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Are you looking for a natural way to lower your cholesterol level? Are you aiming for a level lower that what proper diet and exercise has yielded? Do you need to stay away from hard core prescription medications? If you answered yes to these questions, red yeast rice may be the solution to your cholesterol problem. Red yeast rice is a naturally occurring substance used for hundreds of years in Oriental medicine. Currently the substance has become popular again because of its ability to lower cholesterol.

Medical historians know the Chinese have used red yeast rice both as a food and a medicine since about 400 A.D. The substance has been useful as a food preservative and food colorant, as well as a spice. In fact, it is red yeast rice that gives Peking duck its red color. You can make red yeast rice by fermenting cooked whole kernel rice with red yeast. Practitioners of Oriental medicine have used the substance widely as a way to improve blood circulation, soothe indigestion and relieve diarrhea.

One use of red yeast rice that was perhaps unknown to the Chinese was the rice’s ability to lower cholesterol. The substance is so successful at lowering cholesterol because during the fermenting process a naturally occurring form of lovastatin, a prescription cholesterol medication, is produced. Bear in mind, however, the dose of lovastatin in a serving of red yeast rice is lower that than contained in the average lovastatin prescription. Because red yeast rice does include this cholesterol lowering medicine, it will help to bring your cholesterol levels down.

There is one problem with red yeast rice. The drug company Merck owns the patent on lovastatin. It is this company that both makes and sells Mevacor, the name brand form of lovastatin. Since lovastatin is a patented prescription drug and there are rules discouraging selling prescription drugs without a prescription, it is difficult to buy red yeast rice inside the United States. In fact, many of the forms of red yeast rice that you can buy have been fermented using a different process that does not produce lovastatin. Therefore, these altered forms of red yeast rice have no cholesterol lowering powers. The best option to buy real red yeast rice is to check the Internet. Be sure the ingredients include lovastatin or Monacolin K, an alternate name for lovastatin.

Also, if you decide to try red yeast rice, it is best to consult with your doctor first. Even though
the substance is naturally occurring, it may interact with any of the prescription medications you are already taking. Your doctor will also know if red yeast rice will affect any health condition you have. Also, be sure to buy your red yeast rice from a reputable dealer who will not sell you out-of-date or contaminated products.

If you need lower cholesterol, you might check into red yeast rice. It can lower your cholesterol naturally with its small dose of lovastatin. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you add this supplement to your diet to be certain it is a good alternative for you.