About Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice is made by culturing rice with various strains of the yeast Monascus purpureus. Some preparations of red yeast rice are used in food products in Chinese cuisine, including Peking duck. Others have been sold as dietary supplements to lower blood levels of cholesterol and related lipids.
Some red yeast rice products contain substances called monacolins, which are produced by the yeast. Monacolin K is chemically identical to the active ingredient in the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin, which is one of the drugs in the category known as statins. These drugs lower blood cholesterol levels by reducing the production of cholesterol by the liver.
The composition of red yeast rice products varies depending on the yeast strains and culture conditions used to manufacture them. The strains and conditions used to produce culinary red yeast rice differ from those used to produce products that are intended to lower cholesterol. Tests performed by the FDA indicate that the red yeast rice sold as a food product contains only traces of monacolin K or none at all.
There have been some concerns over side affects associated with taking Red Rice Yeast similar to the side effects of statins. You should use Red Rice Yeast products with care and under the supervision of your health practitioner.
What are phyto or Plant sterols?
Plant sterols are naturally occurring substances that have been in the diet for thousands of years and are found in everyday foods like fruits and vegetables, vegetables oil, nuts and grains. Plant sterols have a chemical structure similar to that of cholesterol. They play the same stabilizing role in plant cell membranes as cholesterol does in our cellsâ€™ membranes. Over 170 studies have proven that plant sterols significantly lower blood cholesterol levels. Clinical studies have shown that eating 2 -2.5 g of plant sterols per day on average lowers LDL cholesterol by 10% within two to three weeks. This amount, however, requires very large quantities of foods â€“ 83 oranges or 150 apples. Vegetable oils, nuts and seeds are much richer in plant sterols.
How do they work? Plant sterols block the absorption of both dietary and endogenously (made in the body) derived cholesterol from the gut. In other words, the plant sterols get absorbed instead of the dietary cholesterol. Therefore, they reduce the supply of cholesterol in the bloodstream.
How can I eat more plant sterols?
- Enjoy a variety of vegetables and fruit every day. Aim for 7-10 servings a day, as recommended by Canada's Food Guide.
- Eat 1-2 servings of plant sterol-fortified foods each day.
- Snack on nuts, like almonds and walnuts, or sprinkle a small handful on your cereal and salads.
- Include whole grains in your meals. Look for recipes that use barley, brown rice, oats and quinoa.
Along with eating well, remember to follow a heart healthy lifestyle: quit smoking, manage stress and be active every day.
Red Yeast Rice - National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health
Plant Sterols: What are they Good for? - Fitness Firm
If you are concerned about taking Red Rice Yeast and looking for another good option, check out Cholesterol Pro featuring Bergamot which has been shown to have powerful results. Cholesterol Pro