Red yeast rice good for heart

A large clinical study carried out in China, on patients who had suffered a heart attack, found that an extract of Chinese red yeast rice (hong qu mi) significantly reduced the rate of a second heart attack. Red yeast rice is a produced by fermentation using the mould Monascus purpureus. It contains significant quantities of a naturally occurring statin (lovastatin), which is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor. Nearly 5,000 patients with average low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels at baseline, who had experienced a myocardial infarction in the previous year, were randomly assigned to receive placebo or two 300 mg capsules of a partially purified extract of Chinese red yeast rice (called Xuezhikang, XZK) daily for an average of 4.5 years. The frequency of major coronary events was 10.4% in the placebo group and 5.7% in the XZK-treated group, a relative decrease of 45%. Treatment with XZK also significantly decreased CV and total mortality by 30% and 33%, the need for coronary revascularisation (bypass/angioplasty), by 33%, and lowered total LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising HDL cholesterol levels. (Effect of Xuezhikang, an extract from red yeast Chinese rice, on coronary events in a Chinese population with previous myocardial infarction. Am J Cardiol. 2008 Jun 15;101(12):1689-93).


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