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Are Red Rice Yeast, Statins Equally Effective?

By    |   Friday, 13 March 2015 03:27 PM

Question: My mother refuses to take statins, even though she has very high cholesterol. Instead, she takes red rice yeast pills, which her chiropractor said are just as good or better. I’ve read that the red rice yeast has the same active ingredient as statins. What do you think?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Untrue. The claim that red rice yeast is "as good or better" than statin medicines is misinformation and is clearly a misleading statement made by someone who does not have the most basic knowledge of lipid and cholesterol management and treatment.
Red yeast rice is a traditional Asian medicine whose ingredients vary according to brand. Safety and dosing data is unproven and unclear for red rice yeast , and this is precisely why you should not use it.
Please note one fact: all statins are NOT the same, and are not equal in effectiveness or toxicity. Each prescription statin has a different side effect profile and some are safer than others to use, especially when combination therapy is proposed.
The first generation statins, such as Mevacor, have been associated with greater toxic side effects than the newer third-generation statins, like Crestor. Statin medications have evolved into very useful agents, and have become increasingly safer to use. The older agents such as lovastatin are not often prescribed anymore because of toxicity, side effects, and drug interaction concerns.
So why bother taking a chance with red rice yeast when you have other statins available by prescription with a safer user profile and a proven record for effectiveness?

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There is little evidence backing claims that red rice yeast is 'as good or better' than statin medicines.
red, rice, yeast, statin
Friday, 13 March 2015 03:27 PM
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