BfArM warns of Red Rice supplements

BfArM warns of Red Rice supplements

The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) once again warns against the consumption of "Red Rice" products (red rice) with the ingredient Monakolin K. Products from a daily dose of 5 mg Monakolin K are to be classified as drugs.

Red mold rice "Red rice" is a fermentation product of ordinary rice, which is treated with a food-grade red mold. It is traditionally used in Asia to treat complaints of the gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system as well as a coloring, seasoning and preservative for fish, pork, tofu, rice wine and poultry. Red Rice products are also available as food supplements in Europe.

Monascus purpureus rice contains, among other things, Monakolin K, which is identical to the drug lovastatin, which like commercial statins inhibits cholesterol synthesis in the liver. Red rice preparations can therefore have the same effect as medicines with lovastatin. In studies with various Red Rice products, a noteworthy pharmacological effect was demonstrated even at doses of 5 mg per day.

Monakolin K itself can cause numerous undesirable effects such as damage to the skeletal muscles and the liver. Side effects such as muscle damage can occur when you take these supplements and cholesterol-lowering medicines at the same time. (pm)

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