Red Yeast Rice Supplements Reviewed by ConsumerLab


Hi, I’m Dr. Tod Cooperman, President of
ConsumerLab.com. I’m going to talk to you about red yeast rice, which is a very
powerful — or can be a very powerful supplement if you choose the right brand,
for lowering cholesterol. ConsumerLab has recently tested these various popular red yeast rice
supplements and have just published a report online showing the
results for these products, and I want to talk to you a little bit about what we
found, and about red yeast rice as well. Red yeast rice contains, naturally, a
compound known as lovastatin, which can dramatically lower cholesterol levels.
Clinical trials — good studies actually — have shown red yeast rice to lower
cholesterol by approximately 18% in terms of total cholesterol and LDL — kind
of “bad” cholesterol — by about 23%, and if you’re combining that with an
improvement in your diet, a Mediterranean diet etc., I mean you can lower your LDL
cholesterol by about over 40% through a combination of diet and red yeast rice.
However, the problem with red yeast rice is that the products themselves are not
allowed really to tell you how much lovastatin is in them, which is this
naturally occurring statin compound also known as monacolin K and KA
and, as we recently found, many of these products really don’t have enough lovastatin in them to lower your cholesterol significantly, others, however do, and what we actually found in testing them is that in a two-capsule dose, and all of
these actually come in capsules — one of them comes as a tablet — but a two-capsule dose, basically that will contain about 1,200 milligrams of red yeast rice,
and here’s an example of what that looks like on a label. So you can see there “red yeast rice” Monascus purpureus 600 milligrams, that’s per capsule. Typically you wan to take one to four of these capsules, it really
depends on the product and their suggestions, but if you just took two
capsules from each one of these products, tested them in the laboratory to
determine their lovastatin compound content, what we found is that, you know,
these capsules contain anywhere, in a dose of two capsules, actually contain anywhere from just half a milligram to over six milligrams, so that’s about a 15-fold difference between products. You really need about at least five,
preferably 10 or more milligrams, of lovastatin to be effective. If you take
prescription lovastatin, it’s sold generically now — in fact it’s a little
less expensive than a number of these products — you’re going to take about ten
milligrams to 20 milligrams a day, and it’s better to divide that dose so you’re
taking some of the dose in the morning and some in the evening,
because it actually may be more effective if you take it in the evening.
But again, the concern is that many of these products really don’t have enough
lovastatin to be effective, and really the reason
for that is a legal reason. The FDA will go after companies if they claim, if they
actually state, the amount of lovastatin on their label, and they’ve done that
because lovastatin is a prescription drug and so, to the FDA, that makes a
product — if they claim the amount of lovastatin and not just the amount of
red yeast rice — that makes the product an “unapproved drug,” so, as a result, you’re
not going to find out how much lovastatin is in these products even though that’s
the thing you really want from them. But that’s really why ConsumerLab has
tested them, and that’s why we test lots of different supplements and other
healthy foods like olive oils, etc., to tell you really what’s in them. Another
concern that we have, based on our recent findings, is that four of these products
are products that we actually tested four years ago as
well — other similar, products, just a different bottle from
four years ago. When we tested it four years ago, we found that many of these
products actually contained a lot more lovastatin than they do now.
We found reductions of over 80% for some. Reductions ranged from about thirty
some-odd percent to eighty percent, so we’re finding that the amounts of
lovastatin is actually falling in red yeast rice products, and that’s of
concern because if you’ve been relying on a red yeast rice product to reduce
your cholesterol and you notice that you’re still doing the same things but
your cholesterol is rising, it may simply be because the product has become less
potent, and we’ve heard that a number of manufacturers are also actually doing
this intentionally because they’re trying to not run into trouble with the
FDA about having lovastatin in their supplements. Personally, you know there’s really no point in even selling the product if if it’s going to contain such
a small amount of lovastatin — as I mentioned, you know, a couple of these
products only had about half a milligram of lovastatin in a two-capsule serving
when, again, you want to get at least ten in the two-capsule serving. Cost-wise, we
also found a big variation in cost: You can get a good daily dose for as little
as about $0.50, but for some others you might have to pay, you know, a couple of
dollars even up to seven dollars to get the same amount of lovastatin that you
would get from a product that had a lot of lovastatin in it. Other things to be
aware of with red yeast rice are that it can cause some gastrointestinal side
effects like other statin drugs; it can interact with a number of drugs; you
don’t want to take it with grapefruit or St. John’s wort as that will affect the
lovastatin levels; as well, when you take red yeast rice you need to be
aware that, like a statin drug, it can potentially cause muscle breakdown, which
can cause issues with your kidney, even there’s some evidence it can cause some
liver effects — you will get that with other statin
drugs as well. There is a little evidence, fortunately, showing that there might be
a diminished effect with these adverse effects with taking red yeast rice, you
may be less likely to get these problems with red yeast rice. In fact, some people
even do better on red yeast rice than on a statin drug, possibly because of the
combination of different statin compounds that are in red yeast rice,
while a drug only has a single compound. So I hope that gives you a little
information. Again, we encourage you to, you know, subscribe to ConsumerLab
online. You’ll access this report, all of our reports on everything from CBD oils
to multivitamins and other products. We’ve been doing this since 1999. If you
have any questions feel free to leave a comment where you see this video.

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Reader Comments

  1. Vandeo

    Hi guys,
    I selling red rice from west borneo, indonesia. without preservatives, and chemicals. If any of u interested, just contact me. I just try to growup my little business.thsnks

  2. Kathryn McMorrow

    This article states that the amount of monacolin K content in the 200 mg of the RYR extract used in the study contained 3 mg of monacolin K. That's a very low dose compared to the lowest dose of any prescription statin treatment (10 mg), and it was still incredibly effective when combined with some other neutraceutical substances like artichoke extract 400 mg, resveratrol 15 mg, folic acid 200mcg, and coenzyme Q10, 10 mg, and a Mediterranean style dietary pattern. Read for yourself! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3884966/

  3. Cuauhtli El Tejano

    Their is actually 2 different bottles of Nature's Plus Red Yeast Rice one of them is listed with how much monacolin k is in them which is 1.7% of 600mg=10.2mg of lovastatin per tablet and the other bottle of Nature plus does not even list the monacolins in it and the one you have on the table is the one that does not list the monacolins thats probaby why you got a different out come on them….. The one that list the monacolins say's on the front of the bottle Prescription Quality and it is still being sold in stores i just bought one a week ago.. 💖

  4. what

    So you end up paying more for a naturally occurring (possible efficacious dose) than for a standard dose? If taking a statin is not a great idea why take either this or the drug?

  5. Greg Hartigan

    You will learn NOTHING here with regard to best in class brands…this clown just dangles the “join consumer lab” carrot after providing what HE thinks is enough cautionary tales to make you believe you need to join 🖕🏻you wasted my 7 minutes jackass

  6. mydoc4000

    My own Daddy has long been making use of this extraordinary cholesterol guide “Hοzantο Axy” (Google it). His own cholesterol readings are greater than compared to mine. The item is unquestionably recommendable. When compared with various other treatments, this one gave him far better readings on his cholesterol and also have no plans of replacing this therapy manual. .

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