Red yeast rice extract is a dietary supplement made from red yeast rice, a type of rice that is fermented with red yeast. The extract is rich in nutrients and compounds that have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including the ability to lower cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other serious health conditions. Fortunately, there are a number of natural ways to lower cholesterol levels. Red yeast rice extract is one of the most effective and promising of these natural remedies.
This article provides an overview of the science behind red yeast rice extract and its ability to lower cholesterol levels. It also discusses the potential side effects and risks associated with this supplement.
What is red yeast rice extract?
Red yeast rice extract is a dietary supplement made from red yeast rice, a type of rice that has been fermented with red yeast (Monascus purpureus). The extract is high in bioactive compounds, including monacolins and isoflavones. These compounds are known for their cholesterol-lowering properties. Red yeast rice extract is also high in several other bioactive compounds that have been linked to a range of other health benefits, such as improved heart health, better blood sugar control, and liver health.
How does red yeast rice extract work?
Red yeast rice extract works by inhibiting the production of cholesterol in the liver. It does this by blocking the mevalonate pathway, which is the pathway used by the liver to produce cholesterol. Studies in humans have found that red yeast rice extract is more effective at lowering cholesterol levels than other common cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins.
Red yeast rice extract is believed to work by binding to and blocking certain enzymes involved in the mevalonate pathway. This, in turn, reduces the amount of cholesterol that is produced in the liver. Additionally, it may also increase the amount of cholesterol that is broken down and removed from the body, further helping to reduce cholesterol levels.
The benefits of taking red yeast rice extract
Red yeast rice extract has been found to be a safe and effective way to lower cholesterol levels.
In one study, participants taking red yeast rice extract for 12 weeks experienced a significant decrease in both total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Not only that but red yeast rice extract was also found to improve levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, while also reducing levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the bloodstream. Additionally, some studies have found that red yeast rice extract may help to reduce blood pressure and improve blood sugar control as well.
Are there any side effects of taking red yeast rice extract?
Red yeast rice extract is generally well tolerated and has few side effects. However, some people may experience mild side effects such as heartburn, upset stomach, or dizziness.
People who are taking statin medication or other cholesterol-lowering drugs should not take red yeast rice extract. Additionally, red yeast rice extract should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or by people who have liver disease. As with any supplement, it is best to speak to your healthcare provider before taking red yeast rice extract.
How to take red yeast rice extract
Red yeast rice extract is available in capsule, tablet, and liquid forms. The typical dose of red yeast rice extract is 500-2,000 mg per day. It is best to start with a small dose and work your way up to the full dose. It is also best to take red yeast rice extract with food to help minimize any potential side effects.
Red yeast rice extract is a natural supplement that has been shown to be effective at lowering cholesterol levels. It works by blocking the mevalonate pathway and reducing the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver. While there are few side effects associated with red yeast rice extract, it is best to speak to your healthcare provider before taking this supplement. When taken as directed, red yeast rice extract can be a safe and effective way to improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and other conditions associated with high cholesterol.
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