Has anyone tried red rice yeast as a replacement for statins?

My new doctor is thinking about putting me onto red rice yeast to help reduce cholesterol, but from what I've read up so far it seems the active ingredient is the natural form of statin from which synthetics have been derived (the patent for Lovastatin in the US exists and they are trying to declassify it as a natural food there. What I am concerned with is: the side effects include muscular cramps, and this is what I suffered with under Simvastatin ... so if I go over to the natural product will I be likely to get the same problems again? Has anyone got experience of this red rice yeast product?

18 Replies

  • Just out of curiosity, what is your cholesterol level?

  • The only figures I have are for my blood test the day I had stopped taking everything on my prescription:

    Serum cholesterol 9.5 mmol/L should be less than 5.00 mmol/L

    HDL level l.3mmol/L, range 1.00 - 2.00 mmil/L

    Total cholesterol HDL ratio 7.31, less than 4.00

    Serum triglycerides 1.8 mmol/L, less than 1.70 mmil/L

    Serum LDL cholesterol level 7.4 mmil/L, less than 3.00 mmil/L

    Serum LDL cholesterol 6.0 mmol/L, range 3.00 - 6.00 mmol/L

  • The reason I asked was because I thought you might be interested in the following article (first link), about the mortality risks associated with "high" cholesterol (don't worry, it isn't scary news!). The second link is the research paper that formed the basis of the article. Pay particular attention to the graphs.



  • Yay! Atkins diet here I come!

  • Dr Kendrick's book "The Great Cholesterol Con" is well worth reading.

  • F&P, you may find your cholesterol lowers when your thyroid is optimally treated. Cholesterol is often high in undiagnosed and undertreated hypothyroidism.

  • I guess it's early days Clutter - I am only a week into Erfa and things are still settling down. He may have been testing the waters with the GP as this is where I saw mention of the red rice yeast idea, and we are both waiting to see how my GP reacts to the trial anyway ....

  • Hi When I was diagnosed with hypo my cholesterol was 14.85 but within 6 months of taking levo it was down to 4.6. I didn't change my diet in any way. I would wait and see what happens naturally with taking Erfa.

  • Thank you for that 'Cholesterol' snippet Clutter, I have written it down to take to my Daughter's Doctor, if needed.

    Doctor listened to Daughter's symptoms - tiredness, can't concentrate/ brain fog, quick weight gain, she did not mention she is always hot and sweating a lot, (as Hypothyroidism usually goes hand in hand with coldness.) we were worried he might not test for Hypo if she said she was hot.

    This clever Doctor not only said he would do a full Thyroid set of bloods, but a few more, Daughter piped up "including the one's Mum has written down ?" He asked to look at the list









    He said, "yes OK, we don't normally do FT3, but for you I will do it." (YES! I thought,) having a Doctor do you a FT3 blood is like winning the lottery, but then he said we'll also do a Fasting Cholesterol, Is this normal ? I never had to have it, now I am slightly worried this might tilt the blood results and Doctor will concentrate more on the Cholesterol and weight gain instead, especially if the Thyroids come back as 'within range.'

    I will take both your's and humanbean's bit about the HUNT 2, (10 year study into cholesterol,) along with me when we go to see her Doctor.

  • Coastwalker, I had a fasting cholesterol test when my thyroid function was tested. Shame the GP didn't tell me a) I was having cholesterol done, and b) I should fast. Waste of resources!

    If the lab declines the FT3 because TSH isn't suppressed ask your GP to phone and insist while they still have your daughter's sample, it's usually held for a week.

  • Thanks Clutter, I will tell her that, (learn something new everyday,) she was going to wait 2 weeks for an appointment as Vit D result takes longer to come through, but will get her to phone surgery ASAP to see if results are through and get a printout and ranges, hopefully tomorrow. Thanks again. X :)

    Yes! that was silly a waste of time and money all round for you and them re - the cholesterol one.

    Daughter had to wait 2 weeks to get an appointment to get bloods done due to the Fasting Cholesterol one, whereas she could have had an earlier appointment and probably know the results by now.

  • frogandprincess, you're more likely to die from the statins than from the cholesterol.

    Hugs, Grey

  • Haha - you can say THAT again!

  • No-one needs statins and people who are hypothyroid should not take them as they are CONTRA - INDICATED when you are hypo.

  • You might find this article of some interest:


    It is about five years old and be careful of units!


  • Every doctor I have seen in my long battle with my endocrine system has 'advised' me to take statins and my reply has ALWAYS been 'Get the thyroid right and my cholesterol will follow ' and though it isn't below 5 , it is a whole lot lower ! I rest my case !!!

  • Frogandprincess, have a look at this :

  • I like this guy. Thank you for the link. Am looking forward to getting my bloods done next Monday and will post when I get results.

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