Can red-yeast rice be taken instead of a statin drug?

flickr.com/ photos/ cobalt220/ 4343621338/

flickr.com/ photos/ cobalt220/ 4343621338/

Not really.  Here in the United States, the red-yeast rice extract that contains naturally-occurring lovastatin (a statin drug) is not FDA approved.

In contrast, in China red-yeast rice is a common dietary and medicinal product.  Their red-yeast rice contains a wide range of biologically active compounds… including lovastatin. (Lovastatin is a statin drug that in the US is sold at the pharmacy with a prescription.)   Studies in China using their red-yeast rice have shown significant reductions in coronary heart disease (up to 30%!) and a 60% reduction in myocardial infarctions.

The products that are purchased online from America may contain variable amounts of lovastatin and therefore therapeutic effects aren’t predictable.  I would suggest letting the FDA do their job and regulate the medication and their strength.  Get a statin prescription from your doctor.

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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