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Open AccessCommentary
Foods 2017, 6(3), 19;

Red Yeast Rice

Boca Raton Hospital Campus, Internal Medicine Residency Program, FAU/ Schmidt School of Medicine, Boca Raton, FL 33486, USA
Department of Pharmacy, University of Napoli Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, Napoli 80131, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Christopher J. Smith
Received: 18 December 2016 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals: The New Frontier)
Full-Text   |   PDF [168 KB, uploaded 4 March 2017]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: red yeast rice; lovastatin; nutraceutical; safety; health red yeast rice; lovastatin; nutraceutical; safety; health
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Nguyen, T.; Karl, M.; Santini, A. Red Yeast Rice. Foods 2017, 6, 19.

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