Red Yeast Rice Dosage: An Introduction
The recommended dose of red yeast rice
can vary, depending on the lovastatin
content of your supplement. Red yeast rice supplements work for treating high cholesterol
because they contain lovastatin (Mevacor®
), a prescription cholesterol medication
. Lovastatin is not added to red yeast rice; it is produced naturally during the fermentation process.
Red Yeast Rice and Lovastatin
Not all red yeast rice products contain lovastatin. In fact, most red yeast rice used in foods contains little or no lovastatin. Red yeast rice is produced from the fermentation of rice using a certain type of yeast. If the fermentation conditions are carefully controlled and specific strains of yeast are used, the result can be made to contain high levels of lovastatin. This is how red yeast rice supplements are designed to lower cholesterol
. Supplements that do not contain lovastatin are probably not effective for this use.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken action against several manufacturers of red yeast rice supplements that contain lovastatin. Because they contain lovastatin but have not been approved by the FDA, these supplements are considered "unapproved drugs," not dietary supplements
. Currently, many of these supplements do not contain any lovastatin in order to comply with the FDA requirements, but, as mentioned, these products are not likely to be effective at lowering cholesterol