Red Yeast Rice

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Question

What is red yeast rice?

Answer

Red yeast rice is a nutritional supplement. It has been used in China as a spice and food coloring. Although claims about the supplement are controversial, some people believe that it reduces cholesterol in the blood by stopping the body from making cholesterol. The active ingredient in red yeast rice acts in the same way as a statin drug to lower cholesterol. For this reason, the FDA has issued a warning regarding these products.

Red yeast rice should never be taken by pregnant and/or breastfeeding women. Some known side effects include indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, muscle pain and weakness, and elevated liver enzymes. Make sure your doctor and pharmacist are aware of all prescription and over the counter medicines you are taking to prevent any possible drug interactions.

Shop for red yeast rice products available on Walgreens.com.

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