice dietary supplements found that none of them contained citrinin.


Possible interactions include:

  • Alcohol.Do not drink alcohol if you are taking red yeast rice. The combination might increase the risk of liver damage.

  • Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).Taking this immunosuppressive drug with red yeast rice might increase the risk of muscle damage.

  • Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inhibitors.Taking drugs such as erythromycin that inhibit this enzyme might increase the risk of harmful red yeast rice side effects.

  • Grapefruit.The side effects of taking red yeast rice supplements might increase if you drink grapefruit juice.

  • Gemfibrozil (Lopid).Taking this cholesterol medication with red yeast rice might increase the risk of muscle pain.

  • Some drugs, herbs, and supplements can be harmful to the liver.Some people might get liver damage from taking red yeast rice with drugs like monacolin K. Taking red yeast rice along with these other supplements and herbs might increase the risk of liver damage.

  • Niacin.Taking red yeast rice with high doses of niacin may increase the risk of myopathy.

  • St. John's wort.Taking this supplement with red yeast rice might lessen the effectiveness of red yeast rice.

  • Statin.Taking red yeast rice with other cholesterol-lowering medications might increase the risk of harmful side effects.

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