Hypercholesterolemia, commonly known as high cholesterol, is a condition that can cause serious consequences if it goes undetected. Typically, too much cholesterol circulating in the blood can lead to accumulation of sticky deposits in the artery walls, blocking the blood flow. The consequences of that could be heart attack or stroke. And most patients turn to their doctors for a class of highly effective drugs called statins to reduce the cholesterol levels. Although most people have benefited from statins, using the drugs can cause serious side effects to the users. Some of the common side effects of using statins include muscle and joint aches and pains, nausea and vomiting. Other serious side effects can be increased blood sugar, kidney damage and neurological side effects. In extreme cases, patients might experience breakdown of muscle cells leading to permanent muscle damage.
Are There Any Alternatives To Statins?
Currently, there are a number of cholesterol treatment methods that have been proven to be effective and side-effect free. One of the safest alternatives is the use of red yeast rice. The red yeast rice, which is a mainstay of Chinese medicine since the ancient times, is becoming a synonymous medicine in vitamin shops and drugs stores as natural top; to lowering cholesterol. Its main ingredient is derived from a fungus that grows on rice that has been fermented with a type of yeast known as Monascus purpureus. Other important ingredients in red yeast rice include monacolins, monacolin K, isoflavones and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Is Red Yeast Rice Effective?
Red-yeast rice can be bought over the counter and has for years been promoted as the best alternative to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs especially for individuals that stop using drugs because of their side effects. Statin drugs often cause unbearable pain and even muscle cell damage hence they’re not a recommended option. People who use red yeast rice can experience decreased cholesterol levels by an average of 35 mg/dL. Studies indicate that total levels of cholesterol improved in patients who used red yeast rice compared to those on placebo. When coupled with lifestyle changes, red yeast rice can decrease LDL cholesterol without accelerating pain levels or increasing liver or muscle enzyme levels.
Again, a recent study indicated that those who suffered heart attack and used red yeast rice experienced favorable results. It went further to conclude that for those who took the medicine for at least 5 years lowered the risk of heart attack by 45 percent. The medicine also showed effects in lowering chances of such conditions as angioplasty or bypass surgery and even further reduced the risk of cancer significantly.
Based on the fact that red yeast rice is in its early stages of research, experts have not really come up with an ideal dosage for patients. However, in most studies experts have recommended 1.2 to 2.4 grams per day. The average daily consumption might be much higher for those in China and certain Asian countries where the medicine is available in plenty. But since there are many different strains of yeast used during fermentation, you need to stick to the specific dosage used in the supplement bottle.
In summary, whatever your state of health, always consider talking to your doctor before you start using red yeast or any other cholesterol-lowering medicine. You should keep in mind that not all brands of red yeast rice can be safe for everyone. Red yeast rice looks promising because it has so far delivered significant results to the users within a reasonable period of time. So all you need to do is follow the recommended dosage, consult your doctor where necessary and you’ll experience the best of results with red yeast rice.