Red Yeast Rice lowers cholesterol, reduces high blood pressure, decreases inflammation, lowers blood sugar, prevents cancer and increases bone growth (R).

What is Red Yeast Rice?

Red Yeast Rice is used both as a fermented food as well as a supplement extract. It contains several active molecules, including the drug Lovastatin, which decreases cholesterol production by the liver. Red Yeast Rice can be brewed into sake, vinegar, wine, and food pickling or used simply for its red color (R).

When Red Yeast Rice containing Lovastatin was tested on thousands of patients who had previously had a heart attack it was well-tolerated and decreased new heart problems, old heart problems and mortality (R).

Lovastatin can improve heart longevity by inhibiting an enzyme that makes cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase), thereby lowering cholesterol. (R).

Also, lovastatin inhibits inflammatory cytokines (IL-2, TNF-α, and IL-6) in rats (R, R).

Red Yeast Rice can also contain monascuspiloin, which inhibits mTOR and increases AMPK (R).

In the United States, Red Yeast Rice should not contain lovastatin, so it may not have the same benefits and risks.

Goats fed with Red Yeast Rice produce less methane since the related gut microorganism is inhibited (R).


Red Yeast Rice on average contains 73.4% starch, 0.8% fiber  5.8% protein by weight (R). A standard dose of 2 g/day includes 8 mg of Lovastatin. Taking this with even 250 mL of grapefruit juice will be like taking 5 times the dose (R).

The FDA regulates lovastatin, so commercial Red Yeast Rice in America should not contain lovastatin itself (R, R). If it does contain statins they are at around 0.4% and should not be taken by pregnant women (R).

Health Benefits Of Red Yeast Rice

1. Red Yeast Rice Treats High Cholesterol

Red Yeast Rice prevented weight gain and excess fat in mice that were fed a high-fat diet and improved blood cholesterol parameters, liver enzymes, and leptin levels (RR).

Also, Red Yeast Rice reduces kidney injury, lowers total cholesterol and LDL and raises HDL in rats with high cholesterol (R).

2. Red Yeast Rice Improves Heart Function

In patients who had suffered a heart attack, long-term therapy with Red Yeast Rice lowered mortality, cut the risk of a future heart attack in half (from 10.5% to 5.7%) and lowered LDL, lowered triglycerides, and raised HDL. It was safe and well tolerated in 5000 humans (DB-RCT) (R).

General scientific consensus says Red Yeast Rice improves blood vessel flexibility and lowers blood vessel stiffness in 40 moderately high cholesterol humans (DB-RCT) (R).

3. Red Yeast Rice Fights Cancer

Red yeast rice has can cause the death of human prostate cancer cells by inhibiting mTOR and increasing AMPK (R, R).

4. Red Yeast Rice Improves Metabolic Syndrome

Red Yeast Rice can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.  It has anti-inflammatory and bone strengthening effects, according to a review (R).

5. Red Yeast Rice Treats Obesity

Mice fed Red Yeast Rice improved cholesterol, liver enzymes, and leptin levels. It might be helpful for obesity (R).

6. Red Yeast Rice Reduces Inflammation

In rats with high cholesterol, Red Yeast Rice reduced inflammatory factors and kidney stress (R). Also in rats, Red Yeast Rice lowered inflammatory markers TNF-α and IL-6 (R).

Monascuspiloin (in RYR) inhibits HDAC1 in cell studies, which improves brain cell growth (R).

7. Red Yeast Rice Improves Bone Growth

Also, Red Yeast Rice helps osteoporosis in mice (by increasing BMP2 and BMP4) and increases bone mineral density and bone formation (RR).

Red Yeast Rice Combinations

According to a case study, Red Yeast Rice can lower muscle Coenzyme Q10, so supplementing with CoQ10 would be a good idea (RR).

Rice bran oil is better than coconut oil or sunflower oil combined with Red Yeast Rice for lowering cholesterol and free radical damage in rats (R).



Red Yeast Rice containing lovastatin should not be taken by pregnant women (R) and can contain citrinin, a concerning toxin (R).

Grapefruit juice interacts with CYP3A4 (breaks down statins) and the statins can get to dangerously high levels (R).

Too much Red Yeast Rice causes immune suppression (R, R, R, R, R).

Allergies to Red Yeast Rice may exist and have been found in a case report (R, R).


On the basis of our data, we could demonstrate that a 10 mg monacolin treatment appears to safely reduce cholesterol. It also lowers hs-CRP, and markers of vascular remodeling (R).

The type of Red Yeast Rice determines the number of statins, but often 2.4 g of Red Yeast Rice contains 10 mg of statins (R).

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