Solaray Red Yeast Rice 600 mg.
Red Yeast Rice is manufactured by the fermentation of a strain of yeast, Monascus purpureus, on rice. Red Yeast Rice is a substance native to China. Red Yeast Rice 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 (may or may not be supported by scientific studies)
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).2 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.
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