Many people who prefer not to take statin-type medications such as Lipitor to lower their cholesterol have turned instead to red yeast rice. Although some doctors are dubious about the benefits of this nutritional supplement, a new study shows that it offers a viable alternative for many patients.
People with high cholesterol who had reacted to statins by developing muscle pain participated in the 24-week trial. They took red yeast rice or a placebo twice daily. They were also coached on healthy lifestyle changes. The people taking red yeast rice were able to reduce cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels much more than those who were on placebo. The supplement did not trigger increased muscle pain.
[Annals of Internal Medicine, June 16, 2009]