Lower Cholesterol w/ Fish Oil & Red Yeast Rice

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In summary, fish oil and red yeast rice have been found to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol. Red yeast rice is a traditional Chinese medicine that contains compounds similar to statins, which can lower LDL cholesterol. Combining these two supplements may provide a natural and effective way to lower cholesterol levels. However, it is important to consult with a doctor before incorporating these supplements into your diet as they may interact with certain medications and have potential side effects.
  • #1
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An associate told me yesterday about lowering cholesterol with supplements of fish oil and 'red yeast rice'. I was skeptical, but apparently studies have shown that the claim appears to be true.

Fish Oil, Red Yeast Rice Cut Cholesterol

One potential shortcoming of a "homeopathic, natural approach" is the lack of control on quality and content/dose of supplements.

What one should know - Red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus)


Safety of Red Yeast Rice for High Cholesterol in Individuals With Statin Intolerance

For those in their 40's and 50's, this may be worthwhile discussing with one's doctor. Prevention is better than treatment.
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  • #2
If you eat fatty fish you'll also be getting all the necessary supplements, so you don't need to buy the 'homeopathic' fish-oil capsules :-p

On a more serious note, I'd be careful with taking fish-oil capsules, especially when you already have fish incorporated in your diet. It is know that chemicals such as mercury, PCBs and dioxin accumulate in fish and fish-oil capsules are a concentrated form of that. It is better to take oil capsules based on algae (they exist, and no fish were harmed in the process as well). It is something I also recommended to my mother.

Overall I must say that the benefit of eating fish outweighs the risks (see the publication below), except when you are pregnant, when you should be careful with eating fish.

JAMA Vol. 296 No. 15 said:
Fish (finfish or shellfish) may have health benefits and also contain contaminants, resulting in confusion over the role of fish consumption in a healthy diet. [..] For major health outcomes among adults, based on both the strength of the evidence and the potential magnitudes of effect, the benefits of fish intake exceed the potential risks. For women of childbearing age, benefits of modest fish intake, excepting a few selected species, also outweigh risks.
There may be more recent studies.
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  • #3
for one, purified fish oils are easy to find now. i believe this usually results in an esterified version of the lipids.

also, algae is an expensive source of DHA. i wouldn't recommend it unless you are a determined vegan.

if you're that paranoid about PCBs, then a better choice would be some of the first critters in the food chain that feed on algae, krill. you can actually buy krill oil now, which contains not only DHA, but also EPA in a phospholipid form.

if you're really, really paranoid about PCBs, then the occasional hypocaloric diet with supplemental olestra might be for you.

as for pregnancy, i have read studies that show more positive outcomes when expectant mothers eat more FISH. i haven't seen less positive outcomes mentioned, and i haven't seen the studies using algal DHA. but i have seen a lot of speculation that fish is bad.
  • #5
Folks - remember the "cholesterol lowering effect" reported is not only limited, as was said, by variations in the material as supplied but also will not work for all persons an d the effect itself may be technically significant but clinically irrelevant.
  • #6
hypatia said:
Here is the study, if anyone should want to look at it.


thanks for that. another, mentioned in Monique's link i think, indicated that fish are an important source of micronutrients other than omega-3 fatty acids.

Public Health Nutr. 2008 Nov 6:1-9. [Epub ahead of print]Click here to read Links
Contribution of fish to intakes of micronutrients important for fetal development: a dietary survey of pregnant women in the Republic of Seychelles.
Bonham MP, Duffy EM, Robson PJ, Wallace JM, Myers GJ, Davidson PW, Clarkson TW, Shamlaye CF, Strain J, Livingstone MB.

1Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE), Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine BT52 1SA, UK.

OBJECTIVES: To characterise the diets of pregnant women in the Republic of Seychelles and to determine the contribution of fish to intakes of nutrients important for fetal and neonatal development. DESIGN: Observational, prospective study. SETTING: Seychelles Child Development Centre, Mahé, Republic of Seychelles.Subjects and methodsPregnant women (n 300) were recruited at their first visit to an antenatal clinic. At 28 weeks' gestation subjects completed a 4 d diet diary (n 273) and intakes were analysed using dietary analysis software. RESULTS: Mean (sd) energy intake was 9.0 (2.5) MJ/d and fat intakes were higher than UK recommendations for almost two-thirds of the cohort. Fish consumption was lower than in previous surveys, suggesting a move towards a more Westernised diet. Low intakes of a number of nutrients important during pregnancy for fetal development (Fe, Zn, Se and iodine) were observed. However, women who met the current recommendations for these nutrients consumed significantly more fish than those who did not (97 v. 73 g/d). CONCLUSIONS: The present study highlights the importance of fish in the diet of pregnant Seychellois women for ensuring adequate intakes of micronutrients important in fetal development. Dietary patterns in Seychelles, however, are in a state of transition, with a move towards a Western-style diet as evidenced by higher fat and lower fish intakes. If these dietary trends continue and fish consumption declines further, micronutrient status may be compromised. These findings suggest caution in establishing public health policies that promote limitation of fish intake during pregnancy.

PMID: 18986594 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
  • #7
Red Yeast Rice has been used in Chinese cuisine and as a medicinal food to promote blood circulation for centuries. The medicinal properties of red yeast rice favorably impact lipid profiles of hypercholesterolemic patients.

[mentor edit: URL to online store deleted. Please provide a scientific reference for your claim.]
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  • #8
On line stores are not a good source of information, because they are trying to sell the product.

Related to Lower Cholesterol w/ Fish Oil & Red Yeast Rice

1. What is "Lower Cholesterol w/ Fish Oil & Red Yeast Rice" and how does it work?

Lower Cholesterol w/ Fish Oil & Red Yeast Rice is a dietary supplement that combines two natural ingredients, fish oil and red yeast rice, to help lower cholesterol levels. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have heart-healthy benefits, while red yeast rice contains naturally occurring statins which can help lower cholesterol.

2. Can "Lower Cholesterol w/ Fish Oil & Red Yeast Rice" replace prescription cholesterol medication?

While Lower Cholesterol w/ Fish Oil & Red Yeast Rice may help lower cholesterol levels, it should not be used as a replacement for prescription medication without consulting a doctor. It is always important to discuss any changes to your medication regimen with a medical professional.

3. Are there any potential side effects of taking "Lower Cholesterol w/ Fish Oil & Red Yeast Rice"?

As with any supplement, there is always a potential for side effects. Some people may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort, such as gas or bloating, when taking fish oil. Red yeast rice may also cause side effects such as headaches, muscle pain, and digestive issues. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and consult a doctor if you experience any adverse reactions.

4. How long does it take to see results from taking "Lower Cholesterol w/ Fish Oil & Red Yeast Rice"?

Results may vary from person to person, but typically, it can take several weeks to a few months to see a noticeable difference in cholesterol levels. It is important to continue taking the supplement as directed and to also incorporate a healthy diet and exercise into your routine for optimal results.

5. Is "Lower Cholesterol w/ Fish Oil & Red Yeast Rice" safe for everyone to take?

While fish oil and red yeast rice are considered safe for most people, it is always recommended to consult with a doctor before starting any new supplement. This is especially important for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a bleeding disorder, or are taking any medications that may interact with the supplement.