Nature's Plus Herbal Actives Red Yeast Rice/Gugulipid Complex 450 mg. - 120 Vegetarian Capsules
Nature's Plus Herbal Actives Read Yeast/Gugulipid Complex maximizes the synergistic benefits of the whole extract and provides the greatest concentration of active botanical principles.
Free from artificial colors and preservatives. Free from the common allergens yeast, wheat, soy, and milk.
Red Yeast Rice
Parts Used and Where Grown
This substance, native to China, is a fermentation by-product of cooked non-glutinous rice on which red yeast has been grown. The dried, powdered red yeast rice is used medicinally.
Historical or Traditional Use
Since 800 A.D., red yeast rice has been employed by the Chinese as both a food and a medicinal agent. Its therapeutic benefits as both a promoter of blood circulation and a digestive stimulant were first noted in the traditional Chinese pharmacopoeia, Ben Cao Gang Mu-Dan Shi Bu Yi, during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine use red yeast rice to treat abdominal pain due to stagnant blood and dysentery, as well as external and internal trauma. In addition to its therapeutic applications, red yeast rice has been used for centuries as a flavor enhancer, a food preservative, and a base for a Taiwanese alcoholic rice-wine beverage.
In addition to rice starch, protein, fiber, sterols, and fatty acids, red yeast rice contains numerous active constituents, including monacolin K, dihydromonacolin, and monacolin I to VI.
Researchers have determined that one of the ingredients in red yeast rice, called monacolin K, inhibits the production of cholesterol by stopping the action of a key enzyme in the liver (e.g., HMG-CoA reductase) that is responsible for manufacturing cholesterol. The drug lovastatin (Mevacor) acts in a similar fashion to this red yeast rice ingredient. However, the amount per volume of monacolin K in red yeast rice is small (0.2% per 5 mg) when compared to the 20–40 mg of lovastatin available as a prescription drug. This has prompted researchers to suggest that red yeast rice may have other ingredients, such as sterols, that might also contribute to lowering cholesterol.
Along with its evaluation in animal trials, red yeast rice has been clinically investigated as a therapy for reducing cholesterol in two human trials. In one trial, both men and women taking 1.2 grams (approximately 13.5 mg total monacolins) of a concentrated red yeast rice extract per day for two months had significant decreases in serum cholesterol levels. In addition, people taking red yeast rice had a significant increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol and a decrease in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Elevated triglycerides were also found to be lowered.
A double-blind trial at the UCLA School of Medicine determined that red yeast rice in the amount of 2.4 grams per day (approximately 10 mg total monacolins) in capsules significantly decreased total- and LDL-cholesterol levels in a sample of people with elevated cholesterol after 12 weeks of therapy. Triglycerides were also reduced in those taking red yeast rice. However, unlike the original study, HDL values did not increase substantially.
How Much is Usually Taken?
The red yeast rice used in various studies was a proprietary product called Cholestin™, which contains ten different monacolins. The amount of Cholestin used in these studies was 1.2–2.4 grams (5–10 mg of monacolins) per day in divided amounts for 8-12 weeks.
Note: Cholestin has been banned in the United States, as a result of a lawsuit alleging patent infringement.
Other red yeast rice products currently on the market differ from Cholestin in their chemical makeup. None contain the full complement of ten monacolin compounds that are present in Cholestin, and some contain a potentially toxic fermentation product called citrinin. Despite these concerns, other red yeast rice products are being widely used and anecdotal reports suggest that they have a similar safety and efficacy profile as that of Cholestin.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
The Cholestin brand of red yeast rice has been generally well tolerated with possible temporary mild side effects such as heartburn, gas, and dizziness. This product should not be used by people with liver disorders and its safety during pregnancy has not been established. As in the case of medications that inhibit HMG-CoA, it is advisable that people using red yeast rice products also supplement 30–60 mg of coenzyme Q10 daily.
There is one case report of muscle weakness and joint pain occurring in a man who was taking red yeast rice. Because the man was also taking several prescription drugs, it was not clear whether the symptoms were caused by red yeast rice. In another case report, a woman developed severe muscle pain with laboratory evidence of muscle damage while taking red yeast rice. In that case, red yeast rice appeared to be the cause of the muscle damage. These reports should be taken seriously, because muscle problems are common side effects of prescription HMG CoA-reductase inhibitors.
There is one case report of hepatitis developing in a woman taking red yeast rice. She was also taking two medications that have been reported to cause hepatitis, so a cause-effect relationship with red yeast rice was not proven. However, since statin drugs have been reported to cause hepatitis, it is possible that this complication can also result from taking red yeast rice.
Are there any drug interactions?
Certain medicines may interact with red yeast rice.
Parts used and where grown
The mukul myrrh (Commiphora mukul) tree is a small, thorny plant distributed throughout India. Guggul and gum guggulu are the names given to a yellowish resin produced by the stem of the plant. This resin has been used historically and is also the source of modern extracts of guggul.
Historical or traditional use
The classical treatise on Ayurvedic medicine, Sushrita Samhita, describes the use of guggul for a wide variety of conditions, including rheumatism and obesity. One of its primary indications was a condition known as medoroga. This ancient diagnosis is similar to the modern description of atherosclerosis. Standardized guggul extracts are approved in India for lowering elevated serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Guggul contains resin, volatile oils, and gum. The extract isolates ketonic steroid compounds known as guggulsterones. These compounds have been shown to provide the cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering actions noted for guggul. Guggul significantly lowers serum triglycerides and cholesterol as well as LDL and VLDL cholesterols (the “bad” cholesterols). At the same time, it raises levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). As antioxidants, guggulsterones keep LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, an action which protects against atherosclerosis. Guggul has also been shown to reduce the stickiness of platelets—another effect that lowers the risk of coronary artery disease. One double-blind trial found guggul extract similar to the drug clofibrate for lowering cholesterol levels. Other clinical trials in India (using 1,500 mg of extract per day) have confirmed guggul extracts improve lipid levels in humans.
A combination of guggul, phosphate salts, hydroxycitrate, and tyrosine coupled with exercise has been shown in a double-blind trial to improve mood with a slight tendency to improve weight loss in overweight adults.
One small clinical trial found that guggul (Commiphora mukul) compared favorably to tetracycline in the treatment of cystic acne. The amount of guggul extract taken in the trial was 500 mg twice per day.
How much is usually taken?
Daily recommendations for the purified guggul extract are typically based on the amount of guggulsterones in the extract. A common intake of guggulsterones is 25 mg three times per day. Most extracts contain 2.5–5% guggulsterones and can be taken daily for 12 to 24 weeks for lowering high cholesterol and/or triglycerides.
Are there any side effects or interactions?
Early studies with the crude oleoresin reported numerous side effects, including diarrhea, anorexia, abdominal pain, and skin rash. Modern extracts are more purified, and fewer side effects (e.g., mild abdominal discomfort) have been reported with long-term use. Rash was reported, however, as a fairly common side effect in one recent study. Guggul should be used with caution by people with liver disease and in cases of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and diarrhea. A physician should be consulted before treating elevated cholesterol and triglycerides.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with guggul.
Herbal Actives from Nature's Plus
The Nature's Plus Herbal Actives line of herbal supplements and vitamins are the most complete line of powerful standardized herbal formulas ever developed! Many ancient civilizations used health-promoting native plants, botanicals and trees, but more than any other, Chinese and Ayurvedic health traditions have continued from generation to generation.
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