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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Does Red Yeast Rice Lower Cholesterol Level Safely?

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Lower Cholesterol Level Presents:

Does Red Yeast Rice Lower Cholesterol Level Safely?
By Max Wardlow

Does red yeast rice (RYR) lower cholesterol? Is it a safe natural alternative to the commonly prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs?

It has been used since the 7th century A.D. in China as both a food and medicinal nutrient. It has been noted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as having the benefits as both a promoter of blood circulation and a digestive stimulant.

It is a by-product of cooked rice on which red yeast has been grown. The rice is then dried, powdered and used medicinally.

Its effectiveness in lowering cholesterol is backed by reliable and consistent scientific data as well as centuries of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Based on a recent study, 62 people with high cholesterol took red yeast rice daily for six months, and the other half of the study participants received identical placebo capsules. They also made changes in eating habits, exercise and other lifestyle adjustments. After three months, the LDL (so-called "bad" cholesterol) levels of those taking the active supplements had declined 27%, compared to 6% in the placebo group.

The participants in this study were unable to continue treatment with prescription cholesterol lowering drugs, due to adverse and possibly dangerous side effects. There were no significant side effects reported while using RYR.

Is Red Yeast Rice Safe?

Those raising safety concerns say that since RYR contains natural statins similar in effect to cholesterol lowering drugs, it's logical that it would have the same risks. This argument is not valid because statins in prescription drugs have been chemically altered in a laboratory, whereas the statins in red yeast rice are naturally occurring.

Detractors often say that RYR is not regulated by the FDA and the supplements on the market vary in quality and may not be safe.

All dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA based on the guidelines of the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. Under DSHEA, supplement companies are responsible for determining that the nutritional supplements they manufacture are safe and that any claims made about them are substantiated by adequate evidence.

Although some critics argue that DSHEA is no regulation or excessively lax regulation, it seems that nutritional supplements are generally safe enough that this legislation does what it's intended to do. Almost never do you hear of dietary supplements causing extreme and/or dangerous side effects or death.

The same cannot be said about the pharmaceutical industry, where drugs that have proven to be dangerous are regularly recalled by the FDA and personal injury law suits are common.

Although acceptance in the mainstream medical community is slow, at this time, there is no solid evidence that red yeast rice is unsafe. Although there is some variation in the quality of nutritional supplements, and under DSHEA, consumers are responsible for locating high quality and safe supplements produced by firms that adhere to agreed upon good manufacturing practices (GMP).

Of course, you may want to consult your health care provider before starting any supplementation program or to have any questions or concerns addressed. Also, it's not recommended that you take red yeast rice if you're also taking prescription cholesterol lowering drugs.

At this time, research and centuries of use in traditional medicine show that the answer to the question, "does red yeast rice lower cholesterol safely?" is "yes it does." If you have high cholesterol and are unable to take prescription drugs because of side effects or you just want a safer, natural alternative, red yeast rice may be worth looking into.

Max Wardlow is an independent natural health and nutritional supplement researcher and helps manage a website about natural remedies. Visit today to find out more about red yeast rice supplements

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Max_Wardlow

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