Red yeast rice improves endothelial function by reducing inflammation, alleviating oxidative stress
06/10/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Researchers from the University of South China, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology, and Beijing Anzhen Hospital of Capital Medical University reviewed existing evidence on the ability of red yeast rice and its related products in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). They published their findings in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines.

  • ASCVD is one of the deadliest diseases in the world, wherein endothelial injury continues throughout the course of the disease.
  • Improvement in endothelial function is essential in the prevention of ASCVD.
  • Red yeast rice is a healthy traditional Chinese food made by fermenting the fungus Monascus purpureus on wet rice.
  • Studies have shown that red yeast rice and its products help in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases because of their effectiveness and safety in improving lipid levels.
  • Red yeast rice also helps in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as increasing nitric oxide (NO), which maintains normal vasodilatory function and helps prevent platelet aggregation and adhesion.
  • These beneficial effects may be attributed to its compounds: polyketides, monounsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, isoflavones, condensed tannins, Coenzyme Q10, microelements, and pigments, including ankaflavin, monascin, rubropunctatin, monascorubrin, rubropunctamine, and monascorubramine.

In sum, these results suggested that red yeast rice and its products can be used as a healthy functional food for preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

For more studies on heart-healthy foods like red yeast rice, visit

Journal Reference:

Feng SJ, Tang ZH, Wang Y, Tang XY, Li TH, Tang W, Kuang ZM. POTENTIAL PROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF RED YEAST RICE IN ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION AGAINST ATHEROSCLEROTIC CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines. January 2019; 17(1): 50-58. DOI: 10.1016/S1875-5364(19)30009-3

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