Red Yeast Rice

A natural statin.

Red yeast rice is a substance that has been extracted from rice that has been fermented with a type of yeast called Monascus purpureus. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries for its powerful health-promoting properties.

Red yeast rice naturally contains several ingredients. These include several monacolins, most importantly monacolin K. It also contains isoflavones, and monounsaturated fatty acids. Research has shown other beneficial effects as well, ranging from reduced cancer cell growth to improved blood sugar and insulin levels.

Despite the long list of benefits associated with red yeast rice, supplementing with it may come with some adverse effects, just as taking a prescription statin. Gastrointestinal problems like bloating, gas and stomach pain are some of the most reported side effects of red yeast rice.

Because research is still limited on the long-term safety of red yeast rice, it is not recommended for those currently taking statins or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Always use caution when using any herbs that may have adverse effects.