The Use of Red Yeast Rice to Control Cholesterol

Every single year, there are millions of people who die to complications associated with heart disease. Many different factors contribute to this health condition and these often include high cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, lack of exercise, genetics and smoking. Individuals who have more than one of these risk factors have a much higher chance of having health problems associated with cardiovascular disease. There are ways to reduce or eliminate these cardiovascular disease risks by changing their lifestyles, diet and taking medications.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that the body needs to work effectively. It is needed in different processes and also for the production for hormones and cell membranes. The body needs certain levels of cholesterol, however too much can be unhealthy and pose a risk to the healthy functioning of the body. The majority of cholesterol that the body need is created by the liver. The amount of cholesterol that is needed in the body is controlled by a very special enzyme that is known as HMG-CoA reductase.

Clinical trials that have been conducted have shown that red yeast rice as well as guggulipids are able to reduce total cholesterol.

In the past, red yeast rice has been shown to greatly improve the overall circulation of the blood in the body. It was only noticed it in recent years, that red yeast rice was shown to be effective at reducing high cholesterol levels. The supplement, red yeast rice, is created by fermenting special yeast called Monascus purpureus over rice. One of the main benefits of this special product is that it contains lovastatins which is also found in statin medications that is used to treat cholesterol. Statins work by being able to block a special enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, that is required by the liver to convert cholesterol.

Research studies that were done to show the link between cholesterol and red yeast rice have shown that people who took the supplements saw a great reduction in the overall level of their cholesterol. This 8 week trial was done using two random groups. One group was given a placebo, while the other was given a small dosage of red yeast rice. Once the study was completed, the researchers observed that the individuals who took the red yeast rice supplement saw a reduction in the LDL cholesterol levels. The ones who took the placebo saw very little to no change.

There are often minor problem some side effects that are associated with the use of the red yeast rice supplement. Minor side effects often include bloating, dizziness, headaches, heartburn and flatulence. People should be aware that there have been no long term studies done to show how red yeast rice affects the body of a long period of time. If individuals are considering taking the supplement to reduce their cholesterol, they should first consult with their doctor.

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