Red Yeast Rice Brands to Avoid

7 Red Yeast Rice Brands to Avoid + 5 Best Alternatives in 2024


Red Yeast Rice is a type of fermented rice that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It is made by fermenting white rice with a kind of Red Yeast called Monascus purpureus. The fermentation process results in the production of a compound called monacolin K, which is chemically identical to the drug lovastatin, used to lower cholesterol. Red Yeast Rice is often used as a natural alternative to statin drugs to help manage high cholesterol levels.

Red Yeast Rice has been shown to be effective in lowering LDL cholesterol or “bad” cholesterol levels, Which can lead to a reduced risk of heart disease. In addition to its cholesterol-lowering properties, Red Yeast Rice also contains other beneficial compounds such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.

It has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine to improve blood circulation, aid digestion, and promote overall health and well-being. While Red Yeast Rice supplements can be purchased over-the-counter, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before using them, as they can interact with certain medications and may not be safe for everyone.

What is Monacolin K?

Red yeast rice supplements aid in weight reduction by reducing low-density lipoproteins and overall cholesterol levels in the body. The chemical substance monacolin K has properties similar to lovastatin and helps regulate cholesterol levels while also maintaining low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride levels.

Most red yeast rice supplements contain about 600 grams of monacolin K, as recommended by physicians. However, not all brands have the appropriate amount of monacolin K, and some make false claims. Therefore, finding FDA-approved brands with the right amount of monacolin K is crucial.

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Red Yeast Rice Brands to Avoid

1. Spring Valley

The claim made by Spring Valley regarding the contents of their red yeast rice supplements is accurate. Their product boasts 120 capsules per bottleeach containing 600 milligrams of Monacolin K. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this claim.

Furthermore, customers have reported adverse side effects after taking these supplements, including stomach discomfort, joint pain, dizziness, and headaches. These side effects are a cause for concern, especially when considering that the cholesterol-lowering properties of this product appear to be ineffective.

In addition, some users have noted that Spring Valley’s red yeast rice supplements have been linked to vision problems and fatigue. This is troubling news for those looking for a safe and effective way to lower their cholesterol levels.

The most significant issue with Spring Valley’s products is the uncertainty surrounding their ingredients. Although they claim to use Monacolin K, there is no way to confirm whether this is actually the case. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for consumers to make informed decisions about what they are putting into their bodies.

If Spring Valley had been more forthcoming about the chemicals in its products, it would have made life much easier for consumers. As it stands, we recommend caution when considering any of their supplements.

2. Swanson

The discovery of high levels of citrinin in Swanson’s red yeast rice products is concerning, as this toxin has been linked to kidney damage. Citrinin is a byproduct of the fermentation process used to make red yeast rice supplements.

While Swanson healthcare products are marketed as a means to protect heart health and maintain healthy cholesterol levels, it’s important to note that they contain lovastatin. This substance has the potential to cause harm to the heart, kidneys, and muscles. When taken with certain antibiotics, antidepressants, other cholesterol medications, and antifungal or antiviral drugs, lovastatin can lead to serious health issues.

For those taking any of these medications, it’s best to avoid red yeast rice supplements altogether. The potential for harmful interactions between the medicine and the accompaniment is too great to ignore.

3. Only Natural

Manufacturers of cholesterol-lowering supplements often promote their products as being made from natural ingredients. However, upon examining the label, it sometimes needs to be clarified precisely what those ingredients are.

To gain consumer trust, companies should be transparent and provide evidence to back up their claims. Unfortunately, some have failed to do so, leaving consumers in the dark about what they’re really putting into their bodies.

Additionally, some manufacturers need to specify the quantity of Monacolin K present in their supplements. This is a red flag for consumers who want to know precisely what they’re ingesting.

As far as we know, these supplements have not been proven effective in lowering or controlling cholesterol levels. In fact, they may not even contain Monacolin K at all. Given this uncertainty, it’s challenging to recommend Only Natural supplements as a viable option for managing cholesterol.

