Natural management of healthy cholesterol levels should involve dietary and lifestyle modifications, including a low-saturated fat, low-carbohydrate diet, and aerobic exercise. As additional supplementation, several nutrients and botanicals can be used to help maintain lipid metabolism and support healthy cholesterol levels.*
The cholesterol fraction that appears to be of most concern is LDL cholesterol, and, in particular, oxidized LDL. Antioxidant supplementation can be beneficial for decreasing the oxidation of LDL.*
Choleast contains Monascus purpureus, a red-pigmented yeast grown on rice. Numerous studies in China and the United States have demonstrated that red yeast rice preparations are helpful in maintaining blood cholesterol levels already in the normal range.* This is important, as maintaining optimal cholesterol levels has been shown to be one component of maintaining cardiovascular health.*
In addition to naturally occurring substances called monacolins, red yeast rice contains the phytosterols beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol, as well as isoflavones and trace minerals, all of which can contribute to cardiovascular health.*
The same enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis are also involved in the synthesis of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Thus, to help maintain normal levels of CoQ10, Choleast contains 15 mg CoQ10 per capsule.*
Red Yeast Rice, Monacolins, and Citrinin Content
Red yeast rice is obtained by a specific process that ferments rice. One of the natural by-products of the rice fermentation process is citrinin, although usually the more sophisticated the fermentation process, the lower the amount of citrinin that is produced as a by-product. Citrinin is a mycotoxin. Because mycotoxins can cause inflammation and other injurious effects in the body, our practitioner-customers and their patients want the assurance that Thorne Research’s red yeast rice product – Choleast™ – contains only minimal amounts of citrinin.
In a study published in October 2010 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 12 red yeast rice products were analyzed for the content of monacolins and citrinin. The results of the analyses demonstrated a high variability of the content of both these substances.
Although Thorne Research’s Choleast was not included in the above-noted study, we can confirm to our health-care practitioner customers that we take the utmost care to make certain we are offering the highest quality and purity red yeast rice formula. There are no government standards or guidelines for citrinin content in red yeast rice; however, the generally recognized standard in the industry is less than 1 part per million, and Thorne Research’s Choleast regularly tests at less than 0.05 parts per million, which is less than 1/20th of that standard.
In addition, Choleast contains consistent amounts of the naturally-occurring monacolins found in red yeast rice, without standardization or fortification. We know this because we measure all of our raw materials in order to be in compliance with our strict GMP obligations to determine each ingredient’s identity, purity, strength, and composition.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.