CNN just reported on a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, supporting previous research that red yeast rice extract paired with a healthy lifestyle is a safe and effective alternative to popular statin medication therapy (e.g. Crestor,Lipitor and Zocor), particularly in patients who suffer from muscle pain as a result of taking this class of cholesterol lowering drugs. Red yeast rice contains a naturally occurring lovastatin called monacolin K, however it is only one of a plethora of compounds found within this natural medicine, that work in harmony to lower the production of cholesterol in the liver. As with most natural medicines, you cannot isolate a single compound and attain the full spectrum of healing that is part and parcel to administering natural substances in their whole, unadulterated form. There is a whole that is greater then the sum of its parts.
In any case, it is nice to see research being published, albeit not perfect (the study was small and of short duration), to support what licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctors see clinically in their practice everyday. The study author Dr. David Becker MD cautions against running out to buy a red yeast rice extract at your local health food store. He advises working with a doctor if you are trying to lower your cholesterol and are seeking an alternative to statin medications. There are effective natural therapies for lowering cholesterol, and licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctors are trained to customize their treatment protocols to the individual patient for safe and optimal results.