September 19, 2021

Red Yeast Rice Side Effects

A popular supplement sold in Chinese grocery stores, red yeast rice is often used in traditional medicine. Proponents of red yeast rise think that it helps the blood circulation, reduces cholesterol and helps indigestion. Some people also believe that red yeast rise can help people who have spleen and stomach health.

Red yeast rice is created out of a kind of yeast called Monascus purpureus. In China, this yeast is commonly used as a food coloring for dishes like Peking duck. Although the long term effects of red yeast rice is not known, the active chemical in it is similar to the chemicals in statin drugs.

How it Works

This supplement is carefully cultured in precise growing conditions. After it has finished growing, it is harvested and packaged as a supplement. Research on the supplement indicates that it may lower cholesterol levels over the course of a couple of months. Since this supplement appears to be very effective, the FDA has decided to classify it as an unapproved drug. Since that classification change, red yeast rise is no longer available in the United States as a supplement. People can still find it in places outside of the United States.


red yeast rice side effects dangerStudies indicate that red yeast rice is most likely safe for most people as long as it is taken for less than three months. Some individuals may experience heartburn, dizziness and gastrointestinal problems. If patients take red yeast rice for an extended period of time, they could develop liver damage or muscle damage. Another issue with taking red yeast rice is figuring out the dosage. The active chemical in red yeast rice is similar to statins. Since it is not a regulated medication, the amount of the active ingredient may change depending on the manufacturer or even the pill. The range of doses can be dangerous for users who take red yeast rice regularly.

Patients who are pregnant or nursing should avoid using red yeast rise. This supplement is considered potentially unsafe for fetuses or infants. In animals, red yeast rice has been shown to cause birth defects. Avoid using it during pregnancy to prevent any chances of miscarriage or birth defects.

Red Yeast Rice Side Effects

Since it contains a statin like chemical, red yeast rice will produce many of the same side effects. Patients may experience liver inflammation, headaches, indigestion or joint pain. Certain individuals may also develop flatulence or bloating.

Some of the side effects associated with using red yeast rice may include:

red yeast rice side effects– Muscle pain
– Headaches
– Flatulence
– Liver inflammation
– Indigestion
– Joint pain
– Bloating
– Peripheral nerve damage
– Heartburn
– Dizziness
– Muscle weakness
– Higher levels of creatine kinase
– Rhabdomyolsis
– Kidney failure
– Muscle tenderness
– Weakness

People with liver problems should avoid using red yeast rice because it can make the condition worse. Patients should also stop drinking alcohol while they are taking red yeast rice supplements. Since red yeast rice can cause liver damage, alcohol can increase the risk of problems.

Individuals should avoid using niacin while taking red yeast rice. Both supplements can affect the muscles so patients who use both drugs may develop muscle weakness or pain. Anyone who is using red yeast rice should never be taking statins at the same time. The active ingredient in red yeast rice and statins are chemically similar. If both are taken at once, it can cause an overdose, liver damage and potentially death.

Before taking red yeast rice, patients should always talk to their doctor first. A doctor can look at your medical history and all of the prescriptions you are on to decide if taking red yeast rice is right for you. If you experience any symptoms or side effects, immediately see your doctor. Some side effects may be a sign of a severe liver damage or an allergic reaction. To be on the safe side, always talk with your doctor before using any medication.