Optimal Health Guide

Optimal Health Guide

to Red Yeast Rice

Red Yeast Rice Benefits


Red Yeast Rice Benefits

Cholesterol is often vilified as a dangerous substance that can lead to heart disease. However, it’s important to remember that cholesterol is found in every cell of the body for very good reasons. For one, cholesterol is essential for the production of hormones and vitamin D. It also helps to insulate nerve fibers and supports the structure of cell membranes. In fact, without cholesterol, our bodies would not be able to function properly. 


Cholesterol is in fact simply a part of your body’s natural attempt to heal itself when injury takes place.


Dr Andrew Weil is known as the Father of Integrative Medicine. He is a medical doctor but soon found through his own experiences that pharmacological medicine did not provide adequate results in most cases of chronic disease.


In his travels and research he found many natural remedies that have been used for thousands of years in ancient cultures like China, Japan and India. Dr Weil is a proponent of green tea for many reasons. Here is an interview with Dr Weil from just last year. 

Decades ago, Dr Weil in conjunction with the University of Arizona Tucson, founded an Integrative Medicine program for doctors and nurse practitioners to learn other modalities besides pharmaceutical prescription drugs. 


Dr Weil has spoken favorably about red yeast rice. In an article on his website, he wrote that red yeast rice “has been used in Asia for centuries as both a food and a medicine and that “clinical studies have shown it to be effective in lowering cholesterol.” Here’s the article in its entirety: 

From Dr Weil’s Website

Red Yeast Rice For Cholesterol Control?

How long should someone take red yeast rice extract? It has helped lower my cholesterol, but I don’t know how long I have to take it and this information isn’t on the label.


Of all the natural supplements available to help lower cholesterol, red yeast rice extracts are by far the most effective. Red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus) is a source of naturally occurring statins, the same class of prescription drugs used to lower and control cholesterol.

Because red rice yeast extract delivers a mix of those compounds rather than a single type of molecule, it is much less likely to cause the side effects that sometimes occur with the pharmaceutical versions.

If you need to lower your cholesterol, you’ll have to continue taking red rice yeast extract indefinitely. You’ll also need to have your cholesterol and triglyceride levels monitored periodically by your physician and, if necessary, adjust your dosage.

The same would be true if you were taking statins – in order to lower your cholesterol and maintain it at healthier levels, you must continue taking the supplement or drug that works for you indefinitely.

You should also know that these drugs inhibit the body’s natural synthesis of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is needed for optimum heart health and general health, so whether you take red rice yeast extract or statins, be sure to take 90 – 120 mg of CoQ10 every day.

Red Yeast Rice Benefits

In addition to taking red yeast rice extract, I also recommend the following measures to help keep cholesterol under control: 

  • Follow the Weil anti-inflammatory diet. 

  • Be sure to get at least 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise.

  • Keep your saturated fat intake low: no more than five percent of daily caloric intake.

  • Increase omega-3 fatty acids, especially from fish.

  • Minimize consumption of quick-digesting (high glycemic load) carbohydrates. 

  • Increase consumption of soluble fiber, such as oat bran.

  • Eat garlic, hot red pepper (chili), and shiitake mushrooms frequently. 

  • Drink green tea regularly.

    Andrew Weil, M.D.
    (end of Weil article)


Dr. Weil goes on to say that red yeast rice “contains compounds that are very similar to the statin drugs,” and that it may help to lower cholesterol by inhibiting the production of cholesterol in the liver. He also notes that red yeast rice may have other benefits, such as reducing inflammation.

While Weil believes that red yeast rice can be a helpful addition to a healthy lifestyle, he also advises against taking red yeast rice if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you are being prompted by your doctor to take a statin drug, you might find it interesting to know that the Academy of Cardiology’s 2019 stance on using cholesterol lowering drugs was widened to include millions more of Americans.

It’s now being prescribed not just for those that have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease but even for those who may have familial history of heart disease, even though you have no signs of any heart disease risk. 

In Britain and the USA, there was talk of adding statins to the water supply. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22779765/ Unfortunately, dogma has crept into medical sciences. This is due in part to reductionist thinking and attempting to isolate one specific symptom without regard to the whole. This is how grant funding works. 

There is not a good explanation for this except some of these false premises inflate the bottom line for pharmaceutical companies. Yes, cholesterol is found in plaques that can cause blockages. But it’s similar to blaming firemen for building fires because they always show up where there’s a fire. 

The firemen’s job is to extinguish fires. Cholesterol’s job is to reduce inflammation just like extinguishing fires. It’s nature’s way to send extra cholesterol into an area where there is a breach in the arterial wall. But cholesterol didn’t cause the breach just as firemen don’t set fires to apartment buildings. 

The breach in the arteries comes from inflammatory foods, bacterial infections and more. Interestingly, there is a connection between gum disease and plaques in the arteries and high cholesterol. If you exhibit gum disease, those not so friendly bacteria hitch a ride through your bloodstream right into the arteries and across the body producing unseen inflammation. 

