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Heidi, I was just reading the column about red yeast rice and cholesterol. I've recently purchased some red yeast rice from Solaray (600 mg). Were you not aware of this source, or were you basically deliberately saying it's not a good source? I've had high cholesterol (~300-400) for years and years. Five years on a strict B diet has done nothing for it, so I keep trying other things (though of course I will stay on my B diet too!). (And I never take drugs.) Anyway, I'm going to have my level tested again in the next couple of days and then start the Solaray red yeast rice and see what happens. I'd be interested in knowing, though, if you think I should instead go through the source you mentioned. Thanks! Kathy
Hi, Kathy! Solaray's red yeast rice is available in most supp shops, and comes in capsules (and small quantities, 45-90 caps), which admittedly is a convenience compared to the Jingxin red yeast rice I recommended. Theirs must be acquired through mail order, and comes in 1 kilo (2.2-pound) bulk packages. From what I have read, however, the Jingxin product is far more effective -- and somewhat safer to take.
When one of the new cholesterol-lowering drugs (Lovastatin) was released, the FDA prevailed in naming the monocolin-k component of many major manufacturers' red yeast rice supps a "proprietary" ingredient. In 2001, most of the companies pulled their RYR supps from the shelves. That's when I learned of Jingxin's product.
Put simply, Jingxin's RYR acts through its high concentrations of MVA (approaching 100% in their "masterwork" RYR), which lowers cholesterol on its own. The active substance monocolin-k in pre-2001 commercial supps is activated only through hydrolysis by several kinds of carboxyesterases. Some of us produce plenty of these compounds. Others make little to none of them, in which case constant dosing with monocolin-k can result in damage to the liver and kidneys.
Jingxin includes a full individual-batch assay from a government lab in each order, so you know exactly what you're getting. I've been looking around the Net for details on the two commonest brands of RYR (KAL and Solaray), and I'm not finding any specific monocolin-k/MVA breakdown on their products. If you've got a bottle there in hand, I strongly suggest calling the 800 number if it's on the label, and asking for this information. Then compare it to the product details on Jingxin's website, or call Michael in the New Jersey agent's office at 732-257-8844. Then you'll have a solid basis for your decision on which one to use.
I'm sorry you've had this persistent trouble with cholesterol levels. Maybe you're one of the rare NN subtypes? Perhaps some people with genetically-keyed high cholesterol are "meant" to have it? like a normal state? More Research Needed!
Thanks for writing, dear, and please keep me posted on your situation. :-)