Red yeast rice is the product of a yeast (Monascus purpureus) grown on rice and is a dietary staple in some Asian countries. The use of red yeast rice in China was first documented in the Tang Dynasty in 800 A.D. A detailed description of its manufacture is found in the ancient Chinese pharmacopeia, Ben Cao Gang Mu-Dan Shi Bu Yi, published during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In this text, red yeast rice is proposed to be a mild aid for gastric problems (indigestion, diarrhea), blood circulation, and spleen and stomach health. Red yeast rice in a dried, powdered form is called Zhi Tai. When extracted with alcohol it is called Xue Zhi Kang.
Red yeast rice offers various health benefits for people who take it. Among them include:
One of the primary uses of red yeast rice is to lower cholesterol. The chemicals found in red yeast rice lower the amounts of “bad” cholesterol (also known as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or LDL) in the body by lowering its production in the liver.
After you eat, LDL cholesterol inside your food gathers with other substances in your body’s blood vessels. If too much collects, it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. However, the liver makes LDL cholesterol too.
LDL isn’t all bad, though. It does help your body make cells and hormones. Still, it’s best to keep the amount of LDL cholesterol low to help your overall heart health.
Lowers Blood Sugar
Studies have shown that taking red yeast rice supplements, along with having a healthy diet, may help lower blood sugar in people who have type 2diabetes. The red yeast rice contributes to lower lipid (fat) levels in the blood, which helps to lower blood sugar levels.
Lowers Stroke Risk
Since red yeast rice helps to lower cholesterol, it can also decrease your chances of having a stroke. Low cholesterol reduces the risk of developing dangerous blood clots, which can break and cause strokes and heart attacks. Red yeast rice can also reduce your risk of other diseases caused by high blood pressure, like chest pain (angina) and heart failure.
Improves Blood Circulation
Plaques in blood vessels also clog arteries and reduce circulation. Red yeast rice has been shown to help improve circulation, allowing wounds to heal more quickly and letting your body function at its best. Even those who don’t have plaque buildup in their blood vessels can benefit from better circulation since the muscles and organs get more oxygen when blood is flowing well.
- Suggested use: Take one capsule with a meal or as directed by your health care professional.