One of the most concerning issues associated with Only Natural supplements is the occurrence of rashes and skin allergies in users. These side effects are not only uncomfortable, but they can also indicate potentially dangerous allergic reactions.

Given the lack of evidence supporting the effectiveness of Only Natural supplements in lowering or controlling cholesterol, combined with reports of adverse side effects, it’s best to exercise caution when considering this product.

4. Sundance

Sundance red yeast rice products are often marketed as a way to improve heart health and lower cholesterol levels. However, there have been several reports of adverse effects associated with this brand, including liver damage, rashes, and more.

On the other hand, Solgar’s red yeast rice is a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, preservative-free, and artificial flavor-free alternative. This can be particularly important for those who have sensitivities or allergies to these familiar ingredients.

It’s essential to be aware of the specific herbs and plants used in any supplement, as some individuals may be sensitive to particular ingredients. While Solgar’s red yeast rice does not contain these additives, it’s still critical to read the label carefully before taking any supplement.

Despite claims that red yeast rice supplements like Sundance and Solgar can help reduce high cholesterol levels, there is little evidence to support this assertion. It’s essential to recognize that not all products are created equal, and the effectiveness of one particular brand may vary from another.

One compound found in many red yeast rice supplements, including Sundance, is Monacolin K. According to the label on Sundance pills, each capsule contains 600mg of red yeast rice. While this may seem promising, it’s important to note that the efficacy of Monacolin K in reducing cholesterol levels is still a matter of debate.

5. Nature’s Plus

There have been reports of certain Red Yeast Rice Brands producing products with high levels of citrinin, a toxin that can lead to renal failure. This is concerning for consumers who are looking for safe and effective ways to manage their cholesterol levels.

In addition, the need for ingredient transparency from some manufacturers is troubling. The Food Development Authority has specifically cited this brand as lacking adequate openness in this regard.

The term “all-natural” used by some manufacturers can be misleading, especially when it comes to red yeast rice supplements. While these products may use natural components, the specific ingredients are often not disclosed on the label.

One particular brand lists 600mg of red rice per capsule, but it needs to be clarified whether or not Monacolin K is present in its ingredients. Without this information, it isn’t easy to assess the potential effectiveness of this supplement.

Furthermore, Nature’s Plus, in particular, needs better consumer ratings due to its large and difficult-to-swallow capsules. This is uncomfortable for users and can encourage them to continue to take the supplement over an extended period.

Given the uncertainty around ingredient transparency and the potential presence of harmful toxins such as citrinin, it’s best to exercise caution when considering red yeast rice supplements. Consumers should carefully scrutinize labels and do thorough research before making any decisions about which brands to trust.

6. Mason Natural

The label for these red yeast rice pills lists Silicon Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, and Gelatin (bovine) among their ingredients. Unfortunately, this also means there is little evidence to suggest that they contain Monacolin K, the compound that has been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels.

In fact, according to many consumers, Mason Naturals’ red yeast rice capsules have had the opposite effect, causing an increase in cholesterol levels. This is deeply concerning for those looking for a safe and effective way to manage their cholesterol levels.

Adding to the issue of effectiveness is the size of the capsules themselves. Many users have found them to be excessively large and complex to swallow, which can make taking them regularly a challenge.

While the manufacturer claims that the product contains natural herbs, there is no specific information provided about what those herbs might be. This lack of transparency is concerning, as it makes it difficult for consumers to know exactly what they are putting into their bodies.

Given the potential for adverse effects and the lack of clear information about the product’s ingredients, we recommend approaching Mason Naturals’ red yeast rice capsules with caution. It’s worth checking out consumer feedback before making any decisions, but ultimately, the decision to try the product is up to the individual.

7. Solaray

Naturaceutic’s red yeast rice pills are marketed as being free of pesticides, germs, heavy metals, and major allergens. The manufacturer claims that these capsules have been thoroughly tested for strength, identity, and purity in their laboratory.

However, it’s important to note that the Food Development Authority has not confirmed any of these claims. While there may be many positive attributes to this brand, it’s essential to do thorough research and consider customer reviews before making any decisions.

