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Red Yeast Rice and Grapefruit

red-yeast-rice-grapefruitFor people who are taking red yeast rice and enjoy grapefruit or grapefruit juice they should be very careful. Grapefruit can enhance the effects of statin and can enhance blood concentration of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors by as much as 15 times, and this can drastically increase the risk of side effects and liver damage. Because red yeast rice may act similarly in the body to statins, you should avoid drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit or marmalade while taking red yeast rice.

You should take the time to discuss with your doctor is the use of grapefruit products with red yeast rice. Do not increase or decrease the amount of grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.

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Gail - March 10, 2009

Thank you for your information on interactions between grapefruit and red yeast rice. My doctor told me to take the red yeast rice but never said not to eat grapefruit while on the regimen. I assumed because red yeast rice is a natural statin that there were no concerns about an overdose. The red yeast rice did bring down my cholesterol 20 points within six months, but I did not limit my grapefruit intake. I have now reduced my daily intakes of the red yeast rice to only a couple of times a week and will take it only when I have not had any grapefruit on those particular days. Thanks again, G.

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