Red Yeast Rice, a supplement originating in Asia, is made by fermenting red yeast in rice. The process of the yeast fermentation creates a substance Monokolin K (also known as lovastatin), which have been shown to effectively lower cholesterol. In 2001, the United States FDA demanded all Red Yeast Rice products be removed from the market because lovastatin was chemically identical to the active ingredient in the statin (cholesterol-lowering) drug Mevocor.
However, another part of the issue was the fact that most Red Yeast Rice supplements on the market were concentrating the statin to the potency of the drug. Some companies, such as Nature's Sunshine, brought the Red Yeast Rice back--in its natural, non-concentrated form. Thus, the active ingredient is the same, but the concentration is different than the original and much less potent that the prescription drugs. That is the product that Nature's Sunshine sells today. The potency of Nature's Sunshine Red Yeast Rice is higher than any known competitor's supplement today.
Many, many studies (the vast majority by Chinese researchers) have been done to study the effects of red yeast rice for toxicity as well as its cholesterol-lowering capability. On the average, these studies found that red yeast rice significantly lowered cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides--all in the range of 10-25%.
Many red yeast rice products on the market vary in the amount of active ingredients due to source and manufacturing process. It is important to realize that not all red yeast rice products are equal. Nature's Sunshine Red Yeast Rice is standardized--in other words, steps are taken to ensure that you get the right levels of statin ingredients.
It is a good idea to take with CoQ10 since statins seem to lower CoQ10 in the circulatory system. Another good complementary product is the Thai-Go mangosteen juice. Some people feel that its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been helpful since some cholesterol issues are linked to oxidation (makes cholesterol sticky) and inflammation in the arteries.
IMPORTANT NOTE: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All statements are based on historical or anecdotal use of herbs and natural remedies. If a serious health condition exists, one should see a qualified medical doctor rather than rely on information given on this website.