Monacolin K – a natural statin
Hypercholesterolemia and elevated homocysteine levels are associated with cardiovascular risk. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated a direct correlation between low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and the risk of atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction. Red yeast rice is a type of fermented rice. It has been used for centuries in medicine due to its excellent health benefits. Red yeast rice is produced by the fermentation of white rice and the fungus Monascus purpureus. Red dyes, flavors, and especially ingredients, such as monacolins, are present in an amount depending on the fermentation conditions. The red yeast rice contains the compound monacolin K – an active part with a structure similar to prescription drugs that lower cholesterol, such as lovastatin. Studies have also shown other beneficial effects, from the reduced growth of cancer cells to improving blood sugar levels and insulin levels. Currently, red yeast rice is widely sold as a non-prescription supplement to help control cholesterol.
Keywords: monacolin K, red yeast rice, statins, hypercholesterolemia.
© Farm Pol, 2019, 75(7): 365–368