MENU
ConsumerLab.com Answers

Red Yeast Rice Supplements Reviewed by ConsumerLab.com

Red Yeast Rice with Niacin?

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 the B Vitamins Product Review (which includes our tests of niacin and other B vitamins) >>

For more information about red yeast rice (including ConsumerLab.com's product tests), see the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review >>

Learn more about red yeast rice supplements:



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

What are the side effects of red yeast rice? >>

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 >>
Comments
Add Comment

Jim16346   January 10, 2018
My doctor has had me taking both Red Yeast Rice and SloNiacin for nearly a year and the resulting decreases in both cholesterol and triglycerides have been remarkable. The combination is producing a better result than I had from a popular prescription statin drug and the leg pains I was having with the statin no longer occur.

LINDA11106   July 27, 2016
Consumer Reports says Red yeast rice is one of the fifteen worse supplements we can take. See the September 2016 issue on supplements.

ConsumerLab.com   July 28, 2016
Hi Linda - The reasons given by Consumer Reports for "avoiding" this supplement relate to the effects of the cholesterol-lowering statin compounds it naturally contains. The warnings are similar to those for statin drugs. CR also notes that red yeast rice can, not surprisingly, increase the effects and side-effects of statin drugs.

Red yeast rice has been shown to be very effective, with minimal side effects, in well-performed, independent clinical studies, so we do not agree that it is supplement to avoid. However, it is certainly one that must be carefully selected (due wide variations in lovastatin content and the potential for contamination) and properly used, as discussed in detail in our Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review.

This CL Answer initially posted on 9/13/2013. Last updated 8/8/2017.

Add Comment...

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted.
Comment:

Add Comment...

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted.
Comment:

Edit Comment...

You can modify your comment below. Please be aware the comment will have to approve the changes before they will be shown:
Comment: