The latest issue of the Bulletin on Drug Safety (Ed. BfArM and PEI) reports on the effects and side effects of products made from red mold rice (Red Rice), which are used to lower high cholesterol levels.
Therapeutically, statins are mainly used to lower cholesterol levels, but they have side effects and interactions. As an alternative, red fermented rice (Red Rice) is offered in the form of dietary supplements or supplementary balanced diets. This is also used in TCM.
Monakolin K, which is identical to the drug lovastatin, is considered to be the active ingredient in red rice preparations. It can be assumed that when taking products with red mold rice, in addition to a comparable effect, similar side effects and interactions can be assumed as with statins. Potential risks, particularly with regard to the marketing of these products as dietary supplements or dietary foods, are currently being discussed.
The potential risks when using red mold rice products to lower cholesterol are the lack of standardization of monacoline levels, the risk of undesirable effects of monakolin K, the lack of medical control or other toxicologically unsafe ingredients. A systematic recording of risks and a corresponding evaluation of undesirable effects, as with approved medicinal products, does not take place with food. The drug safety bulletin is available here. (pm)