Red yeast is the product of rice fermented with Monascus purpureus yeast. Red yeast supplements are different from red yeast rice sold in Chinese grocery stores. People use red yeast as medicine.
- Red yeast is used for maintaining desirable cholesterol levels in healthy people, reducing cholesterol in people with high cholesterol, for indigestion, diarrhea, improving blood circulation, and for spleen and stomach health.
- In foods, red yeast is used as a food coloring for Peking duck.
- The active ingredient in red yeast is the same as the active ingredient in prescription drugs called statins used for high cholesterol. That’s why red yeast has all the possible side effects, drug interactions, and precautions associated with this type of drug. The American Heart Association warns against using red yeast until the results of long-term studies are in. You should talk with your healthcare provider if you plan to take red yeast.
- You may have come across a red yeast product called Cholestin, manufactured by Pharmanex. It was one of the most widely studied red yeast products. Originally, Cholestin contained the same active ingredient found in statin drugs. This caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to call Cholestin an unapproved drug. Cholestin was reformulated so that its active ingredient is now something else.
- Red yeast rice is a substance that’s extracted from rice that’s been fermented with a type of yeast called Monascus purpureus. It’s been used in China and other Asian countries for centuries as a traditional medicine. It’s also used as a food coloring, additive, and preservative.
- Red yeast rice naturally contains several ingredients that may help control cholesterol levels. These include a number of monacolins, most importantly monacolin K. It also contains sterols, isoflavones, and monounsaturated fatty acids, or “healthy fats.”
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Red yeast is LIKELY UNSAFE during pregnancy. It has caused birth defects in animals. Not enough is known about the safety of using red yeast during breast-feeding. Don’t use during pregnancy or breast-feeding.
- Liver problems: Red yeast contains chemicals that are the same as the statin drug lovastatin. Lovastatin can cause liver damage. Some research shows that red yeast might also cause liver damage. However, other research shows that red yeast might improve liver function in people with certain liver problems. Because of the mixed results, red yeast products should be used cautiously or avoided in people with liver problems.
- Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with CARAWAY
Caraway might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking caraway along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Before taking caraway, talk with your healthcare professional if you take any medications.
Alcaravea, Anis Canadien, Anis des Prés, Anis des Vosges, Apium carvi, Carraway, Carum carvi, Carum velenovskyi, Carvi, Carvi Commun, Carvi Fructus, Cumin des Montagnes, Cumin des Prés, Faux Anis, Haravi, Jeera, Jira, Kala Jira, Karwiya, Krishan Jeeraka, Krishnajiraka, Kummel, Kummich, Roman Cumin, Semen Cumini Pratensis, Semences de Carvi, Shahijra, Shiajira, Wiesen-Feldkummel, Wild Cumin
Source: WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/red-yeast-rice