Elevated cholesterol levels continue to be a problem for the American population. High cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease and heart attack. While there are a number of prescription drugs on the market for this problem, there is a more natural approach to lowering cholesterol.
Red yeast rice, which is a Chinese product that is used as a preservative, flavoring and coloring for food, has been found to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels. While it is a food staple in some Asian countries, red yeast rice has compounds called monacolins that act to inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the body.
As an over the counter supplement, red yeast rice has been sold under names such as Cholestin for naturally reducing your cholesterol levels. There is an ongoing dispute, both legally and industrially, over whether red yeast rice is to be considered a drug or a dietary supplement. This dispute involves the manufacturers, the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry.
In ancient Chinese medicine, red yeast rice was used primarily to calm gastric problems, promote circulation and for spleen and stomach health. Human studies have been ongoing for red yeast rice as it relates to cholesterol levels since the 1970’s. Reports and findings showed it to be effective in lowering total blood cholesterol and the low density lipoproteins which is the “bad cholesterol” and triglycerides.
Although red yeast rice is natural, it still has a long list of possible side effects. These may include headache, abdominal discomfort, heartburn,gas, bloating, muscle pain, dizziness, asthma and kidney problems. Red yeast rice is contraindicated for people with liver disease.
If you have an elevated cholesterol level, you should certainly consult with your physician about the best treatment options. Ask your doctor if red yeast rice would make sense for your situation as it has compounds related to statins. Another great way to regulate cholesterol that is beneficial to the heart and circulatory system is using one of the best omega 3 dietary supplements also for numerous benefits as well as skin and hair improvements and mental clarity.
According to a study done recently in China, it was found that red yeast rice can reduce the risk of a second heart attack by nearly half. That is not just god, that’s pretty amazing, although I will say I wonder what the variable and control groups were like, but still, this points to the fact that red yeast rice may prove a hug asset as an introduction to your traditional diet. That and of course a diet rich in natural sources of omega 3’s, fiber and antioxidants which means lots of leafy green veggies, darly and brightly colored fruits and whole grains and lean nuts.