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Red Yeast Rice: Health Benefits, Consumption and Side Effects

Rice is a staple food that is consumed by people from all around the world. Rice forms the main component of a meal and is recognised for its easy availability, high nutritious value and the ability to blend in with any form of food. Therefore, rice has always been a crucial part of diet.

We all know that yeast are special mold that has become a very important inclusion in food. Yeast in various forms of food is associated with various health benefits. As such, imagine what yeast in rice can do. That is where the red yeast rice comes in.

It is a fermented rice that is made with mold (red yeast). Though this potent supplement has recently come to the medicinal market, it has been used in ancient Chinese medicine for ages now. More importantly, it has not just been consumed as a part of the daily diet but it is also known for its numerous health gains. It is worth noting that red yeast rice is among the few natural foods to have active ingredients that exactly match that of medically prescribed medications.

red yeast rice

For instance, studies have shown that red yeast rice contains the chemical compound monacolin K. This is the same chemical compound found in prescribed medications that are meant to lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Hence, the most widely recognised use of red yeast rice is its highly efficient functionality in lowering cholesterol levels. However, the health benefits of red yeast rice extend beyond just lowering of cholesterol. This article aims to explore all the health benefits of red yeast rice that have been the outcome of much research, the possible side effects and recommended dosage. Let us see what makes the red yeast rice a hugely popular ingredient in various health supplements and why it is so widely consumed as a part of daily diet.

Health Benefits of Red Yeast Rice

Lowers the levels of bad cholesterol

Studies have shown that red yeast rice can effectively lower the Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the body. LDL cholesterol is regarded as the bad cholesterol, and its accumulation in the blood vessels and arteries can cause heart attack and other similar heart problems. As such, the consumption of red yeast rice contributes towards good cardiovascular health. In addition, red yeast rice is associated with fewer and less bothersome side effects when compared to typical medications for cholesterol.

An experimental study on 25 subjects has demonstrated that the regular consumption of red yeast rice lowered the total cholesterol levels by 15% and the bad cholesterol levels by 21% in just 8 weeks.

Another similar study for 8 weeks showed that 600mg of red yeast rice being consumed two times on a daily basis reduced the amount of bad cholesterol by a significant level.

A cumulative report put forward the fact that regular consumption of red yeast rice not only reduced bas cholesterol levels, but also reduced the blood pressure and amount of triglycerides in the body.

Helps to deal with Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome refers to a combination of conditions that may potentially lead to chronic issues such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc. Some of the conditions which come under Metabolic Syndrome include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and unwanted fat deposits.

Studies have demonstrated that the intake of red yeast rice helps to lessen the conditions that make up the Metabolic Syndrome.

A well noted experimental study conducted over a period of 18 weeks displayed that red yeast rice can successfully lower blood pressure, blood sugar and triglyceride levels in subjects with Metabolic Syndrome.

Furthermore, an animal study indicated that red yeast rice can decrease the gain of weight and build-up of bad cholesterol.

Anti-inflammatory action

Inflammation beyond limits can contribute towards the development of several chronic conditions. While normal inflammation is nothing but a response of your immune system to fight infection and unwanted particles in the body, excessive oxidative stress due to free radicals may lead to sustained inflammation, which is harmful. Studies have provided evidence that red yeast rice can reduce the amount of oxidative stress by 20%.

High content of Monacolin K

The functionality of red yeast rice is primarily due to its active ingredient: Monacolin K. This chemical compound is not typically found in natural supplements. Authorities have accredited red yeast rice as the best natural supplement that contains Monacolin K.

Dosage

Adosage of 1200mg to 2400mg is typically used in supplements along with 10mg of Monacolin K.

However, as you will see, red yeast rice comes with the possibility of some side effects. So it is suggested to have a consultation with your doctor before you decide to try red yeast rice.

Side effects

Red yeast rice comes with an impressive list of health benefits. However, it does have its share of minor side effects that one must take note of.

The minor side effects associated with the consumption of red yeast rice may include bloating, upset stomach and gas. Exceeding the dosage may bring up more serious side effects such as cramps and allergic reactions.

Keeping this in mind, it is critical for you to ensure that you stick to the recommended dosage. You are even suggested to seek medical advice from your doctor regarding the consumption of red yeast rice.

Pregnant and lactating women are advised to stay away from red yeast rice as there is not enough research to support the safety of consumption of red yeast rice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Conclusion

As it is pretty obvious, red yeast rice is definitely a very wholesome natural supplement that comes with some very noteworthy benefits to the health. However, its consumption is associated with some side effects which you should absolutely keep in mind. A medical consultation with a doctor regarding your wish to eat red yeast rice is strongly suggested.

In case of supplements containing red yeast rice, you must be 100% sure that the concentration is well within the recommended dosage. Once all of this is taken care of, you are surely going to benefit immensely by including red yeast rice into your daily diet.

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Frank Diamond

I have been working with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily and I’m a Human Resource Executive. Aside from that, I’m a man of literature. My poem "Labour day" was nominated for Pushcard Prize Award in the year 2015. While my articles are often featured in sources like Woman's Day and Philadelphia In-quirer.
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