What are Red Yeast Rice Supplements?

Misty Amber Brighton
Misty Amber Brighton
A good place to find red yeast rice supplements is at a health food or vitamin store.
A good place to find red yeast rice supplements is at a health food or vitamin store.

Red yeast rice supplements are dietary aids popular in many Asian countries, as well as in the U.S. Derived from a fungus known as Monascus purpureus, this substance grows on various types of rice, then is fermented in some cases. Blood circulation, regulation of cholesterol levels, and relief from digestive disorders are some of the health issues these dietary aids might help with. The supplements are normally found in capsule form, and may be purchased at a health food store.

Using red yeast rice as a natural remedy may have originated in China more than 1,000 years ago. It has also been popular in other Asian countries for several centuries. Red yeast rice supplements are also popular in the U.S., although it is uncertain how or when the dietary aids first became introduced there.

This product is made from a type of red yeast known as Monascus purpureus. The yeast is cultivated to grow on rice plants, and then the rice grains are either soaked or boiled to extract the yeast to form the supplements. In some instances, growers ferment the yeast before using it to make supplements.

After being cooked, the yeast is usually dried and then ground into a powder. Next, the powder is typically used to form red yeast rice supplements. In some instances, the product might be available as a wet paste. There are normally no added dyes or chemicals used to make this nutritional aid.

Red yeast rice supplements can be helpful in treating a number of blood disorders, such as high cholesterol or poor circulation. In fact, the medication is believed to be a statin drug, which means it contains enzymes that inhibit the production of cholesterol in the liver. Stomach problems, such as sluggish digestion, are other uses for these pills. Some people may also use them to treat diarrhea.

A good place to find these aids might be a health food or vitamin store. Pharmacies or supermarkets often sell the supplements as well. The dietary aids are normally sold in a capsule form, but the supplements might also be available as pills. In the U.S., these supplements are regulated as a drug, and may therefore contain less monacolin, which is one of the enzymes believed to lower cholesterol, than brands sold in other countries.

People who suffer from blood or digestive disorders may want to consider taking red yeast rice supplements. The safety of this dietary aid has not been completely established by clinical studies. This means it could be a wise decision to consult a physician before doing so, especially if a patient is currently taking other prescription medications.

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    • A good place to find red yeast rice supplements is at a health food or vitamin store.
      A good place to find red yeast rice supplements is at a health food or vitamin store.