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Red Yeast Rice Benefits, Nutrition, And Its Side Effects

Red yeast rice benefits a lot. Because red yeast rice is capable of lowering blood cholesterol levels and total blood cholesterol levels. Red yeast rice contains the compound monacolin K, the same active ingredient found in prescription cholesterol-lowering drugs like lovastatin. For this reason, rice is often used as an effective alternative to cutting costs on expensive medications that help lower cholesterol levels and support heart health. Research also shows other beneficial effects of red yeast rice such as reducing cancer cell growth, balancing blood sugar, and improving insulin.

Red Yeast Rice Benefits

Improves Heart Health

Heart disease is a serious condition that affects millions of people and is estimated to account for 31.5% of deaths worldwide. High cholesterol, one of the main factors in heart disease, can cause arteries to narrow and harden, leading to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Red yeast rice is often used as a natural remedy to help lower cholesterol levels and promote heart health, often with fewer side effects than prescription medications used to treat high cholesterol.

A study of 25 people showed that consuming red yeast rice reduced total cholesterol by an average of 15% and bad LDL cholesterol by 21% over about two months of treatment. Similarly, an eight-week study of 79 people showed that taking 600mg of red yeast rice twice daily significantly reduced levels of bad LDL cholesterol, compared with a control group. What’s more, a result based on 21 studies found red yeast rice to be effective in reducing total and LDL bad cholesterol levels, as well as triglycerides and blood pressure, when combined with statin drugs.

Treatment of Metabolic Disorders

Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that increase the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke Some symptoms of a metabolic disorder include high blood pressure, excess fat excess, elevated blood sugar, and sudden changes in cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Several studies have found that red yeast rice can help treat some of the above risks and can be used as a natural treatment to aid in the prevention of metabolic disorders. One of the most well-documented effects of this product is its ability to lower cholesterol. Research shows that it can effectively lower both total and LDL cholesterol levels.

Another small 18-week study found that taking a supplement containing red yeast rice could reduce blood sugar, insulin levels, and systolic blood pressure in people with metabolic syndrome. Plus, another 8-week study looked at the effects of red yeast rice on rats fed a high-fat diet compared to a control group. Discovered that red yeast rice can prevent the increase in cholesterol levels and body weight.


Inflammation is a normal immune response to protect the body against acute infections and invading bacteria. However, prolonged inflammation is thought to contribute to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Studies show that red yeast rice supplements can help users reduce inflammation and promote long-term health. For example, one study in 50 people with metabolic disorders found that a supplement containing red yeast rice and olive extract reduced levels of oxidative stress, a major cause of chronic inflammation, by up to 50 percent. 20%.

Cancer Prevention

Although current studies are limited to animals and test tubes, some evidence suggests that red yeast rice may help reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells. One study found that giving red yeast rice to rats with prostate cancer significantly reduced the number of tumors compared to a control group.

Similarly, one test-tube study found that treating prostate cancer cells with red yeast rice could reduce cancer cell growth more effectively than lovastatin, a drug that reduces cancer cell growth. cholesterol has anti-cancer effects. However, more medical studies are needed to evaluate the true effects of red yeast rice on other types of cancer in humans.


High cholesterol is a serious health problem linked to obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. The most effective way to control cholesterol levels and prevent these conditions is to make healthy diet and lifestyle choices; however, some people are prone to high cholesterol regardless of these choices.

Red yeast rice lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides and raises good cholesterol (HDL) in the blood. It may also prevent weight gain and maintain normal levels of liver enzymes and leptin.

In multiple studies with almost 8,000 participants between them, people supplementing with red yeast rice had decreased LDL and total cholesterol, with no damage to liver or kidney function.

Blood Triglycerides

Triglycerides, like cholesterol, are a type of fatty compound found in the blood. Recent studies have found that triglycerides are more likely than cholesterol to cause heart disease and stroke.

Red yeast rice lowers both cholesterol and triglycerides and measurably reduces the rate of heart attacks. In nearly 5,000 patients who had already suffered a heart attack, long-term red yeast rice supplementation lowered mortality rates by a third and cut the likelihood of a future heart attack in half, from 10.5% to 5.7%.

In combination with coenzyme Q10, red yeast rice also makes blood vessels more flexible. Stiff blood vessels, especially arteries, increase the risk of plaques forming in the vessels; these blockages can eventually lead to heart attack, stroke, and other complications.

Cardiac Inflammation

Chinese researchers have extensively studied xuezhikang, a red yeast rice extract, for its anti-inflammatory effects. In 50 patients with coronary heart disease, 1200 mg of xuezhikang per day produced decreased markers of inflammation and triglycerides.

In rats with high cholesterol, red yeast rice decreased the expression of genes that cause inflammation. The rats that ate the supplement had decreased levels of TNF-α and IL-6, two compounds that increase inflammation.

Monascustin, one of the active compounds of red yeast rice, may inhibit a gene called HDAC1. We do not yet fully understand how HDAC1 controls inflammation, but this relationship may be responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect of RYR.

Metabolic Syndrome & Blood Sugar

Metabolic syndrome is a collection of conditions including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, insulin resistance, high levels of triglycerides, and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL). People with metabolic syndrome also have increased inflammation and are prone to inflammatory conditions.

Red yeast rice can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar; it also has anti-inflammatory and bone–strengthening effects. More research is required before doctors actively prescribe red yeast rice for metabolic syndrome; however, most of their hesitation has to do with citrinin toxicity and an inconsistent chemical profile. Red yeast rice is a useful nutraceutical for managing metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Kidney Function

High cholesterol and triglycerides can cause serious kidney damage if left untreated. Through its effect on these fats, red yeast rice protected the kidneys from injury in a rat study.

The effect of red yeast rice on healthy kidneys is currently unknown. Furthermore, some red yeast rice may be contaminated with citrinin, which can cause kidney damage. We do not recommend red yeast rice as a supplement for kidney health.

Bone Health

In one rat study, red yeast rice reduced bone loss in rats with osteoporosis. Animals given red yeast rice supplements had higher bone mineral density and healthier bone cells than those without the supplement.

A study of white rabbits demonstrated a similar effect. In this study, however, the researchers added a red yeast rice extract to grafts and applied these grafts to a rabbit’s skull. The grafts that included red yeast rice extract showed improved bone growth compared to grafts without the extract. Red yeast rice may increase the expression of the BMP2 gene, which is important for healing broken bones.

Red Yeast Rice Nutrition Facts

  • 73.4% starch
  • 0.8% fiber
  • 5.8% protein

Its health effects are caused by a compound called monacolin K, the natural form of the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin.

Red Yeast Rice Side Effects

Side effects of red yeast rice are rare but can include:

  • Headache
  • Stomachache or bloating
  • Gas
  • Dizziness
  • Heartburn
  • Muscle aches and weakness. This can lead to a rare but serious condition called rhabdomyolysis. Stop taking red yeast rice immediately and call your doctor.


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