Red Yeast Rice Cuts Cholesterol
July 1/Cardiovascular Business Week -- New research from two Philadelphia-area cardiologists finds that an over-the-counter dietary supplement sold at pharmacies and health food stores may be an alternative for patients who cannot take traditional statin medications to lower cholesterol because of statin-related muscle pain. The findings of their study, "Red Yeast Rice for Dyslipidemia in Statin-Intolerant Patients," appear in the June 16, 2009 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Cardiologists David Becker, M.D., and Ram Gordon, M.D., Chestnut Hill Cardiology, studied 62 patients with high cholesterol in the first randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial to evaluate red yeast rice in patients with a history of statin-associated myalgias (side effects that include muscle pain and weakness). While 31 of the patients took three 600mg capsules of red yeast rice twice per day over the course of six months, the other half received identical placebo tablets. The red yeast rice patients also participated in weekly meetings for the first three months, where they were taught about heart disease and how to incorporate heart-healthy nutrition, exercise and stress management into their lives.

From the July 6, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition