Lovastatin Content of Commercially Available Red Yeast Rice Supplements

Philip J. Gregory, Rebecca Pettit, Zara Risoldi Cochrane, Amy F. Wilson, Andrew M. Abe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Red yeast rice is a commonly used supplement in North America, primarily promoted for lowering cholesterol. The fermentation process for producing red yeast rice naturally produces a small concentration of lovastatin and related compounds. The authors evaluated label information and contacted manufacturers to inquire about lovastatin content in 117 commercially available red yeast rice supplement products. Only 14% of the products evaluated included information about lovastatin content on the label. More than 80% of the products had no information on the label and the manufacturer was not able or willing to provide any information about lovastatin content. Many consumers who choose to take red yeast rice choose to do so in order to avoid conventional prescription medications such as statin drugs. Most of these consumers do not realize that red yeast rice can contain the prescription drug lovastatin. Red yeast rice manufacturers often do not disclose to consumers that these products contain lovastatin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-107
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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