Author: doctor Eric Madrid
Also known as: red rice koji, akakoji, red fermented rice, red rice “ruby”, red kojic rice, Anka or ang-kak
When a person is diagnosed with high cholesterol, the doctor usually advises the patient to adjust the diet and more exercise. When this is not sufficient, the patient can prescribe medication. However, many of those who take prescription medication are worried about side effects of pharmaceuticals and are looking for a more natural way to improve health. The option that many are considering red yeast rice (KDR).
The story of red yeast rice and drugs that reduce cholesterol
Red yeast rice (KDR) has been used for 2300 years. He appeared in China and was used as a food dye and medicinal plant. Around 800 ad in China this figure was taken inside in order to “invigorate the body, aid in digestion and energize the blood.” The CRA also has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of the spleen, stimulate the discharge of phlegm and improve the circulation of blood.
In Japan red yeast rice is called Hoji, which translates as “the grain or beans, sprouted mold”. KDR is produced by fermentation (fermentation) of rice with the yeast Monascus species purpeus and contains compounds called monacolins. These chemicals inhibit the production of enzyme, which doctors call “HMG-COA reductase”. By blocking this enzyme prevents the body to produce cholesterol.
In the 1970s scientists Merck & Company isolated a chemical substance monacolin K. Soon after that they learned how to synthesize this compound in the laboratory. Lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev, Altocor) — the so-called drug that forever changed the method for the treatment of high cholesterol and ultimately cardiovascular diseases. In 1987, the New York Times article it was noted that this drug will cost up to $ 3,000 per year for patients with a high risk level — about 6500 dollars to date. Suddenly this organic, chemical substance, used for over 2000 years, was named drug, and the Federal office for drugs banned the sale of all dietary supplements on the basis of the CRA, which contained lovastatin. Products with a high level monacolin K or drugs that reduce cholesterol, was driven out of the market.
Many of the tools that are now left on the shelves, trying to avoid falling into the list of pharmaceuticals that are marked by the Office for medicines as containing the minimum number monacolin K. in addition, the labels of these drugs is not mentioned on their anticholesterol action.
One common quality brand uses the following description:
“Red yeast rice is a natural product that has been used in Asian herbalists since around 800 ad, Red yeast rice is made by fermenting yeast (Monascus purpureus) with white rice and is normally used in cooking to improve color and taste of food. An example of the color and flavor makes the dish red yeast rice is Peking duck”.
People often wonder: “do I have to take medications to lower cholesterol or should I find alternatives?”. Before you answer, let me explain something to you.
What is cholesterol?
Despite the fact that cholesterol has become a household name and most people think that cholesterol is “bad”, in fact cholesterol has a very important job and is critical to human health. Cholesterol — a waxy substance that has many important functions in the body. Only 20% of cholesterol comes from food and 80% is produced in the liver.
Cholesterol is required for the production of the following substances:
- Vitamin D
- Testosterone, the primary hormone for men
- Estrogen, the main hormone for women
- The myelin sheath, the protective covering that surrounds nerves in the body
- The bile, which helps us absorb fats
According to research, lower levels of cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of depression and suicide. Most likely, this is due to the influence of cholesterol on hormones and the nervous system. Furthermore, very low LDL (bad cholesterol) can prevent a heart attack, but, apparently, it can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in brain)
Side effects of drugs latinovich
The first sensational cholesterol reducing drug called lovastatin (Mevacor), was released in 1987. In the next decade, was developed and released other popular drugs, including simvastatin (Zocor, in 1992) and atorvastatin (Lipitor, in 1994). Since 1987, the proceeds from the sale latinovich drugs amounted to more than $ 200 billion. According to some estimates, in 2012, the drugs have brought producers $ 29 billion from sales worldwide — they have become very popular not only among doctors but also among patients.
Although statins can be helpful when taken according to the testimony, many are worried about side effects that they can cause with prolonged use.
According Epocrates.com resource, which often use medical students and doctors for information to help you prescription, when taking cholesterol reducing drugs may occur the following adverse reactions. Most of these serious reactions occur very rarely and almost never observed by most doctors.
Serious reactions include:
- Tendon rupture
- Acute necrosis of skeletal muscles (muscle expansion) — condition can be life threatening and require hospitalization.
- Acute renal failure
- Hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity)
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of pancreas)
- Anaphylactic shock (life-threatening allergic reaction)
- Photosensitivity (sensitivity to sunlight)
- Erythema multiforme (a particular type of rash)
- The Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a life-threatening condition with occurrence of blisters and peeling of the skin)
- Leukopenia (low white blood cells, making the person prone to infections)
- Hemolytic anemia (blood cells self-destruct)
- Arthralgia/arthritis (pain in muscles, joints are the most common reactions that see doctors: affect up to 10% receiving statins patients)
- Increased SK (creatinekinase) — muscle protein, which level in the blood increases due to muscle damage
- Increased ALT, AST (it is a liver enzyme that when elevated levels indicate that the liver is hardly neutralizes toxins and removes the drug from the body)
- Reduced levels of CoQ10
- Cognitive impairment (memory loss and/or transient global amnesia)
- Dyspepsia (symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Muscle spasms
- Sore throat
- Abdominal pain
- Flatulence (bloating)
- Urticaria (skin rash)
In addition, according to some estimates, one out of 50 people taking statins develop diabetes as a side effect of the drug to lower cholesterol. There is also a side effect of memory impairment, which has publicly written in his published in the 2005 book. American astronaut and family physician Duane Gravelin — “Lipitor — thief of memory”.
