Red Yeast Rice

What is Red Yeast Rice

Red Yeast Rice, also called Went Yeast, Monascus purpureus, is a controversial natural dietary product which is being marketed to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Red Yeast Rice has natural HMG-CoA-reductase inhibitor activity.

In some products, the activity of Red Yeast Rice is attributed to mevinolin, a HMG-CoA-reductase inhibitor with the same structure and activity as lovastatin.

However, lovastatin is obtained from Aspergillus terreus while mevinolin is obtained from Monascus purpureus.

Red Yeast Rice also contains ‘unsaturated fatty acids’ according to manufacturers.

Manufacturers claim that Red Yeast Rice has been used in China for centuries, which apparently supports the clinical use of Red Yeast Rice to maintain healthy cholesterol levels; however, this data has not been evaluated by the FDA and has not yet been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Brand Name

Red Yeast Rice

Indications

  • hypercholesterolemia

For the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels in combination with diet and exercise in healthy adults

Side Effects

  1. abdominal pain
  2. constipation
  3. diarrhea
  4. dizziness
  5. dyspepsia
  6. elevated hepatic enzymes
  7. flatulence
  8. headache
  9. myalgia
  10. myasthenia
  11. myopathy
  12. rhabdomyolysis
  13. teratogenesis

Monitoring Parameters

  • LFTs
  • serum cholesterol profile

Contraindications

  • alcoholism
  • breast-feeding
  • children
  • cholestasis
  • electrolyte imbalance
  • endocrine disease
  • hepatic disease
  • hepatic encephalopathy
  • hepatitis
  • hypotension
  • infants
  • infection
  • jaundice
  • organ transplant
  • pregnancy
  • renal disease
  • renal failure
  • renal impairment
  • rhabdomyolysis
  • seizure disorder
  • surgery
  • trauma

Interactions

  • Acetaminophen; Butalbital
  • Acetaminophen; Butalbital; Caffeine
  • Acetaminophen; Butalbital; Caffeine; Codeine
  • Amiodarone
  • Amobarbital
  • Amoxicillin; Clarithromycin; Lansoprazole
  • Amoxicillin; Clarithromycin; Omeprazole
  • Aspirin, ASA; Butalbital; Caffeine
  • Aspirin, ASA; Butalbital; Caffeine; Codeine
  • Atropine; Hyoscyamine; Phenobarbital; Scopolamine
  • Barbiturates
  • Belladonna Alkaloids; Ergotamine; Phenobarbital
  • Bosentan
  • Butabarbital
  • Carbamazepine
  • Clarithromycin
  • Cyclosporine
  • Danazol
  • Daptomycin
  • Delavirdine
  • Diltiazem
  • Efavirenz
  • Efavirenz; Emtricitabine; Tenofovir
  • Efavirenz; Lamivudine; Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate
  • Erythromycin
  • Erythromycin; Sulfisoxazole
  • Ethanol
  • Fenofibrate
  • Fenofibric Acid
  • Fibric acid derivatives
  • Fluconazole
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Gemfibrozil
  • grapefruit juice
  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors
  • Isoniazid, INH; Pyrazinamide, PZA; Rifampin
  • Isoniazid, INH; Rifampin
  • Isradipine
  • Itraconazole
  • Ketoconazole
  • Lovastatin; Niacin
  • Mephobarbital
  • Methohexital
  • Mifepristone
  • Nefazodone
  • Nevirapine
  • Niacin, Niacinamide
  • Niacin; Simvastatin
  • Omeprazole; Amoxicillin; Rifabutin
  • Oxcarbazepine
  • Pentobarbital
  • Phenobarbital
  • Phenytoin
  • Posaconazole
  • Primidone
  • Protease inhibitors
  • Ranolazine
  • Rifabutin
  • Rifampin
  • Rifapentine
  • Secobarbital
  • St. John’s Wort, Hypericum perforatum
  • Telithromycin
  • Thiopental
  • Trandolapril; Verapamil
  • Verapamil
  • Voriconazole
  • Warfarin
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