Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report newsletter, is a nationally recognized board-certified neurosurgeon, health practitioner, author, and lecturer. He attended the Louisiana State University School of Medicine and completed his internship and neurological residency at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 26 years, practiced neurosurgery in addition to having a nutritional practice. He recently retired from his neurosurgical duties to devote his full attention to nutritional research. Dr. Blaylock has authored four books, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills, Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients, and his most recent work, Cellular and Molecular Biology of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out what others are saying about Dr. Blaylock by clicking here.

Is Red Yeast Rice Safe?

Wednesday, 23 December 2009 09:18 AM

Question: My physician recommended red yeast rice 200 mg three times a day. Is this a safe supplement? I heard it is used in making statin drugs.

Dr. Blaylock's Answer:

Red yeast rice inhibits the very same enzyme as statin cholesterol-lowering drugs and has many of the same complications including lowering essential CoQ10 levels. I do not promote it for that reason — it is just a natural statin.

I have found beta-sitosterol taken with each meal to be very effective with lowering total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol, without the bad side effects. One must keep in mind that atherosclerosis is not caused by cholesterol, even LDL-cholesterol. It is caused by oxidation of all of the lipids in the blood, i.e., the enemy is oxidation.

Curcumin and quercetin, resveratrol, ellagic acid, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium all play a major role in preventing atherosclerosis. It is also important to know that the leading cause of elevated cholesterol is hypothyroidism, even subclinical disease, which is misdiagnosed by many physicians. I have noted, as have others, that even low-normal thyroid function can significantly raise cholesterol levels and LDL-cholesterol levels and that when thyroid function is corrected, both return to low levels. See my newsletter on hypothyroidism and iodine.

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