Oral Hygiene is a Must

Red Yeast Rice Benefits

Take care of your mouth. Brushing, flossing, and using a therapeutic mouthwash often is imperative. If you spit blood after your brush, please attend to this immediately and prevent trouble with your arteries down the road. In the oral hygiene regimen,

I will add a probiotic that is designed to rebuild the good bacteria in your mouth. It’s one thing to evict the bad guys but you need to invite good tenants in to help keep the place clean, neat and tidy. Any good landlord does the same. 

Here’s the occasion where Red Yeast Rice is very helpful and that is if you are subject to an annual physical such as airline pilots, police officers and firemen. In order to “pass the test” I recommend a three to six month course of Red Yeast Rice along with Ubiquinol CoQ10 before your physical.

Then taper off for three to six months and cycle through the year in this manner. Don’t forget to fast before the test. While 12 hours is recommended, I recommend a 24 hour fast if it’s within your ability to do so. 

Due to insurance constraints, doctors are obliged to offer and prescribe statins. If this is the case, you can work with your doctor and see if he would allow the Red Yeast Rice to substitute for a synthetic statin. Since statins were discovered in the study of red yeast rice and other statin-like herbs and fermentations that occur in nature, it is a reasonable request.

The medical community will counter with, “oh you cannot be sure of the quality of supplements.” And, “pharmaceuticals are quality controlled.” This sounds reasonable until you find out how many violations the FDA has issued to pharmaceutical companies that operate around the world. 

Here is an excerpt from Enjuris, https://www.enjuris.com/blog/resources/largest-pharmaceutical-settlements-lawsuits/

Why do pharmaceutical companies misrepresent drugs?

Put simply: money.

When a company can claim that a drug is used for more purposes than it’s actually approved for, it can sell more product. And, in some cases, these uses aren’t inherently unsafe — they’re just not approved by the FDA.

But sometimes they are unsafe.

Some of the cases involve drugs being prescribed at higher doses than recommended, and in other cases the drugs have yet to be tested in clinical trials.

This is like Big Pharma playing roulette with your health. Your doctor is acting in good faith and prescribing medications according to what the manufacturer specifies is correct. That’s why the manufacturers are the ones being sued — they’re misleading doctors and the public about how these drugs function and what they can do.

When it comes to prescription drugs, Big Pharma often plays roulette with consumers’ health.

Another problem with pharmaceutical drugs: New drugs approved on the market will have a one in five chance of causing serious injury. Then there is the problem of overprescribing, misprescribing and self-prescribing. Over 100,000 patients die each year from approved and properly prescribed drugs. https://ethics.harvard.edu/blog/new-prescription-drugs-major-health-risk-few-offsetting-advantages

Clinical Trials with Red Yeast Rice for Hyperlipidemia

The clinical study dose is two 600mg capsules twice a day but you can cut this in half if you are not very elevated and retest to see if you are within a range acceptable to your doctor. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30871361/

One Size Does Not Fit All

It’s good to note that older people actually fare better with higher cholesterol levels as it has been shown that those with higher cholesterol after age 65 as this is the fat component of cells. The brain is 40% fat and it’s helpful to your cognition to have ample cholesterol and may be helpful in preventing loss of cognition and dementia risks. This is also why we want everyone to be taking Omega-3 fish oil on a daily basis. 

Indeed, in the very elderly, there is evidence to suggest that high total cholesterol is associated with longevity.” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10999646

The Need for CoEnzymeQ10

Whether you are on statins, or you choose to use Red Yeast Rice, it’s important to consider the effects of what is considered a treatment that is invasive. The stronger synthetic statins can cause short term memory loss and muscle cramping as it lowers the availability of CoQ10 which is needed in cellular metabolism activity, especially in the muscles of the body.

In fact, even if you are not worried about cholesterol, CoQ10 is a primary supplement offered by Optimal Health Bridge since by age 30 CoQ10 productivity naturally begins to decrease. 

Considering the heart is the most important muscle you have, why would we try to enhance heart health with a chemical that robs the muscles of energy? Counterintuitive at best and deleterious at the worst. 

Every bite of food you eat and even the air you breathe contains chemicals that can have beneficial effects or adverse effects. I do not consider it necessary to stay on statins or Red Yeast Rice for the rest of your life.

If you are willing to eat well, exercise daily and learn to enjoy life and the benefits of healthy living, you may only need a short course to meet certain criteria for work or other entrance examinations. CoQ10 can be added to either a statin regimen or to a Red Rice Yeast course to negate the negative effects. 

I don’t talk in terms of “lowering cholesterol.” It’s more accurate to make a goal of balancing cholesterol since it is part of life, part of the body and part of who we are. As you may have heard, cholesterol plays a vital role and comes in various forms (HDL, LDL, VLDL, etc).

This is why you can’t just take a pill to make everything better. It takes mind state, exercise, proper diet and sleep to solve a complex issue like balancing cholesterol. Red Yeast Rice is considered a nutritional supplement and has been in use in Chinese Medicine for more than 6,000 years. 

If you’d like to discuss from a wellbeing perspective, how to use Red Yeast Rice, please feel free to book an appointment. 

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