Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Video: The Benefits of Red Yeast Rice Extract

Do you want to lower your cholesterol naturally? There is a safe and effective way to do so. In Dr. Mark Stengler's latest video installment on cardiovascular health, Dr. Stengler will discuss the studies that support the effectiveness of red yeast rice extract in lowering cholesterol.

Hi I'm Dr. Mark Stengler from the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine. And this is another video in a series on cardiovascular health. And today I want to talk to you about Red Yeast Rice extract. Now, many patients have heard about this and they asked me, "Mark does red yeast rice really help lower cholesterol? "Absolutely. And the studies prove it. Let me give you an example. People who take red yeast rice extract can often reduce their cholesterol levels by 11 to 32 percent depending which study you look at, and triglyceride or fat levels, by 12 to 19 percent. Red yeast rice is the fermented product of rice on which red yeast has been grown. And it's a dietary staple in China and Japan. Used by Asian American communities here in the U.S. as a natural food preserve for fish and meat but it's also used as a supplement. It's been shown to have kind of a natural statin effect although if you really look at the details on how red yeast rice works, the naturally occurring statins in it don't fully explain as to how it lowers cholesterol. In terms of side effects, we find nothing like the statin cholesterol lowering drugs that are on the market, the prescription drugs.Generally red yeast rice is very very well tolerated and has some very good studies done on it. For example at UCLA they did some studies. One study that lasted 12 weeks, found that using red yeast rice significantly lowered total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. And there has been some other very good studies done on red yeast rice as well. Let me give an example, one published in The Journal of the American Geriatric Society. This was a study done on people with the history of cardiovascular disease. About half of them were given 600 milligrams of red yeast rice extract, 2 times per day, and the other half were given a placebo 2 times per day for 4 years. Now here's the important part. The treatment group had a reduced rate of new coronary events including non-fatal heart attacks, sudden death from cardiac causes, and other heart related deaths by almost 37 percent. Also those taking red yeast rice extract were 48 percent less likely to die from other causes such as cancer and stroke than people in the placebo group. So you can see there is some good research behind red yeast rice extract and I commonly do use it with patients. Side effects are not common. I usually use doses between 1200 to 2400 milligrams a day. The same doses is used in the published studies. I hope you found this video helpful. For a complete list of treatments offered and conditions addressed at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine, please visit our website, call or email the clinic with any questions you may have.