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Red Yeast Rice

by Carly Neubert, BA, NC June 30, 2021

We have seen a massive boom in utilizing herbal supplements and natural remedies to combat various ailments in 2021. From St. John’s Wort to Valerian root, the craze around alternative medicine is picking up steam with people of all generations. One of the formulas that is leading the charge is Red Yeast Rice. I will be discussing its benefits, risks, side effects, and uses in this post - along with a new formulation that just hit the market.

A Brief History

The first recorded usage of this fermented rice was in the Tang Dynasty from 618-907 AD. This is the same Ancient Chinese dynasty that gave us advancements in gunpowder, air conditioning, gas stoves, and printing. The Tang Dynasty is regarded by literary analysts as one of the most prosperous times for Chinese poetry as well. If you’re a Disney fan, this next fact will make you smile. The Song of Mulan, one of the notable literary pieces of the Tang dynasty, gave future authors and artists a new viewpoint of the original Mulan legend from centuries prior. Such an amazing dynasty of Chinese culture gave us intellectual advancements that we see in so many parts of our daily lives; Red Yeast Rice is one of them. Red Yeast Rice has been recorded in many ancient Chinese texts across multiple dynasties. Traditionally, this was utilized by many people in Asian cultures as a flavor enhancer, food preservative, and food-coloring agent for fish sauces, rice wines, red soybean curd, pickled vegetables, and salted meats.

Benefits/Risks

According to an article from Frontiers in Pharmacology, Red Yeast Rice (RYR) has been tested over the years for its anticancer, anti-fatigue, anti-obesity, and anti-inflammatory benefits, amongst others. Most notably in the long list of benefits, however, are its cardiovascular support properties. This support stems from the presence of Monacolin K. This component is extremely powerful, and the reason why many have touted the success and wonderful qualities of RYR. Monacolin K has similar mechanical properties as the active ingredients in statins, specifically lovastatin. Did you know that this is also the active ingredient in Merck’s statin drug, Mevacor? Statins are pharmaceutical drugs that lower blood cholesterol levels. Another naturally occurring compound commonly found in RYR dietary supplements is Citrinin. Citrinin is produced by the same strain of yeast that produces RYR. However, when the growth of Citrinin isn’t managed properly in the culturing process of RYR, kidney damage and instances of decreased liver function have been reported.

Here is a little known secret that most Red Yeast Rice companies don’t want you to know: In 1998 the FDA banned Monacolin K because it worked in the same way that the pharmaceutical drug lovastatin works to lower cholesterol. While you can still buy Red Yeast Rice supplements, they contain little to no actual Monacolin K. It is unlikely you will see noticeable results in cholesterol markers.

Because RYR supplements used to contain Monacolin K, they carried similar risks to taking traditional statin formulations. (But, I will also note that the levels of Monacolin K are consistently lower in RYR than in prescription drugs). Some side effects to keep an eye on may include: muscle pain, liver problems, and most commonly, gastrointestinal issues. The side effects may vary with the different retailers that are offering RYR in the current market. Because RYR is not regulated by the FDA, different amounts of RYR could be in each of the product offerings you could find at an online retailer. Confusing, right? There seem to be a lot of risks with no guaranteed results with the majority of RYR offerings currently. Xymogen, as I will discuss next, is a reputable retailer that I have trusted for years, and you can too. They are bringing RYR into 2021 - changing the game to provide a safe alternative to statin drugs. 

Xymogen’s Red Yeast Rice

Since the ban in 1998, all the RYR supplements sold in the US have little (or no) active ingredient (Monacolin K).  Xymogen’s new “GenX” Red Yeast Rice formulation is medically verified to produce results, without the Monacolin K.

Aptly named for its new and improved nature, I’m going to examine Xymogen’s new “Gen2” Red Yeast Rice product in the following sections.

What’s So Special About the New Formula?

The star of the show is no longer Monacolin K… it’s ANKASCIN 568-R. Xymogen has really hit it out of the park with their work on this formulation. Here are the introductory benefits:

  • Clinical trials to back up claims and possible risk factors. 
  • FDA-approved, as opposed to Monacolin K.
  • There have been multiple scientific publications for this ingredient, showing its scientific relavance and effectiveness in studies. It has been verified with animal studies as well as clinical trials. They have studied blood lipids, blood sugar, blood pressure, as well as memory and cognitive health in these analyses.
  • No statin risks - this natural alternative doesn't the side effects and health risks that accompany statin drugs.
  • Non-GMO and no major food allergens present.
  • No presence of citrinin or Monacolin K.

