Red Yeast Rice is a very popular supplement that is used to treat and control cholesterol. It has been proven to be very effective and that is what has added to its popularity. It should be noted that red yeast rice is not for everyone, especially women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. The supplement contains specific compounds that can be extremely dangerous to an unborn baby.
Why is Red Yeast Rice Dangerous to Pregnant Mothers?
Red yeast rice supplements often contain a statin, which is produced naturally when the rice ferments. Statin’s are found in cholesterol medications like lovastatin.
As it stands, Lovastatin falls into the category X as it relates to medications and pregnancy. Women are advised to stay away from medications that fall into Category X. The X rating came about based on the fact that in tests conducted using these medications often resulted in birth defects and other problems during pregnancy.
Not all red yeast rice supplements contain lovastatin as this only occurs when the rice is fermented using a specific strain of yeast. Some red yeast rice contains no lovastatin at all. The ones that do is a result of a controlled process that allows the yeast to ferment to allow the rice to have lovastatin levels that are high.
Even though there are red yeast rice supplements that do not contain lovastatin, it is not known if it is safe for pregnant women. The reason behind this is based on the fact that red yeast rice with lovastatin is not approved by the FDA. Most companies who manufacture these products might include the statins in their supplements, but they might not indicate this on their labels.
Pregnant women who are considering taking this supplement should consult with their doctor. The doctor will be able to offer advice as it relates to the different risks that are possible from taking this particular product.