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Risks Of Red Yeast Rice Supplements

Risks of Red Yeast Rice Supplements

Q. Can I use red yeast rice to lower my cholesterol?

A. A traditional Chinese medicine, red yeast rice—created by combining rice with strains of red yeast—is touted as a way to lower cholesterol and lipid levels.

Red yeast rice contains a substance called monacolin K, the active ingredient in the cholesterol lowering drug lovastatin.

However, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests on a variety of consumer red yeast rice brands revealed that some supplements contained significant amounts of monacolin K and others just traces. Even worse, some products contained the toxic chemical citrinin,…

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