Thursday, September 10, 2009

Natural Treatments With Red Rice

Natural drug discovery from China in the country han known since, as a potent natural remedy to treat various diseases, so far from Chinese natural medicine at carefully by the experts to the developed. One of them is red rice yeast, which in the know can reduce cholesterol.

Red yeast rice, a mainstay of chinese medicine since ancient times, is emerging in drug stores and vitamin shops as a natural. The substance is actually
derived from a fungus that grows on rice and is eaten as a dietary staple in certain Asian countries.

As its popularity grows, I wanted to share some important information, and a warning of sorts, about red yeast rice.

Even though it is natural, red yeast rice is not a panacea or miracle cure for those of you looking to lower your cholesterol. In fact, using it is an approach I would recommend avoiding.

What's All the Hype about Red Yeast Rice?
Red yeast rice is sold over-the-counter and is often promoted as an alternative to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, especially for those who stop taking the drugs due to side effects, like unbearable muscle pain.

In one recent study, researchers studied 62 people with high cholesterol, half of whom were given red yeast rice twice a day for six months while the other half received a placebo. The people taking red yeast rice also had weekly meetings for three months during which they learned about how to incorporate healthy nutrition, exercise and stress management into their lives.

After six months, the researchers found:

- LDL (bad) cholesterol levels decreased by an average of 35 mg/dl in those taking red yeast rice, compared with 15 mg/dL in the placebo group

- Total cholesterol levels improved more in the red yeast rice group than the placebo group

Although the researchers acknowledged that the study was small and of short duration, they concluded that red yeast rice, coupled with lifestyl changes, could decrease LDL cholesterol without increasing pain levels or liver or muscle enzyme levels
(as often happens in people taking statin drugs). They recommended the yeast rice as a valid treatment option for people who cannot tolerate statin drugs.

A separate study, this one of 5,000 people who have suffered a heart attack, also found favorable results. Those who took an extract of red yeast rice for years reduced their risk of repeat heart attacks by 45 percent. It also lowered their chances of having a heart procedure such as bypass surgery or angioplasty, and even appeared to reduce their risk of cancer by as much as two-thirds.

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