Traditional medicine offers various alternatives to drug treatments, useful for improving our health in the most natural way.
So, in today’s guide, we thought we’d tell you about what fermented red rice is, how long to take it, and other interesting facts about this dietary supplement.
We hope that after reading our information you will have a clearer idea of its benefits, as well as when and how to take it for the best possible results.
What is fermented red rice and what is it used for?
Red fermented rice, also known as red yeast rice, is a common food in Asian culture. However, it is best known for its medicinal properties, which is why it is often found in tablet form.
Its characteristic red color comes from yeast monascus purpureus, a type of fungus allowed to grow in a controlled manner on crops. The basic procedure for obtaining the supplement is to soak and sterilize the rice, then let it ferment with the yeast.
The end result, fermented red rice, is rich in a variety of nutritional components such as: monacolins, phytosterols and GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).
For this reason, its consumption has several health benefits, such as those mentioned below.
Ally against cholesterol
Fermented red rice is rich in monacolin K, which is also the main component of lovastatin (a cholesterol-lowering drug).
In this regard, clinical studies have shown that this supplement helps inhibit the synthesis of LDL cholesterol, commonly known as “bad cholesterol”, reducing it by up to 30%. At the same time, an increase in the production of “good cholesterol” (HDL) and a decrease in total cholesterol of 20% were observed.
Additionally, another study showed a 40-point reduction in cholesterol in patients who ate fermented red rice for 12 weeks. Conversely, those who made only a few dietary changes saw a five-point reduction in the same time frame.
If you are wondering how to obtain the beneficial effects of fermented red rice and how much to consume, know that it is important to remember the right daily dose. In this regard, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) recommends 10 mg of monacolin K per day. Higher doses could lead to the risk of side effects.
To lose weight
Although the main recommendation is to take the tablets to treat cholesterol, if you want to lose weight, it is advisable to buy red brown rice. Indeed, it has not been shelled and is therefore very rich in fiber and helps to produce a great feeling of satiety between meals. In addition, it has a low glycemic index and therefore does not excessively raise blood sugar levels. Finally, it promotes slow fat absorption, which makes it a great ally for weight loss.
Other Benefits of Fermented Red Rice
Most clinical trials have focused on the effects of fermented red rice on cholesterol when taken over a long period of time. However, this yeast may have other health benefits that have not yet been fully proven. Among the most important are the following:
- Improved intestinal transit thanks to the fiber content
- Prevention of aging thanks to the high concentration of antioxidants
- Increase in serotonin levels thanks to the action of vitamin B6
- Lowering blood pressure and triglycerides
- Anti-inflammatory effects.
Fermented red rice: how long to take it?
In reality, there are no precise indications concerning the daily dosage of fermented red rice, because it is very variable according to the needs of each one.
If you want to lose weight, for example, you can take it for as long as it takes to get the desired results or include it permanently in your diet. On the other hand, if you use it to control cholesterol levels, the treatment can take months or years. In fact, some studies have followed patients for about five years, showing effective lowering of LDL cholesterol.
Therefore, the best way to get the right treatment is to see a doctor. The professional will be able to guide you in the most correct way regarding the treatment regimen and the duration that you will have to follow to obtain the best possible results.
How to Take Fermented Red Rice
There are two ways to take fermented red rice: as tablets and as grains. It should be borne in mind that the manufacturing processes in the two cases are different, so the tablets have a higher concentration of monacolin K, a key element in lowering cholesterol.
In this case, you will need one to four tablets per day, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions.
On the other hand, red rice grains are more suitable when you want to lose weight, because they are very rich in fiber. Plus, they come with the added bonus of being able to include them in your diet as a simple meal that will help keep you feeling full throughout the day.
If you decide to take the tablets, the daily dose of fermented red rice can range from 50mg to over 600mg. However, to measure its effectiveness, it is best to take into account the concentration of monacolin K in the product.
As mentioned above, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends a strength of 10mg for treating cholesterol, although some studies suggest that a lower daily dose may be just as beneficial. For this reason, you will also find alternatives with 2.5 mg of monacolin K on sale.
Precautions and contraindications
So far, we’ve focused on the benefits of fermented red rice, how long to take it, and the recommended dosage.
However, it is important to remember that there are some specific contraindications to this supplement. Therefore, if in doubt, it is best to consult a doctor before starting treatment.
In particular, fermented red rice has the following contraindications:
- It should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women or by children under 12 years of age.
- If you are already taking cholesterol-lowering medications, you should consult your doctor to adjust the daily dosage, as they both have similar properties.
- If you consume fermented red rice, you should not drink alcohol, as it increases the risk of liver damage.
- The interaction of red rice with grapefruit, niacin, and statins increases the risk of side effects.