Lowering cholesterol — which way is best?
Let’s be honest: proper nutrition and exercise is the most important thing that you can do to improve cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. For maintaining normal level of cholesterol is extremely important diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables, which also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, dementia and many other diseases. Playing sports is also essential. However, for some this may not be enough.
The patient should discuss with your doctor whether you need to take satinovye drugs. Someone can opt for supplements such as red yeast rice
Taking decision on necessity of statin therapy, the doctors often take into consideration what is taken by the patient the drug for primary or secondary prevention.
Primary prevention is an attempt to prevent disease. For example, your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol lowering drug to a person with a high level of cholesterol so to prevent heart attack or stroke. In such situations, you may want to consider alternatives, including lifestyle changes. As always, you should first ask your doctor.
Secondary prevention is the process of treating a patient who has already suffered a heart attack or stroke, to try to prevent the occurrence of the “second episode”. This patient belongs to the group of “high risk”. For such patients the standard treatment — receiving latinovich drugs to lower cholesterol. Studies show that in most cases, the benefit of statin therapy outweighs the risk.
Intolerance to statins?
For all that, not everyone can take prescription statins because of the side effects listed above. In the study, 2009, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, examined patients who could not tolerate statins due to muscle pain — a common side effect. The results showed that red yeast rice can effectively reduce LDL (bad cholesterol). According to The American Journal of Cardiology, results of a study conducted in 2009, 92% of patients who could not tolerate statins due to side effects, well-suited red yeast rice to reduce cholesterol level in their blood.
A 2008 study showed that CRA in combination with lifestyle changes and rich in omega 3 supplements with fish oil can reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) to 42% — a result similar to the effects of drugs, such as Lipitor.
In another study conducted in China in 2008 and published in The American Journal of Cardiology, was attended by nearly 5,000 people. They used red yeast rice for almost 5 years. The researchers came to the conclusion that long-term therapy KDR significantly reduces the recurrence of heart attacks, preventing a first heart attack and reduces the risk of death by 33%. The researchers stated that the CRA is safe and well tolerated.
In more recent studies, the year 2014 was analyzed 13 other studies (a total of 809 results patients). As shown by these results, red yeast rice reduced total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides (fat circulating in the blood). Red yeast rice did not cause increase HDL (good cholesterol).
Held in 2015, the study showed similar results, which led scientists to this conclusion: “…the CRA may be a safe and effective method for the treatment of dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) and may be used to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients intolerant of statins”. Simply put, they came to the conclusion that the CRA can not only lower cholesterol, but also reduce the risk of heart attacks in patients who cannot tolerate cholesterol lowering drugs — statins.
Who should use red yeast rice?
To be clear, the maximum benefit from the cholesterol reducing effects of red yeast rice can get and people with a low risk of developing cardiovascular disease (not Smoking, no diabetes) and those who did not have heart attacks, coronary stents or strokes. In addition, red yeast rice is often used patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of statins. If you satinovye prescribed medications, check with your doctor before trying alternatives.
Red yeast rice and coenzyme Q10
Satinovye drugs have the proven ability to lower the levels of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in the blood. Thus, those who consume red yeast rice may also think about supplements Supplement the diet with CoQ10 to maintain optimal amounts of coenzyme, because even red yeast rice can reduce levels of this important enzyme that is needed by our body.
Can red yeast rice cause harm?
As with any Supplement, it is important to make sure that you are buying a quality product from a quality manufacturer. It was reported about rare cases of the content in the red yeast rice citrinin mycotoxin that can cause kidney failure. Leading brands took care of the lack of this chemical in their products.
Pregnant or nursing women to take this Supplement should not. Patients taking statins for cholesterol lowering, medicines based on fibrates, cyclosporin or anti-fungal drugs are also strongly advised to avoid the use of the CRA. Patients with liver disease should not take KDR, since their body may be unable to efficiently metabolize Supplement.
Nutritional supplements with red yeast rice
Red yeast rice is usually taken in a dosage of 600-1200 mg twice per day. If you are taking it to lower cholesterol, you should be re-tested for cholesterol and LFTs in 3-4 months after the start of supplementation to confirm the availability of results. You can also Supplement your regimen of dietary Supplements supplements with coenzyme Q10. Some manufacturers produce red yeast rice and CoQ10 in one capsule.
Those who want to optimize heart health and lower triglycerides, often take red yeast rice with omega 3 – fish oil.
The author of this article — doctor Eric Madrid, a member of the American Council on integrative and holistic medicine, certified American Board of family medicine and the American Council on integrative and holistic medicine. He is the author of “the purpose of the vitamin D, the healing energy of the sun.” Eric Madrid graduated from medical school at Ohio State University. He is a partner of Rancho Family Medical Group and is accepting patients in Menifee, California. More information about Dr. Madrid here.