The U. S. researchers have found out that red yeast rice supplements firstly, are contaminated and secondly they differ as per the amount of active ingredient they contain.
The red yeast rice is said to contain as much as 14 active compounds called monacolins. These active compounds are said to slowdown the liver's production of cholesterol.
These supplements are often said to be a natural alternative to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs but are not really that safe for prescription drugs.
Dr. Ram Gordon of Chestnut Hill Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues says that the Americans should not completely rely on the drug and the regulators too should try and consider stricter limits on the products.
Having tested 12 commercially available products, the researchers are said to have found the great variation in active ingredients in these products. Citrinin was found to be one of the contaminating ingredients in these products. This chemical is said to cause cancer as it has the ability to alter DNA.
The researchers noted "Although statins and other proven prescription lipid-lowering therapies have been available for decades, many patients seek alternative therapies to lower their cholesterol levels”.
Cholestin, I the year was found to be unapproved drug and not a dietary supplement by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. Therefore red yeast rice had been removed from Cholestin, by maker Pharmanex.