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This Natural Solution Found to Be as Effective as Statins for Reducing Cholesterol


Most people who have heard horror stories of the health havoc caused by the many serious side effects of statins have longed for a totally natural substitute. Scientists have discovered that red yeast rice (RYR) is equally as effective as statins in reducing cholesterol. And what’s more, RYR may also reduce the risk of a broad spectrum of chronic diseases.

Red yeast rice is a dietary staple in China, and is produced by growing red yeast (Monascus purpureus) on rice. Once the crop is harvested and fermented, it becomes a very healthful food that the Chinese have used medicinally for centuries.

In a study published in the December 2012 issue of Complementary Therapies in Medicine, researchers from the Albany School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences discovered that RYR significantly reduced total cholesterol, as well as low density lipoprotein (LDL), known as “bad” cholesterol. Additionally, it had a favorable effect on triglycerides and high density lipoprotein (HDL), known as “good” cholesterol.

In a sense this is no surprise, as a component of red yeast rice is Monacolin K, which is a type of statin known as Lovastatin. This component adds to other ingredients of RYR that are thought to have a positive effect on cholesterol.

The benefits are not limited to cholesterol.

Aside from its cholesterol-lowering effect, RYR appears to help prevent coronary heart disease events, nonfatal heart attacks and total deaths. Moreover, although the research is far too limited to be conclusive, some studies suggest the food may be beneficial for cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes, in addition to fatigue, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and memory.

A word of caution

While the research seems promising, those interested in RYR supplements should be aware that they may cause dizziness and heartburn, as well as intestinal gas and stomach discomfort. Studies indicate that these effects are mild, but much more research is needed to ascertain its long-term safety. Also, because of the food’s naturally occurring statin-like component, it may cause adverse effects similar to statin medications, such as severe muscle pain and liver damage. Those with liver problems or kidney disease should avoid RYR. Furthermore, it should not be taken with certain medications, so check with your doctor before starting on these supplements.


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.

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