Healthy Q & A: Cholesterol and Red Yeast Rice


I’m trying to avoid taking Lipitor since I know so many people who have experienced side effects.  Is there anything natural that would work in a similar way to lower cholesterol?



Sometimes prescriptions are necessary, but it’s always a good idea to see if you can help yourself naturally first.  Lipitor is a cholesterol lowering medication known as a statin, and there does exist a supplement which is known as a “natural statin”- red yeast rice.  Red yeast rice comes in capsule or tablet form and works very well for lowering cholesterol.  The specific brand that I would recommend is by a company called Nature’s Plus, since they have a red yeast rice that is in an extended release formula, which means that it’s absorbed in the body over a period of hours instead of all at once.

Like prescription statins, red yeast rice should be taken at night before bedtime, since that’s when the body produces the most cholesterol.

If you’re taking prescription statins or red yeast rice, it would be a good idea to supplement with the vitamin CoQ10 as well.  CoQ10 helps to protect the heart and gives the cells the energy they need to function efficiently.  Statins like Lipitor (as well as red yeast rice, since it works like a natural statin) can deplete the body’s stores and production of CoQ10, which can result in muscle pain, one of the most common side effects of statin medications.