The extract of red yeast rice (RYR) is the most effective cholesterol-lowering nutraceutical on the market. In particular, its effectiveness is directly related to the amount of monacolin K within the extract (up to 10 mg/day). Consuming monacolin K on a daily basis reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol plasma levels between 15% and 25% within 6 to 8 weeks. Certainly, the decrease in LDL-cholesterol is accompanied by a similar reduction in total cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, plasma apolipoprotein B, matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Furthermore, the RYR lipid-lowering effect is associated with significant improvements in pulse wave velocity and endothelial function, which are validated and reliable biomarker tools able to detect vascular aging. Although it has a mechanism of action similar to statins, a daily consumption of between 3 and 10 mg monacolin K has only minimal associated risks, and mild myalgias are seen only in the frailest patients (those who also cannot tolerate minimal dosages of statin). The monacolin K found in RYR is a safe and effective supplement for managing mild to moderate hypercholesterolemia in people with no additional cardiovascular risk factors.
Keywords: lipid-lowering supplement; monacolin k; nutraceutical; red yeast rice.
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