Avatar universal

Anyone on Red Yeast Rice? Statins?


The above study has been in the news lately and compares both dietary and lifestyle changes with with Red Yeast Extract (RYR) against a more pharmaceutical statin-only approach to improve cholesterol, triglicerides, etc.

While the study doesn't specfically mention HCV, studies do suggest that the aforementioned approach can be helpful with  Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), a condition that can accelerate fibrosis.

Personally, I've been on and off statins (one of the active ingrediets in RYR) for a couple of years. Currently, I am on a diet/lifestyle only approach (no statins or RYR) with excellent results (Total Cholesterol 150 from 200 and LDL around 80 from 140).

That said, the new RYR/Lifestyle/Supplement/ study peaks my interest as a viable option for the future.

In brief, the study suggests that one can achieve the same results with much lower doses of statins (in RYR) when combined with certain lifestyle changes and Fish Oil. Hopefully, lower doses of statins will result in less chance of muscular and cognitive issues that some -- I include myself -- experienced on higher statin doses. (Cognitive part is speculative but definitely some muscle issues) Unfortunately, it's unclear from the study how much of the difference can be attributed to diet, lifestyle, RYR and Fish Oil respectively.  

Wondering if anyone here is on statins and/or RYR? If so, what dose and what kind of results have you gotten? What about your diet? Any side effects from either the RYR or the statins?

Thanks for any input.

-- Jim

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Avatar universal
thanks for the detailed description; given the magnitude of the reduction it seems a very  effective strategy. My involvement in TC/LDL so far has been limited to wondering whether to pilfer some of her statins for HCV suppression maintenance. I expect  my day of reckoning may be looming, but a fondness for raw oats (spare the horse jokes please)  seems to have kept it at bay so far.
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Avatar universal

Glad statins are working for your husband. Not everyone gets side effects from them. You would probably have to read the full-text study to see how it was set up.


Diet modifications like you mention don't work for many of us. For example, eating oatmeal never did a thing for my cholesterol unless I made significant dietary changes as mentioned. We all metabolize foods so differently and there are a group of us (not me unfortunatly) who can pretty much eat anything and still have low cholesterol.

You read a lot these days that add this and lower cholesterol ten points or take that and lower five, etc, etc. The bottom line is how it lowers YOUR cholesterol and that's why you need the numbers from actual cholesterol tests. YOur diet/lifestyle seems to be working for you and that's great.

The other thing is that low cholesterol is sometimes associated with liver damage. That doesn't mean everyone with low cholesterol has liver damage but just something to keep in mind.
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Avatar universal
What got me down to 150 TC, etc,  (from around 200) was similar to phase I of the South Beach Diet (http://www.southbeachdiet.com/sbd/publicsite/how-it-works/how-it-works.aspx)

Typical bfaksts were (1) egg whites and salads with olive oil/vinegar dressing; (2) sardines and salad or steamed vegetables; (3) sometimes oatmeal and eggwhites.

Typical lunch or dinners: (1) Broiled fish  and bag of steamed vegetables or salad; (2) Can of red Salmon and bag of steamed vegetables or salad; (3) White Meat Turkey Burger and bag of steamed vegetables or salad.

Snacks: mostly almonds and other nuts.

Probably ate 4-5 meals per day.

Not absence of starches -- no bread, fruit, pasta, rice. Also no peas, carrots, and corn were allowed.

In addition I was cycling around 30-60 minutes twice per day for a total of 1-2 hours a day of aerobic exercise.

I wasn't really overweight to start with so only lost ten pounds which is very close to my ideal weight although by American standards I'm probably starting to look "thin".
Also lost 3" on waist from 37 to 34 inches. Also little or no salt for bp.

An alternative diet I tried in the past was the "Prikiin" diet which operates on a different principle -- very low fat and plenty of complex carbs. I also got my cholesterol down with that diet.
Lately, I've eased off the diet some,and am probably in phase II or III (mainteance)of the South Beach diet -- haven't read the book for awhile. Basically adding some carbs -- slice of bread here and there, some sushi (rice) last night and maybe a few beers a week (beer is not allowed on South Beach although red wine is in limited amounts). That said, I still only have a couple of fruit servings per week (used to have several per day), and  haven't had potatoes or pasta for quite some time.

The reason I'm interested in the new study is because I'm realistic enough to know that my modified (stage 2 or 3) S Beach diet may not produce the same results as my more stringent diet -- and at some point I will have to make a decision how spartan I want to be with diet (the exercise part I enjoy) versus adding some pharma aids such as statins. What intrigues me about the study posted is that I could conceivably take very small doses of statins if I combined it with Fish Oil and my current diet which by most standards is quite excellent but still might not get my LDL below 80 like the more spartan diet listed did. As mentioned, difficult to know from study posted how much the RYR, exercise, weight loss, diet each played respectively.

As to your friend -- the only two successful diets re cholesterol/weight for me were the one listed -- somewhere between South Beach. Zone and healthy Atkins -- or a very low fat diet like Pritkin or Ornish. Obviously they both work via different principles as one approach is very low carbs and the other is very high carbs. Any time I just tried to "eat healthy" or follow more relaxed guidelines like the American Heart Association, DASH, etc, -- the results weren't enough. So, at least for me, it had to be a strict dietary/lifestyle approach.
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233616 tn?1312787196
well I do know on tx you can get hyperthroid, graves, which will make your cholesterol jump up. (hypo makes it go down). So checking and treating that is important.

statins have a down side, especially with liver disease so they'd be my last choice.
Oat and rice bran and omega's all change the profile. Oatmeal alone lowered mine 25 pts. (eaten once a day). Brown rice,..any bran product or grain with the hull and germ still attached helps because they all contains the good oils.

People often think they can't make the switches but once you get used to them it's hard to ever go back.
Like now I eat only orowheat winter wheat bread....white bread nada and yuk...
same with deserts...now fruit or melon is it,,,,the sugared or artificially sweetened stuff is too sweet. With all the new rices, and interesting sauces it's hard to even think of eating plain white rice....the other is so much more interesting to the palate.

We also eat a lot more steamed or stir fried veggies than we used to...and the more of this, coupled with smaller protein portions, and I'm convinced anyone can return their cholesterol to normal and this is the one disease most researched....heart disease....and the fact is arterial sclerosis can be reversed!!

Mine is down to 115 now.......and hubby is down to 160.....now if I can just get him to give up that morning cream in his coffee.........and his hurking jones for more MEAT.......
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419309 tn?1326503291
Currently my husband takes 20mg simvastatin daily and has no apparent side effects beyond having cholesterol in the normal ranges and getting big toothy smiles from the cardiologist at visits. (Maybe my sneaking in the Omega 3s has helped, but giving it credit would blow my cover.)  I'll have to look into this RYR and start pestering all my husband's docs about it now. ;)

The study results, for me, are not nearly as surprising as the study itself:  I'd like to know, HOW did they manage to get "randomized" patients to make dietary AND lifestyle changes from the word 'go' for 12 straight weeks?!?  

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Avatar universal
would you care to disclose  particulars of  the successful diet/lifestyle approach you've been following?

I'm totally ignorant of cholesterol mgt. as it has never come up as an issue for me, but my (most of the time) beloved recently went back on statins after unsuccessful attempts to control her cholesterol via diet/exercise.
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