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Taking Red Yeast Rice With Niacin for Cholesterol
Question: If I already take red yeast rice, would adding high-dose niacin help further reduce my cholesterol levels, and would this be safe?
Answer: Red yeast rice is effective because it naturally contains cholesterol-lowering "statin" compounds, such as lovastatin. However, studies in which statin drugs have been given with high-dose niacin therapy suggest that this is not a helpful combination for most people and there are safety concerns. The same issues are likely to arise with the combination of red yeast rice and high-dose niacin therapy, so this combination should be carefully evaluated. For more details about the effects of statins given with high-dose niacin, see the Niacin section of theB Vitamins Product Review (which includes our tests of niacin and other B vitamins).
Be aware that some evidence suggests that taking phytosterols in addition to red yeast rice may be helpful.