This study was an important first step in establishing that the observed effects of red yeast rice in China were not due to diet alone but could be clearly related to this Chinese red-yeast-rice dietary supplement in a placebo-controlled, randomized trial. This study also established the need for a study on the long-term safety and efficacy of this supplement in a larger population. The effects observed on triacylglycerol concentrations and HDL-cholesterol concentrations in the Chinese studies also need to be examined in future studies by using carefully controlled diets in appropriately selected populations.
Red yeast rice supplements can be found online or at your local natural health store. You can buy them alone or combined with other ingredients such as CoQ10. But when it comes to purchasing red yeast rice supplements, the saying 'buyer beware' rings true. Because it's illegal for red yeast rice supplements to contain more than trace amounts of lovastatin in the U.S., most supplement manufacturers no longer include actual monacolin amounts on their labels. As a result, while a product may specify it contains a certain amount of red yeast rice, there's no way to know the actual monacolin content or how the ingredients were processed.
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Red yeast rice has been used as a food ingredient and a natural medicinal remedy in China for centuries. Because it's believed to lower blood lipids including triglycerides and cholesterol, the supplements have gained popularity in the Western world. If you're thinking about using a red yeast rice supplement, you'll want to weigh the pros and cons.