The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
FROM
ISSUE
1320
Red Yeast Rice
Subscribers: Log in to read full article.  Not a subscriber?  Subscribe or purchase article.

Red yeast rice is a food product that has been used in Chinese cooking and medicine for centuries. It is available in the US in a capsule formulation and is often used by patients who want a “natural” product to lower cholesterol.

THE PRODUCT — Red yeast rice is formed when rice is fermented with the yeast Monascus purpureus. The fermented product usually contains numerous monacolins, which are naturally occurring HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. One of these, monacolin K, also known as mevinolin, became lovastatin (Mevacor, and others), the first statin approved in the US.

In one report analyzing the contents of 9 red yeast rice products on the market in the US, the total monacolin content varied by weight from 0% to 0.58%.1 In another, among 10 such products, monacolin K content varied 100-fold.2

CLINICAL STUDIES — In one ... more      

The Medical Letter is a subscriber-funded nonprofit organization that publishes critical appraisals of new prescription drugs and comparative reviews of drugs for common diseases.

Would you like to read the rest of this article?  Gain access below.

Subscribe
Subscriptions to The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics include:
  • Print version published and mailed biweekly (26 issues/year)
  • Unlimited online access to current and past issues (1988 - present)
  • Mobile App for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire
  • FREE online per issue CME/CE
Purchase this article:
Title: Red Yeast Rice
Article code: 1320c
 Electronic, downloadable article - $45
Gain access through your organization
Ask your librarian to consider an Institutional Subscription to The Medical Letter.
Recommend to your librarian