Big Pharma opposed to inexpensive red yeast rice

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    Big Pharma opposed to inexpensive red yeast rice


    The recent study questioning the efficacy of two popular prescription drugs in reducing disease-causing cholesterol has triggered a strong response by their makers Schering-Plough Corp and Merck & Co. Full page ads in Sunday’s New York Times from the companies attest to the effectiveness of both Zetia and Vytorin.

    While big pharma scrambles, adherents of natural remedies are talking about a new-old dietary supplement that even the Mayo Clinic says has impressive evidence of effectiveness. It’s something called red yeast rice. And in China it’s been used for its benefits to the circulatory system since 800 A.D.

    Red yeast rice is named for a red or purple substance released by a fungus grown on fermented rice. It is marketed as a more natural and less expensive alternative to statin drugs such as Lipitor. Available in capsules in health food stores and over the Internet, red yeast rice actually creates the same monacolin-K, or lovastatin, that is the main ingredient in the generic version of the prescription drug Mevacor.

    According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, red yeast rice has the benefit of “strong” scientific evidence, stating that “..since the 1970s, human studies have reported that red yeast rice lowers blood levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein/LDL ("bad cholesterol"), and triglyceride levels.”

    Still, three red yeast rice supplements sold over the counter were ordered off the market recently by the FDA: Red yeast rice and red yeast rice/Policosanol Complex sold by Swanson Health Products Inc. and manufactured by Nature's Value Inc. and Kabco Inc. as well as Cholestrix, sold by Sunburst Biorganics. The stated reason for the FDA’s action is concern that the statin content in the supplements were approaching those in the prescription drugs. Some suspect that Big Pharma, concerned with the profitability of their key prescription statin drugs, encouraged the FDA to make the move against inexpensive red yeast rice, the more natural, but less regulated choice.

    Meanwhile, the debate rages on in the fast growing alternative medicine community, and other versions of red yeast rice capsules are readily available online and in-store.

    Zetia and Vytorin versus Red Yeast Rice - thedailygreen.com

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    You can find much more info on this topic. It does appear to be the case that pharma is trying to influence the availability of red yeast rice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by size View Post
    You can find much more info on this topic. It does appear to be the case that pharma is trying to influence the availability of red yeast rice.
    Them are fightin' words for Crowler.
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    The part that makes me laugh is that FDA recently approved some of the statins for OTC use but then issued a statement that it had "concerns" over the ability of people to dose it properly.

    OK.

    So it's safe enough for OTC, but then not safe enough because we're all too stupid to read the directions? lol F-U, FDA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bioman View Post
    So it's safe enough for OTC, but then not safe enough because we're all too stupid to read the directions? lol F-U, FDA.


    Sad day indeed when government agencies are in the back pockets of large corporations.
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