By some estimates, as many as 10% of people who take cholesterol-lowering statins experience troubling muscle pain, and many stop taking the drugs because of it.
Now a new study suggests that a dietary supplement sold in nutrition centers and grocery stores may be a useful alternative to statins for some. Common statin drugs include Vytorin, Lipitor and Zetia.
The newly published study included 62 people with high LDL cholesterol who had stopped taking statins because of muscle pain.
Half the study participants took three 600-milligram capsules of red yeast rice a day and half took
placebo capsules that were identical in look and smell to the red yeast rice.
People who took red yeast rice supplements and completed a 12-week lifestyle intervention program
experienced bigger reductions in LDL “bad” cholesterol than patients who completed the same lifestyle program but took placebo pills.
For more related information, learn about managing and understanding cholesterol.