Red Yeast Rice Supplement Brands To Avoid + Alternative Brands To Check Out

Red yeast rice is one of the most known types of rice in Asia. This is because of its powerful medicinal properties which play an important role in lowering cholesterol and providing immune-system boosting effects. That is why red yeast rice supplements have become highly in-demand in the West, especially in the USA.

However, the Food and Drug Administrations has suggested that some of the supplement brands aren’t adhering to the rules of supplement content and label genuity. Some of the supplements are even considered harmful by the FDA, and the Administration warns against using them.

So, if you’re looking to buy a reliable and safe red yeast rice supplement, you’re at the right place. In the following paragraphs we’ll talk about the brands you should avoid like the plague, and the ones you should actually check out. Without further ado, let’s get right into this!

Red Yeast Rice Supplements – Dangers of Using These Supplements

Before we get into supplement brands analysis, we need to talk a little bit about red yeast rice and why it causes such a conflict in opinion when it comes to its benefits.

Red yeast rice is produced by fermenting rice with strains of Monascus spp, a fungus that produces red pigments and has long been a part of the traditional food production in Asia.

It is considered to have powerful cholesterol-lowering properties. That is because of a compound known as monacolin K, similar to lovastatin (inhibitor used to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease). Now, the amount of the monacolin K in the red yeast rice depends on the strain of yeast used for the fermentation process.

However, one study has tested 28 red yeast rice supplement brands to check the amount of monacolin K in each one of them; after all, that is the main compound in red yeast rice that provides cholesterol-lowering properties. What they found was that almost every single supplement had no monacolin K at all, or had almost negligible amounts of the compound.

For example, almost every supplement stated that there is a certain amount of red yeast rice in each pill. However, no supplement points out on the label the amount of monacolin K that each pill contains, so there is no insight into the actual ingredients, even on the label.

That is why red yeast rice supplements are not FDA approved or regulated. The FDA has even issued warnings stating that the red yeast rice supplements contain incredibly low amounts of cholesterol-lowering compounds, and even if they do contain monacolin K, there is no insight into its origin, purity, strength, and composition.

Red Yeast Rice Supplements To Avoid

1. Swanson Vitamins – Red Yeast Rice & Policosanol by Swanson Healthcare Products

The reasons you should avoid this red yeast rice supplement include;

  • The FDA has warned against this particular product based on the fact that it is marketed as containing red yeast rice (or monacolin K) when it in fact contains lovastatin.
  • Because it contains lovastatin, this supplement can contribute to health issues when combined with certain antibiotics, medications for fungal infections, antidepressants, medications for HI infections, and other cholesterol-lowering medications.

2. Only Natural Red Yeast Rice Supplement

The reasons you should avoid this red yeast rice supplement include;

  • It doesn’t have a clear insight into the ingredients and the amount of monacolin K.
  • It doesn’t help lower cholesterol or even control cholesterol levels which indicated that it might not even contain monacolin K.
  • Some customers have reported skin allergic reactions and rash developments after using this product.

3. Sundance Red Yeast Rice Capsule Supplements

The reasons you should avoid this red yeast rice supplement include;

  • There is no indication that this product contains monacolin K; it only states that each capsule contains 600mg of red yeast rice.
  • The product claims to contain high-quality herbs that contribute to cholesterol-lowering, but there is no explanation as to which exact herbs the product contains.
  • There is no indication that this supplement works or provides the cholesterol-lowering effects.

4. Nature’s Plus Herbal Actives Red Yeast Rice Supplement

The reasons you should avoid this red yeast rice supplement include;

  • There is no clear indication that this product contains monacolin K; it only states that each capsule contains 600mg of red yeast rice, which is, according to the FDA, improper ingredient transparency.
  • Customers have complained about feeling discomfort and nausea after taking this supplement.
  • Customers have reported that the pills are too large to swallow without feeling discomfort and pain in the throat.
  • The product has terrible online reviews (outside the Nature’s Plus official iHerb online store).

5. Mason Natural Red Yeast Rice Supplement

The reasons you should avoid this red yeast rice supplement include;

  • There is no clear indication that this product contains monacolin K; the label only states the alleged amount of red yeast rice.
  • Some customers have reported that the product doesn’t work. In some cases, the cholesterol levels have even gotten worse than before the supplement consumption.
  • The gel capsules have been reporter too large to swallow.

