Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Health Benefits of Red Yeast Rice

Normally, only Asians eat rice. Through the years, more and more people of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds are embracing the fact that rice could be a part of their diet. A good source of carbohydrates, did you know that rice has many health benefits? This is especially true with red yeast rice.

Red yeast rice is a rice variety with a yeast called Monascus purpureus. It is normally found and used in Asian countries (probably thousands of years ago)as both food and medicine. At present in the United States and Europe, red yeast rice serve as an alternative cholesterol-lowering treatment.

A new study from the physicians in Pennsylvania (published in the June 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine) has found a significant cholesterol-lowering effect of a commercially available nonprescription red yeast rice product in a small group of people who cannot take statins because of severe side effects. Statins are a type of drug that helps lower cholesterol of people with cardiovascular diseases.

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