Red yeast rice extract shown here is a natural product that lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol

Red Yeast Rice Extract: lowering bad cholesterol for centuries

Red yeast rice extract has gained popularity as a natural product that lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, the latter is commonly referred to as bad cholesterol.

However, the cholesterol lowering properties of red yeast rice extract is not a recent discovery. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than a thousand years. There is documentation of its use in China dating back to 800 AD and it is widely consumed in other Asian countries such as Japan and Korea1. When it was first used, physicians had no knowledge about good and bad cholesterol and its relationship to heart disease. However, through trial and error it was discovered to be beneficial in the treatment of circulatory diseases.

It is manufactured by culturing the yeast known as Monascus purpureus on white rice under carefully controlled growing conditions2. The typical red coloration is due to the presence of pigments produced by fermentation. The fermentation of yeast and rice produces a complex of substances called monacolins that have recognized lipid-lowering qualities. Several types of monacolins have been identified based on the strain of yeast used and the fermentation conditions. One of these is monacolin K, which has a similar chemical structure to the drug Lovastatin, that reduces cholesterol synthesis. Its primary mechanism of action is to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-controlling enzyme of the cholesterol synthesis pathway2

In addition to monacolin K, red yeast rice extract has been found to contain plant sterols (β-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, and sapogenin), isoflavones and isoflavone glycosides, and monounsaturated fatty acids, which may also contribute to reducing cholesterol levels. These other substances likely contribute to reducing cholesterol levels since the quantities of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitory constituents contained in red yeast rice extract are inadequate to explain the magnitude of its cholesterol-lowering effects relative to statins3.

Red Yeast Rice extract is the most effective cholesterol-lowering nutraceutical available as an over the counter supplement

Studies conducted in China have shown a reduction in cholesterol ranging from 11-32% in individuals who consume red yeast rice extract4. US studies have shown a total cholesterol reduction of 16% to 18% with RYRE dietary supplementation5. The variation in the response is likely due to the variation in monacolin K content. Studies have shown that the monacolin ranged from 0%-0.58% in different supplements5. Due to its proven effectiveness red yeast rice extract is the most effective cholesterol-lowering nutraceutical available as an over the counter supplement2.

However, the reduction in total cholesterol from consuming red yeast rice extract alone is often not adequate to attain the optimal cholesterol range for most patients who have high cholesterol. It is possible to attain more significant reductions in cholesterol levels by combining red yeast rice extract with other natural substances. Two such substances are olive oil and oatmeal. Both these substances have been shown to lower cholesterol. A recent study that combined red yeast rice extract, olive oil and oatmeal showed that this trio of substances can attain significant reductions of total and LDL cholesterol7.

With RYRE dietary supplementation, US studies have shown a total cholesterol reduction of 16% to 18%

Naturachol was developed based on the above clinical study which demonstrated that the combination of oatmeal, olive oil and Red Yeast Rice Extract lowers cholesterol in compliant patients. Before taking Naturachol, ask your physician whether Naturachol is right for you.

Red Yeast Rice in Naturachol is one of the key ingredients in lowering bad cholesterol


  1. Nguyen T, Karl M, Santini A (2017) Red yeast rice. Foods 6: 19.
  2. Cicero, Arrigo F G et al. “Red Yeast Rice for Hypercholesterolemia.” Methodist DeBakey cardiovascular journal vol. 15,3 (2019): 192-199.
  3. Heber D, Yip I, Ashley JM, Elashoff DA, Elashoff RM, Go VL. Cholesterol lowering effects of a proprietary Chinese red-yeast-rice dietary supplement. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Feb;69(2):231-6. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/69.2.231. PMID: 9989685.
  4. Gerards, Maaike C., et al. "Traditional Chinese lipid-lowering agent red yeast rice results in significant LDL reduction but safety is uncertain–a systematic review and meta-analysis." Atherosclerosis 240.2 (2015): 415-423.
  5. Becker DJ, French B, Morris PB, Silvent E, Gordon RY. Phytosterols, red yeast rice, and lifestyle changes instead of statins: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. Am Heart J. 2013 Jul;166(1):187-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2013.03.019.
  6. Gordon RY, Cooperman T, Obermeyer W, Becker DJ. Marked variability of monacolin levels in commercial red yeast rice products: buyer beware! Arch Intern Med. 2010 Oct 25;170(19):1722-7. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2010.382.
  7. Silva AO (2021) The Combination of Red Yeast Rice Extract, Oatmeal and Olive Oil Reduces Serum Cholesterol. J Hum Nutr 4(1):130-135.


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*There is no guarantee of specific results, and the results may vary from person to person. The statements on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Dr. Tarique Perera is not responsible for side-effects of any kind incurred as a result of consuming Naturachol. The average reduction in total cholesterol achieved was 20% in the following clinical study: The Combination of Red Yeast Rice Extract, Oatmeal and Olive Oil Reduces Serum Cholesterol. Journal of Human Nutrition 4(1):130-135 (2021).