Red yeast rice (Hong Qu) may be an effective alternative treatment for people with high cholesterol who cannot tolerate statins. Sixty two patients with dyslipidemia, who had discontinued statin therapy due to muscle pain, were assigned to receive red yeast rice (1800mg) or placebo twice daily for 24 weeks. All patients were also enrolled in a 12-week therapeutic lifestyle change program. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level was significantly lower in the red yeast rice group than in the placebo group at both 12 and 24 weeks. Significant reductions were also observed for total cholesterol levels in the red yeast rice group. (Red yeast rice for dyslipidemia in statin-intolerant patients: a randomized trial.
Ann Intern Med. 2009 Jun 16;150(12):830-9, W147-9).