Red yeast rice is a traditional Chinese dish made from yeast and rice that has been used for centuries as a food preservative, as a flavoring agent, and for its potential medicinal properties. Today, red yeast rice is widely available as a dietary supplement, touted for its potential to lower cholesterol and support a healthy heart. In this article, we’ll discuss the potential benefits, side effects, and what to look for in a red yeast rice supplement, as well as our top 3 red yeast rice supplements.
What is Red Yeast Rice?
Red yeast rice is a traditional Chinese dish made from yeast and rice that has been used for centuries as a food preservative, as a flavoring agent, and for its potential medicinal properties. The yeast used to make red yeast rice is Monascus purpureus, a species of yeast that is known to produce compounds called monacolins. One of these compounds, monacolin K, is the same active ingredient found in many prescription cholesterol-lowering medications.
Benefits of Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice is most commonly used for its potential to lower cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that red yeast rice can reduce levels of both total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol in the blood. It may also help to increase HDL “good” cholesterol levels. Red yeast rice may also help to reduce inflammation, support healthy blood sugar levels, and protect against oxidative damage.
Potential Side Effects
Red yeast rice is generally safe for most people, but it can have some potential side effects. These may include stomach upset, headache, dizziness, and muscle pain. It is important to note that red yeast rice can interact with some medications, including statins. If you are taking any medications, it is important to speak with your doctor before taking red yeast rice.
What to Look for in a Red Yeast Rice Supplement
When looking for a red yeast rice supplement, it is important to look for one that contains monacolin K, the active ingredient in red yeast rice. It is also important to look for one that has been tested for purity and potency. It is also important to look for a supplement that contains no added ingredients, as some supplements may contain other potentially dangerous ingredients.
Our Top 3 Red Yeast Rice Supplements
- Nature’s Way Red Yeast Rice: This supplement is made with non-GMO ingredients and is tested for purity and potency. It contains no added ingredients and is gluten-free.