Health Risks from Dietary Supplements Red Rice Products (Red Rice)

Health Risks from Dietary Supplements Red Rice Products (Red Rice)

Federal Institute warns of dangerous food supplement "red rice"
“Red Rice” products (“Red Rice”) with the ingredient Monakolin K. Therefore, the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) warns again about the consumption of preparations with Red Rice. According to a recent BfArM announcement, the reason is the ingredient Monakolin K., which could lead to liver damage, among other things. As early as 2002, the institute warned against the consumption of Red Rice products as a dietary supplement.

Red mold rice has a long tradition in Asia
The Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) warns again about the consumption of so-called "red rice" or red mold rice. This is a

Fermentation product of rice with mold strains of the genus Monascus purpureus. It is a traditional Chinese food and medicine, which is used among other things for the treatment of gastrointestinal complaints. In addition, rice in Asia is used to color, flavor and preserve food. In Europe, use in common foods is largely unknown, but in some countries red mold rice is commercially available as a dietary supplement.

The ingredient corresponds to the cholesterol-lowering lovastatin
The problem: Red Rice contains, among other ingredients, Monacolin K, which corresponds to the active ingredient lovastatin. This is a well-known cholesterol-lowering agent for the treatment of disorders of the fat metabolism and accordingly it is contained in approved and prescription finished medicinal products for the lowering of the cholesterol level. Because of this, preparations with red rice can have the same effect as medications with lovastatin, the BfArM warned. Studies with various Red Rice products have already shown that doses as low as 5 mg per day could have “a significant pharmacological effect”.

Federal Institute warned of Red Rice more than ten years ago
According to the information, Monakolin K itself can lead to numerous undesirable effects such as Damage to the skeletal muscles and liver. In addition, side effects such as muscle damage can occur when red rice and cholesterol-lowering medicines are taken at the same time. Therefore, the BfArM had already warned in 2002 against the consumption of food supplements with red mold rice.

"Against this background, the BfArM welcomes the current opinion of the Joint Expert Commission," the statement continued. The joint expert commission of the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) and the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) had only recently come to the conclusion that Red Rice preparations from a daily dose of 5 milligrams of Monakolin K should be classified as medicinal products subject to authorization and accordingly may not be sold as a dietary supplement in this country. (No)

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