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What is Red Yeast Rice?

Aug 9, 2008
Red yeast rice is rice that has been fermented by the addition of yeast to red rice and is incorporated into many natural dietary supplements. It contains natural HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, which inhibit the enzymatic reaction that is necessary for production of cholesterol in the body, especially in the liver. The liver is considered to be the main site of cholesterol production, as it is responsible for over seventy-five percent of our total cholesterol supply.

When cholesterol production is out of control, the liver needs red yeast rice to inhibit its action and decrease cholesterol production. Many studies have confirmed that red yeast rice has the ability to reduce total cholesterol by a significant percentage. It has also been found that red yeast rice contains unsaturated fats that may also help reduce serum lipids or blood fats that we call triglycerides.

Red yeast rice supplements are made for individuals who suffer from cholesterol levels that are moderately high. When supplementing with red yeast rice, one should incorporate the supplement into an overall therapeutic strategy that utilizes diet and exercise. Instead of viewing red yeast rice supplements as a cure for a condition, they should be looked at as a natural way to help maintain desirable cholesterol levels. Anyone who has high cholesterol levels should talk to their physician before starting any new natural supplements. If your level is about 230, try talking to you doctor about using red yeast rice therapy before going on any prescription drugs.

Red yeast rice has long been used in Asian cuisine, with usage dating back to 800 A.D. In south China, red yeast rice has been consumed as food stuff and also as a medicinal agent for over two thousand years. With records dating back to the fourteenth century, red yeast rice was used for the treatment of several maladies which included infections, circulatory problems, and stomach ailments. In more recent times, cultures in Japan, Thailand, India, Korea, and the Philippines use red yeast rice in cookery as well as a therapeutic compound. The popularity of red yeast rice in European countries has just taken hold over the last few decades.

Today, red yeast rice is used in foods such as meat products, poultry, fish, ketchup, chocolates, cereals, jams, and beverages a rich, stable red color. Using red yeast rice is a great nontoxic way to color foods plus it remains stable even when it is exposed to high temperatures. When looking at medicinal value, scientists have classified many different species from red yeast. Scientific studies have confirmed that pharmacological qualities of this substance, especially when looking at its ability to reduce LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides or fats.

Although adverse effects to red yeast rice have been rare and are considered very mild, the list includes heartburn, flatulence, and dizziness. If you are thinking of supplementing with red yeast rice, be sure to check your cholesterol levels after a two-month course of therapy. Anyone who is taking prescription drugs to control cholesterol levels should not take red yeast rice without their doctor's approval. Additionally, people who suffer from yeast allergies or have liver disease or infection should not use red yeast rice supplements with out consulting a doctor. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding you should avoid the use of red yeast rice supplements.
About the Author
More information on red yeast rice extract is available at VitaNet , LLC Health Food Store. http://vitanetonline.com/
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