In various non-medical publications, red yeast rice (red fermented rice, RYR) is recommended as a cholesterol-lowering substance. This supplement contains a naturally occurring statin, namely monacolin K. Patients who wish to use RYR should be advised to only take products from reputable pharmaceutical companies. Pharmacists can provide advice on this. Users of RYR should be alerted to the potential drug interactions and serious risks associated with its use during pregnancy. RYR appears to be better tolerated than statins. This difference in tolerance can be traced back to the applied dosages. On average, the daily RYR dosage contains less statin than the standard dosage for statins. The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority should urgently test the RYR supplements available in the Netherlands to gain more insight into the quality of said products. Mandatory registration of RYR as an herbal medicine appears necessary to guarantee the quality of, and monacolin levels in, the products and to reduce health risks.
Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Brouwers, K., Roeters van Lennep, J., & Maas, A.H.E.M. (Angela H.E.M.). (2016). 'Red yeast rice' as a cholesterol-lowering substance? Caution is warranted. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 160(32). Retrieved from