"Red Yeast Rice"- FDA warning
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to consumers to steer clear of several "cholesterol-lowering" supplements that may contain a drug - Lovastatin.
Red Yeast Rice, Red Yeast Policosonal Complex and Cholestrix are over the counter supplements that were found to contain the prescription drug, Lovastatin. The products are manufactured by Nature's Value, Kabco Inc, Sunburst Biorganics and Swanson Healthcare Products and are sold over the internet.
Lovastatin is a prescription statin that lowers cholesterol. Millions of people safely take Lovastatin but it can be dangerous if it is not prescribed by a physician and it can interact with certain antibiotics, other statin agents and antidepressants. High doses of statin drugs can cause muscle pain and kidney damage.
Red Yeast Rice products are not a problem in itself, but it shows how difficult it can be to monitor unsafe dietary supplements once they are marketed. The FDA does not routinely monitor dietary supplements. See my very first blog.