Trend Watch



Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Cholesterol, a soft, white, waxy substance found in our blood circulation forms an important part of the cell membrane and is also the building block of steroid hormones and bile acids in our body. The liver makes 80% of the cholesterol our body needs while 20% comes from the food that we eat. Seafood, red meat,poultry and dairy products are rich in cholesterol whereas foods from plant origin contain no cholesterol.

There are 2 types of cholesterol, LDL, also known as the "bad cholesterol" and HDL, known as good cholesterol. Elevated LDL cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of coronary disease. LDL lipoprotein deposits cholesterol on the artery walls, causing the formation of a hard, thick substance called cholesterol plaque. HDL cholesterol particles prevent atherosclerosis by extracting cholesterol from the artery walls and disposing of them through the liver.

There are many ways to keep cholesterol level in the check. Eating less foods that are high in cholesterol and exercising are two such ways. Certain foods are known to have effect on reducing cholesterol and among these red yeast rice seems to be very promising. Made by fermenting rice with a pure strain of red yeast (Monascus Purpureus Went), its history in China dates backs thousands of years. There, it was used as food additives and as medicine for improving blood circulation. Most recently red yeast rice extract taken in supplement form has been found to reduce overall blood cholesterol levels and to improve the ratio of good and bad cholesterol.

Red yeast rice was found, in recent studies, to contain monacolins which are naturally occurring HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, the enzyme responsible for blocking the production of cholesterol in the body. A study conducted by the University of California - Los Angeles School of Medicine found that people who took red yeast rice and maintained a low fat diet reduced their overall cholesterol levels by an average 40 points over a period of 12 weeks.

A red yeast rice supplement available in the market today . Please consult your pharmacists to ask the products that has been clinically proven,safe and effective in lowering cholesterol levels.

Good luck.

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