“Ask Dr. Walt” in Today’s Christian Living “What is red yeast rice?” (Part 5 of 7)

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“Ask Dr. Walt” in Today’s Christian Living “What is red yeast rice?” (Part 5 of 7)

I enjoy being penning a bi-monthly column for the readers of Today’s Christian Living magazine. In the March 2024 issue I addressed some options on treating high cholesterol in an article titled, “Is Red Rice Yeast the Best Treatment for a Potential Killer – High Cholesterol?”

March 2024 Today’s Christian Living

HERE’S THE LINK to the column which you’ll find on pages 22-23. And below is Part 1 of 7 in the article titled, “Is Red Rice Yeast the Best Treatment for a Potential Killer – High Cholesterol?”:

What is red yeast rice?

Now, Pastor, to your question. Red yeast rice is a rice on which a natural yeast has grown which turns the rice red. This yeast can produce a substance, monacolin K, which is structurally identical to the prescription statin, lovastatin. Thus, not surprisingly, red yeast rice products that deliver 10 mgs of monacolin K (lovastatin) a day have been shown in several clinical trials be very effective in lowering elevated levels of cholesterol as well as decreasing triglycerides and increasing HDL over a 6-12-week time period.

Unfortunately, most red yeast rice supplements that have been tested do not contain the amount of monacolin K needed to actually lower your cholesterol. Furthermore, most products do not list on their labels the amount of monacolin or lovastatin they contain. ConsumerLab.com, my favorite independent testing lab of natural medications (herbs, vitamins, and supplements) found only two red yeast rice products that provided the amount of lovastatin proven to lower cholesterol in placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Of additional concern is that CL found a potential kidney toxin, citrinin, in 30% of the tested products, one of which contained citrinin at a level 65 times the limit allowed in Europe (there is no established limit in the U.S.).

Another independent testing lab, NatMed, rated the red yeast rice extracts that they tested from 5 to seven out of ten for safety and effectiveness. I do not recommend products that have a NatMed rating of eight or less.

Here’s the whole series:

Walt Larimore, MD, has been called one of America’s best known family physicians and has been named in the “Guide to America’s Top Family Doctors,” “The Best Doctors in America,” “Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare,” and “Who’s Who in America.” He’s a former Vice President and Physician in Residence at Focus on the Family and the American Life League has named him a “Rock-Solid Pro-Life” awardee. He’s also an award-winning medical journalist and the best-selling author of over 40 books. He and his childhood sweetheart and wife of nearly 50 years, Barb, have two adult children and reside in Colorado Springs. You can find Doctor Walt’s health blog at www.DrWalt.com and follow him on Facebook at “DrWalt.com”. Have questions for Dr. Walt? Email them to editor@todayschristianliving.org.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2024. This blog provides healthcare tips and advice that you can trust about a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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