6. Spring Valley Red Yeast Rice Supplement

The reasons you should avoid this red yeast rice supplement include;

  • There is no clear indication that this product contains monacolin K; the label only states the alleged amount of red yeast rice, which is 600mg per capsule.
  • There is no indication that this product works; customers report that it doesn’t really have cholesterol-lowering effects.
  • Some customers have reported stomach pain and discomfort, lightheadedness, headache, and pain in joints and bones after consumption of this product.

So, What Red Yeast Rice Supplement Brands Should I Check Out?

We don’t recommend people to take red yeast rice supplements since the very FDA doesn’t recommend it as well. These supplements are not FDA regulated or approved, so it can be difficult to point out which red yeast rice supplements are actually good. However, the following two brands are probably the most reliable and trusted for red yeast rice consumption.

Thorne Research – Choleast – Red Rice Yeast Extract With CoQ10

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10/21/2021 07:46 am GMT

Thorne Research Choleast is a trusted product that contains red yeast rice and monacolin K, as well as CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10) for added antioxidant support. This product is even used by 11 US Olympic teams, as well as 100+ professional teams. Thorne Research collaborates with Mayo Clinic in regard to health and wellness research and content.

This product is proven to help with cardiovascular support, cholesterol control and ensures healthy lipid levels in the body. If you want to keep your cholesterol levels under control, or even promote them to drop, go with the Choleast supplement.

Puritan’s Pride Red Yeast Rice Supplement

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10/21/2021 07:46 am GMT

Puritan’s Pride red yeast rice supplement is an excellent alternative to the aforementioned, low-quality supplement brands. Unlike others, this supplement is scientifically formulated using red yeast rice powder that is already rich in monacolin K. Alongside the monacolin, the product contains the coenzyme Q10 as well, to improve and provide additional antioxidant support.

Moreover, the product is created and manufactured in the USA and undergoes rigorous inspections and testing to ensure red yeast rice purity, potency, and consistency for every single bottle. This is surely one of the best red yeast rice supplement products, so make sure to check it out.

Our Take and Safe Concerns

We do have to point out that the aforementioned supplements (Thorne Research and Puritan’s Pride) are tested and considered safe for consumption and cholesterol-lowering. However, it is essential to mention that they can still cause certain side effects, like;

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Headaches and lightheadedness
  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Bloating and gas
  • Kidney failure (some red yeast rice supplements contain citrinin, which can cause kidney failure)
  • Rhabdomyolysis (a condition where muscle fibers break down, releasing substances that cause kidney harm)

It is also important to mention that pregnant or breastfeeding women should NOT take red yeast rice supplements.

Red yeast rice supplements can also interact with the following foods, drinks, and drugs;

  • Grapefruit – simultaneous consumption of grapefruit juice and red yeast rice supplements can promote the product’s harmful side effects, especially heartburn and acid reflux.
  • Alcohol – simultaneous consumption of alcohol and red yeast rice supplements can lead to liver damage.
  • Immunosuppressive drugs (Cyclosporine, Neoral, Sandimmune) – simultaneous consumption of immunosuppressive drugs and red yeast rice supplements can lead to the development of myopathy.
  • Cholesterol drugs – taking cholesterol drugs alongside red yeast rice can lead to the development of myopathy.
  • Hepatotoxic drugs – taking hepatotoxic drugs alongside red yeast rice can lead to liver damage in some people.

So, Should You Take Red Yeast Rice Supplements?

Unless your doctor recommends you use these supplements, you shouldn’t just start taking red yeast rice instead of your cholesterol-lowering medication. Also, you should NOt start taking red yeast rice in addition to your prescription statin drugs.

Even though red yeast rice is proven to have cholesterol-lowering properties, such supplements are questionable, not FDA tested and approved, and do not have a clear indication of how much red yeast rice and monacolin K they contain.

Also, there’s the issue of serious side-effects and harmful interaction between the supplements and other drugs, foods, or drinks.

However, there are some cases where red yeast rice supplements are a proper alternative to regular cholesterol-lowering drugs.

For example, studies supported by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), show that some people are not able to tolerate statin drugs. However, when given red yeast rice, they didn’t experience tolerance issues.

Final Thoughts

Red yeast rice supplements are there to replace your standard cholesterol-controlling care and medication. Without consultation with your doctor, you should not buy any of the red yeast rice supplements. However, if you are considering red yeast rice, talk to your doctor, see which brands they recommend, and surely avoid the brands we mentioned at the beginning of the article.

Also, if you’re looking for red yeast rice information online, make sure to avoid official brands’ websites, sale sites, and similar sites where the information and reviews can be altered and fake. Not every site provides trustworthy information, so beware of what kind of information you deem trustworthy.

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