Friday, July 18, 2008

Red yeast rice, fish oil fight cholesterol

Red yeast riceA regimen of supplements and lifestyle coaching is just as effective as statin medication for reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol, and more effective in helping people lose weight, new research shows.

People with high cholesterol who took red yeast rice and fish oil daily and received counselling on diet, exercise and relaxation techniques showed the same 40 percent drop in LDL cholesterol seen among people taking 40 milligrams of simvastatin daily, Dr David J Becker of the University of Pennsylvania Health System's Chestnut Hill Hospital and colleagues found.

And they pared off an average of 10 pounds over 12 weeks, compared to less than a pound for patients taking the statin.

Becker has run a lifestyle programme for people at risk of heart disease for 13 years. "People had a uniform desire to get off statins, and when they did their cholesterol was only going down maybe 5 percent at most," he told Reuters Health.

The cardiologist decided to launch the current study after seeing many patients have success in lowering their cholesterol with red yeast rice and fish oil (

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