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Red Yeast Rice Supplements Reviewed by ConsumerLab.com

Side Effects of Red Yeast Rice

Question:
What are the side effects of red yeast rice?

Answer:
Red yeast rice supplements contain naturally-occurring statin compounds (or monacolins), such as lovastatin, that can help lower elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Like prescription statin drugs, red yeast rice supplements can cause side effects such as altered liver enzymes, muscle pain, and digestive upset. However, studies suggest certain side effects may be less likely to occur or less severe with red yeast rice than with prescription statins, likely due to the natural combination of statins in red yeast rice as opposed to a single statin compound in prescription drugs. (Be aware that combining red yeast rice with prescription statin drugs increases the risk of side effects and should be avoided.)

It's important to keep in mind that ConsumerLab.com has found the amount of lovastatins in red yeast rice varies widely across products. Some also contain citrinin, a potential kidney toxin. This likely affects potency and the potential for side effects.

To get ConsumerLab's test results for red yeast rice supplements, as well as more details about side effects, potential drug interactions, and the best way to take red yeast rice, see the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review >>

Learn more about red yeast rice side-effects and using red yeast rice supplements:



Are red yeast rice supplements legally permitted to contain statins, like lovastatin, since these are drugs? >>

If I already take red yeast rice, would adding high-dose niacin help further reduce my cholesterol levels, and would this be safe? >>

To lower my cholesterol, I am taking a phytosterol supplement. Will taking other supplements, like red yeast rice or fish oil, help lower my cholesterol even further? >>

My doctor warned me that red yeast rice can cause liver damage - is that true? >> 

I started taking red yeast rice and soon after developed insomnia. Could my red yeast rice supplement be the problem? >> 

For two years, I used a red yeast rice brand which ConsumerLab.com's report showed to contain the highest amount of lovastatin. With just one pill per day, it kept my cholesterol lower (down to 205 from 260 before starting). I switched to a supermarket store brand because it was cheaper and had my blood drawn for work and my cholesterol jumped to 278 (taking 2 pills per day)! I don't think the store brand had anything in it -- is that possible? Can you test it? >>

When is the best time of day to take red yeast rice? >>


See other recent and popular questions >>
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This CL Answer initially posted on 1/9/2018.
ConsumerLab.com members may submit questions to CLAnswers@ConsumerLab.com. We read all questions and try to answer those of popular interest.

 
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