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Red Yeast Rice
- Nguyen, Thu, Karl, Mitchell, Santini, Antonello
- Foods 2017 v.6 no.3
- Food and Drug Administration, Monascus purpureus, bioactive compounds, blood, cholesterol, consumer information, cuisine, fermentation, food safety, hyperlipidemia, lovastatin, marketing, monacolins, red yeast rice, traditional medicine
- Red yeast rice (RYR), produced by the fermentation of the Monascus purpureus mold, has been used for a long time in Asian cuisine and traditional medicine. It consists of multiple bioactive substances, including monacolins, which potentially can be used as a nutraceutical. Monacolin K, which is chemically identical to lovastatin, has been recognized as responsible for the cholesterolreducing effect of this compound. While the European Food Safety Authority maintains that the use of monacolin K from RYR preparations of at least 10 mg can produce a normal blood cholesterol level, the United States Food and Drug Administration considers monacolin K, due to its similarity with lovastatin, an unapproved drug, and therefore marketing of products that label the monacolin content is prohibited. This mini-review summarizes the benefit of RYR in hyperlipidemia, maintains RYR use as a food, and addresses the importance of regulation regarding RYR and the need for clinical data and clear label information for consumers with reference to a toxin-free, nonaugmented, standardized amount of monacolins.