Red Yeast Rice works as well as pravastatin for lowering cholesterol and can be used in patients who have muscle aches from statins
Statin drugs often trigger severe muscle pain (myalgia) causing the patient to stop the use of the cholesterol lowering drug. In their study researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine placed 43 adults with high cholesterol on either pravastatin (20mg twice a day) or Red Yeast Rice (2400mg twice a day) for 12 weeks along with a healthy diet and lifestyle modification. The twist is that all of these patients had to stop using other statin drugs previously due to intolerable muscle pain. 95% of the Red Yeast Rice users were able to safely stay on the Red Yeast Rice (5% had myalgia) and 91% of the patients were able to stay on pravastatin. Red yeast Rice plus life style changes led to a 30% drop in LDL-cholesterol and pravastatin led to a 27% drop in LDL. The study is published in the January 15th, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.