Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that red yeast rice can be an alternative to cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.
The study followed 62 patients who were on statins like Lipitor or Zocor, but complained that the drugs gave them severe muscle pain. In the study half the patients took 1,800 mg of red yeast rice supplements every day. After 12 weeks, the researchers found that there was a 27 percent drop in bad cholesterol.
"I was pleasantly surprised with the degree of LDL lowering," said Dr. Daniel Rader, an author of the study. "I have to confess, I did not expect this degree of LDL lowering. And there were many fewer side effects than expected."
The details of the study are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.