Red yeast rice (RYR), also referred to as red yeast rice extract (RYRE) , is a dietary supplement ingredient touted to help lower cholesterol, and is often recommended as an alternative treatment for people who cannot tolerate statin side effects. But a new study found that RYR may not be a good option for statin-intolerant people because it has been linked to muscle injury and liver injury – both adverse events that can occur with statins therapy.
Statins are a prescribed medication, and patients are generally monitored by a medical professional while taking the drugs. If blood tests reveal elevated liver enzymes or patients report muscle pain, the therapy can be discontinued. But RYR is often self-prescribed, without medical advice or monitoring, so patients are at risk of experiencing toxicity that can be dire if it goes unnoticed.
“The proportion of serious reports (27 percent), the relatively rapid time to onset and the lack of concomitant drugs and/or predisposing medications in several cases warrants regulatory consideration and call for: 1. Continuous monitoring of ‘natural’ dietary supplement safety through spontaneous reports; 2. Appropriate information to clinicians and consumers, who should timely submit suspect reports to regulatory Agencies,” the study authors wrote in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
RYR has also been associated with bleeding problems, nerve damage, and low blood pressure and may interact with other dietary supplements or medications.
Source: Science Daily