Red yeast rice is rice that has been fermented by the red yeast, monascus purpureus. Red yeast rice has been used by the Chinese for many centuries as a food preservative, food colorant (Red yeast rice is responsible for the red color of Peking duck), spice, and ingredient in rice wine. Red yeast rice continues to be a dietary staple in China, Japan, and Asian communities in the United States, with an estimated average consumption of 14 to 55 grams of red yeast rice per day per person.
Red yeast rice also has been used in China for over 1,000 years for medicinal purposes. Red yeast rice was described in an ancient Chinese list of drugs as useful for improving blood circulation and for alleviating indigestion and diarrhea. There is also growing interest in evaluating red yeast rice for use as a natural food dye andor preservative.
Red yeast rice
Part of plant used
0.4-3% Monacolin K
Red yeast rice, or monascus purpureus, is yeast grown on rice. It has been used as a dietary staple in many Asian countries and it is currently used as a nutritional supplement taken to manage cholesterollevels. Used in China for over a thousand years, red yeast rice has now found its way to American consumers looking for alternatives to statin therapy.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, red yeast rice was used to improve blood circulation and to aid in digestion. It has now been found to lower blood lipids, including cholesterol and triglycerides. Recorded use of red yeast rice goes back as far as the Chinese Tang Dynasty in 800 A.D.
Red yeast rice health benefits are found in its compounds known as monacolins, known to inhibit cholesterol synthesis. One of these compounds, monacolin K, is known to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that triggers cholesterol production.
Because of these naturally occurring statins, red yeast rice is sold as an over the counter cholesterol control supplement. Human studies, which began in the 1970’s, have confirmed the benefits of red yeast rice in lowering cholesterol.
A study at the UCLA School of Medicine of 83 people with high cholesterol showed a significant reduction in their total cholesterol, LDL and triglyceride levels after twelve weeks. Study participants were given 2.4 grams of red yeast rice daily and ate a diet with no more than 30% fat intake.
Red yeast rice was first made in China, has 1000 years of production, application history. It is unique in China and neighboring countries, the traditional rice fermentation product.
Red Yeast Rice is produced by the Monascus purpureus with the cereals and water as raw materials in the 100% solid-state fermentation. According to the results from HPLC analysis, the Monacolin K( or mevinolin) in the natural Red Yeast Rice is mainly in the form of acid form Monacolin K( or Mevinolinic acid in the range of 60-85% ), instead of the lactone form. The results demonstrated this product is truly made from fermentation process. Another characteristic feature of this product is that there is no citrinin. Ergosterol,unsaturated fatty acid, amino acids, γ-GABA and active peptides are also found in this product, enduing this products more functional gradients and nutrients.
In addition to its culinary use, red yeast rice is also used in traditional Chinese herbology and traditional Chinese medicine. Its use has been documented as far back as the Tang Dynasty in China in 800 A.D. and taken internally to invigorate the body, aid in digestion, and remove "blood blockages" (which could refer to what modern-day science has documented as a cholesterol-lowering effect)
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