Benefits

Health benefits of Xymogen's Gen2 RYR formula:

  • Supports Cholesterol in Normal Range
  • Supports Triglycerides in Normal Range
  • Supports Other Cardiovascular Risk Markers in Normal Range
  • Supports Blood Pressure In Normal Range.
  • Helps Support Blood Glucose Levels In Normal Range
  • Support HDL in Normal Range.

Notable Ingredient: ANKASCIN 568-R

Ankascin 568-R is extracted from the yeast that ferments to form RYR. The manufacturer of this compound holds many international patents as well as approval by the FDA. The proper safety tests have been passed so you as the consumer can feel comfortable consuming this supplement for cardio-metabolic concerns.

Our hearts are fragile organs, prone to heartbreak as well as heart attacks and strokes. Why settle for a product with lackluster scientific backing when Xymogen’s new offering has that scientific evidence, and more? Their new formulation provides an FDA-alternative with no statin risks.

As discussed in the prior section, there are quite a few risks regarding RYR. I understand that there are risks that come with trying an alternative form of medicine. What worked for your friend may not produce the same results when you take it. Xymogen took all these concerns into consideration when producing their new formulation.

Red Yeast Rice Uses

For more than 700 years, Red Yeast Rice (RYR) has been used to treat indigestion, weakness of the limbs, and diarrhea. In the recent decades, it has been used for treatments regarding cardiovascular health and cholesterol maintenance. When using this supplement, there are a few interactions to be aware of:

  • Alcohol - It would be wise to decrease or eliminate consumption of alcohol while taking RYR as the combination of RYR and alcohol may increase risks of liver damage.
  • Grapefruit - drinking grapefruit juice while taking RYR could increase the side effects felt by most individuals when they take RYR (discussed in the next section). Mangoes, peaches, and mandarins could be delicious alternatives during this time. 
  • Niacin - If you are wanting to grow out your hair or nails and are taking a high dosage of niacin, I recommend you halt that during your RYR use. It has been recorded that this interaction increases the risk of myopathy (muscle cramps, stiffness, and involuntary movements).

If you are looking for alternatives to Western medicine medications, but are still wanting to lower your cholesterol, RYR may work for you. It is important to note that it is not recommended to take statins at the same time as RYR. As always, I recommend discussing your options with your primary healthcare professional who is up-to-date with your cardiovascular health profile or scheduling an appointment with me. 

In Closing...

It seems almost unbelievable for over 20 years, Red Yeast Rice supplements have been offered without the active component Monacolin K.  That has been a lot of expense for people looking to lower their cholesterol by natural methods.  It’s no wonder that I rarely hear of studies or patient successes with Red Yeast Rice supplements.  I’m sure that with this new formulation, with ANKASCIN 568-R,  that Red Yeast Rice will prove to be useful for cholesterol and metabolic syndrome.  

Red Yeast Rice is all over the supplement market right now. Unfortunately, many people are trying to incorporate it into their health routine to improve their heart health without any consideration of the active ingredients and dosage. What other brands have failed in accomplishing regarding proper studies and scientific research, Xymogen has provided that and then some. The ability to recognize a superior product over an inferior product is something that I work on with my clients each day. I am here to provide the most up-to-date information regarding your health and what you can feasibly do to improve your life for years to come. 

For more information on various offerings of Red Yeast Rice, what brands to avoid, and what the benefits you may be able to see, Schedule a consult with me, Carly Neubert BA, NC.

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6901015/

https://www.worldhistory.org/Tang_Dynasty/

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Myopathy-Information-Page

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-red-yeast-rice/art-20363074#:~:text=Red%20yeast%20rice%20is%20capable,cost%20less%20than%20a%20statin.

https://www.xymogen.com/assets/imageDisplay.ashx?productID=17826&attachmentTypeID=1

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-925/red-yeast-rice

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/red-yeast-rice#side-effects

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/17417-cholesterol-reduction-red-yeast-rice-and-plant-stanols


Carly Neubert, BA, NC
Carly Neubert, BA, NC

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