Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Active ingredient levels vary among red yeast rice supplements

Date:
October 27, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Different formulations of red yeast rice, a supplement marketed as a way to improve cholesterol levels, appear widely inconsistent in the amounts of active ingredients they contain, according to a new study. In addition, one in three of 12 products studied had detectable levels of a potentially toxic compound.

Different formulations of red yeast rice, a supplement marketed as a way to improve cholesterol levels, appear widely inconsistent in the amounts of active ingredients they contain, according to a report in the Oct. 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In addition, one in three of 12 products studied had detectable levels of a potentially toxic compound.

"Chinese red yeast rice, also known as Hong Qu, is a medicinal agent and food colorant made by culturing a yeast, Monascus purpureus, on rice," the authors write as background information in the article. The process produces compounds called monacolins, one of which (monacolin K) has been purified and marketed as lovastatin. "Several studies have shown that specific formulations of red yeast rice reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) significantly compared with placebo. This is likely related to the effects of monacolin K and the 13 other monacolins in the supplement, which also works to lower the production of cholesterol in the liver."

In 2008, American consumers spent about $20 million on this supplement, often in response to recommendations from clinicians. However, to avoid being considered an unapproved drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, manufacturers do not standardize or disclose the levels of monacolin K or other monacolins in their products, the authors note. Ram Y. Gordon, M.D., of Chestnut Hill Hospital, Philadelphia, and Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, Penn., and colleagues evaluated monacolin levels in 12 commercial red yeast rice formulations and also tested for citrinin, a toxin from fungus that is potentially harmful to the kidneys.

Across the 12 products, levels of total monacolins ranged from 0.31 milligrams to 11.15 milligrams per capsule and levels of monacolin K or lovastatin ranged from 0.10 milligrams to 10.09 milligrams per capsule. Four of the formulations had elevated levels of citrinin.

"Red yeast rice has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and is an increasingly popular alternative lipid-lowering therapy that may benefit patients with a history of coronary disease who cannot take statins, subjects who refuse statins or who prefer a 'natural' approach to pharmacotherapy, or patients with a history of statin-associated myalgias," or muscle pains, the authors write.

"However, our study found dramatic variability of monacolin levels in commercial products and the presence of citrinin in one-third of formulations. Further oversight and standardization of the production and labeling of red yeast rice products may address some of the concerns raised in this study. Until these issues are addressed, physicians should be cautious in recommending red yeast rice to their patients for the treatment of hyperlipidemia [high cholesterol] and primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. Y. Gordon, T. Cooperman, W. Obermeyer, D. J. Becker. Marked Variability of Monacolin Levels in Commercial Red Yeast Rice Products: Buyer Beware!. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2010; 170 (19): 1722 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.382

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Active ingredient levels vary among red yeast rice supplements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025161036.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, October 27). Active ingredient levels vary among red yeast rice supplements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025161036.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Active ingredient levels vary among red yeast rice supplements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025161036.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins