Red yeast to cut cholesterol?

Please read the article in today's copy of mail, health section, by Doctor.

Red yeast rice is used in Chinese medicine to lower cholesterol and can be bought as a supplement from health food shops.

It contains a powerful natural chemical, monacolin K, which is used in statins, as well as plant sterols (which stop cholesterol being absorbed by the gut).

'Red yeast may cause side-effects, but these are less likely, so a supplement may be an option if you're unable to tolerate statins - but don't take it if you're on statins,' says Dr Carl Shakespeare, consultant cardiologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich.

'Also, the plant sterols you get from eating a single apple a day can lower cholesterol by 20 per cent, and this may be cheaper.'

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16 Replies

  • I am running a personal experiment at the moment with Bergamot supp's, if anyone is interested I will report back in a week or so

  • are you going to have your cholesterol retested? I have ordered Bergamot supplements as well.

  • Yes before and after

  • I'd like to know how you get on too.

  • I will keep you informed when I get my next check which will be next week, nudge me if I forget

  • Hi, I'd really like to know how you get on and if you have a preferred product. I hope that it works for you.

  • I prefer the idea of eating an apple!

  • I normally eat Avocado, today bought 4 apples to give it a try for few months!

    If I can reduce the cholesterol by eating an apple a day by 25%, it is worth trying.

  • How's that working? Some seem to say that apples are a FODMAP and to be avoided. I've momentarily forgotten what FODMAPs a are but I'll look it up now...

  • Wikipedia The term FODMAP is an acronym, deriving from "Fermentable, Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols."

  • Learning new every day:

    FODMAP-containing vegetables include:

    Asparagus (fructose, fructans), artichoke (fructose), beets (fructans), broccoli (fructans), Brussels sprouts (fructans), butternut squash (fructans), cabbage (fructans), celery (polyols), cauliflower (polyols), eggplant, fennel (fructans), garlic (fructans), leek (fructans), mushroom (polyol), okra (fructans), onion (fructans), shallots (fructans), sweet corn (fructose), radicchio (fructans), sweet potato (polyol)

    FODMAP-containing fruits:

    Apples (fructose, polyol), apricots (polyol), avocados (polyol), blackberries (polyol), cherries (fructose, polyol), plums (polyol), pluots (polyol), lychees (polyol), nectarines (polyol), peaches (polyol), pears (fructose, polyol), persimmons (polyol), grapes (fructose), mango (fructose), watermelon (polyol, fructose), dried fruit (fructose), juice (fructose)

    Plus sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, maltitol, sorbitol, mannitol, and xylitol. And any dairy that contains significant amounts of lactose, like milk or soft cheeses. Depending on your sensitivity, cream or butter can even do the trick.

    So it covers quite a few otherwise healthy Primal foods (and some non-Primal ones, like wheat and rye and the aforementioned refined sweeteners).

    Let me reiterate before I go on, because I don’t want to scare everyone away from berries and broccoli: not everyone has problems with FODMAPs. Most people probably don’t. If you’re eating all that stuff without issue, continue doing so and consider this post merely an academic curiosity.

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  • But are you OK with it? What research was the apple idea based upon? Is there a best time of day to eat the apple?

  • The usual reason given for not using Red Yeast Rice is that it is much more difficult to control the dosage than in statins, but I thought it's basically the same pathway (HMG-CoA) being inhibited so I'm not sure why it would suffer fewer of the side effects that many of us report with statins?

  • Did Google to find more information on Red Yeast Rice, there are side effects. Today in the paper it talks about eating nuts to control cholesterol, comments given discuss side effects! All one can do is give it a try if it works fine if not move on to different natural product. Apple can reduce 20% of cholesterol!!

  • Fish oils or oily fish, oats, apples, nuts, linseed, soya, pulses, other foods containing soluble fibre are supposed to lower cholesterol. However, I have inherited high cholesterol (not FH, but something similiar) and only managed to lower mine from 8.9 total to 7.5 total. (High LDL, low HDL and low Trigs). Am a bit sceptical when they say certain foods will lower it by 10%, because if that were the case, mine would have got down to normal levels but it didnt. So it must depend on the individual, but people with inherited high cholesterol cant reduce it that much by diet. Obviously though, diet helps with other things,not just cholesterol.

  • The clinical trials on Bergamot lasted 31 days so my trial so far at 7 days should be taken in context, however last week my total cholesterol was 5.4 with my HDL being 2.0 and therefore my LDL around 3.4. The last 3 readings have been around this figure whereas my previous 5 or 6 had been consistently showing an LDL of 2.8, hence my interest. Today I had a test at the same place with no other dietary changes other than taking two Bergamot caps per day as suggested on the container for the last week. My readings today are Total = 4.99 HDL = 1.72 LDL therefore approx 3.27. This suggests that the Bergamot may be having an effect and that I should certainly pursue up to 31 days and then test. It is a little early to say but I did not expect anything more than the above drop after 7 days only. Will keep you posted if anyone is interested.

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