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My doctor said I should take Red Yeast Rice to help lower my slightly elevated cholesterol.

Does anyone know of any side effects related to taking it?

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Hello John,

red rice is considered to be generally very safe, when taken as directed. The negative side effects some people experience are related mainly to stomach problems and those are usually people who have these issues with other forms of rice. Depending on whether you're taking the supplement or are you including red rice into your meals (which is definitely safer, since you avoid all the additional chemicals from supplements), you might also experience some skin rash.

And, of course, since red rice contains statins, the same ones found in statin medication, you might experience statin-related side effects such as muscle or bone aches,

Wish you all the best,

Nicole

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Thanx Nicole. Very helpful. I will see if I can find it in a form I can use in foods.
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Red yeast is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for up to 3 months. There isn't enough information to know if taking it for longer periods is safe. It can cause stomach discomfort, heartburn, intestinal gas, headache, and dizziness.Red yeast contains chemicals similar to the prescription drugs called "statins." Therefore, red yeast might also cause side effects similar to statin drugs, such as liver damage and severe muscle pain and muscle damage.There is also concern about product quality. Many red yeast rice products have been found to contain varying amounts of the statin-like chemicals. Some products may contain none and others may contain high amounts, which are more likely to cause serious side effects.Serious allergic reactions can occur after breathing in red yeast.Red yeast that is not fermented correctly may contain citrinin. Citrinin is a poison that may cause kidney damage.Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Red yeast is LIKELY UNSAFE during pregnancy. It has caused birth defects in animals. Not enough is known about the safety of using red yeast during breast-feeding. Don’t use during pregnancy or breast-feeding.Liver disease: Red yeast contains chemicals that are the same as the statin drug lovastatin. Like statin drugs, red yeast should be avoided in people with liver problems.

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