Unfortunately, many users have reported adverse side effects after taking Naturaceutic supplements. Some individuals reported pain in their legs, while others experienced severe stomach pains and headaches. If multiple people are experiencing similar symptoms, it suggests that these issues are not isolated incidents.

Given these reports of adverse effects, it’s best to avoid such brands while purchasing red yeast rice pills if you want to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

According to Dietitian Nutritionist Mary Donkersloot, Red Yeast Rice Brands containing significant levels of monacolin K are considered unapproved new drugs by the FDA and are not legally sold in the United States.

It’s critical to exercise caution when considering these types of supplements and to only purchase from reputable sources.

The Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Brands

What if you invested in dietary supplements to improve your cholesterol levels, only to discover that the red yeast rice supplements you purchased lacked the vital ingredient, monacolin K?

With this crucial substance, these supplements are rendered functional. Not only do they fail to benefit your health, but they can also lead to several other ailments, some of which can be severe.

Consumers who have taken the wrong brands of these supplements have reported joint and bone pain, headaches, migraines, nausea, discomfort, and even stomach problems. In the worst-case scenario, your cholesterol may worsen.
View this video to discover Physician Dr. Ken Berry MD’s insights on Red Yeast Rice.

5 Recommended Red Yeast Rice Brands (Alternatives)

If you’re looking for a reliable red yeast rice supplement to add to your diet to help lower your cholesterol levels, several brands come highly recommended. These brands are certified and guarantee the quality of their products, giving you peace of mind when making a purchase.

1. Weider Red Yeast Rice

These red yeast rice capsules are formulated to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels within the normal range. They work in conjunction with moderate exercise, which can further support heart health. The phytosterols contained in this supplement have been shown to reduce the absorption of cholesterol.

Each serving of two capsules delivers 1200mg of red yeast rice along with low sodium magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, medium-chain triglycerides, and soy. The capsules also contain microcrystalline cellulose and cross caramel. It’s worth noting that these supplements do not have Monacolin K.

Overall, these red yeast rice capsules are a natural and effective way to help manage cholesterol levels, particularly when combined with a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet.

2. Solgar Red Yeast Rice

These capsules are created through the fermentation of cooked rice with Monascus purpureus yeast. They are an excellent option for individuals following a plant-based diet, as they are both gluten-free rice and composed of vegetable capsules. It is advisable to consume these capsules in conjunction with Coenzyme Q-10 for optimal results.

3. Nature’s Bounty Red Yeast Rice Pills and Herbal Supplement

For more than five decades, this product has been synonymous with unparalleled quality and trust. It continues to be regarded as the premier brand of red yeast rice, thanks to its commitment to using only the purest ingredients based on rigorous scientific research.

The formula for this product is made up of rice flour, silica, yeast, and vegetable magnesium stearate, resulting in a premium-quality supplement. Additionally, the product undergoes thorough lab tests and audits by quality evaluation firms to ensure that it meets the highest standards of excellence and consistency. As such, you can rest assured that this product is unmatched in terms of quality and effectiveness.

4. Arazo Nutrition Red Yeast Rice

With 120 capsules per bottle, this dietary supplement has been rigorously tested for contaminants and impurities to ensure its purity. The manufacturing process is subject to stringent screening, resulting in a high-quality, uncontaminated source of red yeast rice.

By virtue of its natural ingredients, this supplement helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels without any harmful fermentation byproducts that might compromise your health. Its effectiveness and safety have been demonstrated time and again, making it an ideal choice for anyone looking to support their overall well-being.

5. HPF Cholestene Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice capsules are a popular dietary supplement that is specially designed to promote healthy cholesterol levels in the body. These capsules are formulated by fermenting Monascus purpureus Went, which is known for its medicinal properties.

The product comes in a convenient 120-capsule pack, and it is recommended to stay within a maximum of four capsules per day for optimal results. Regular intake of these capsules can help maintain a healthy lipid profile and support overall cardiovascular health.

Benefits of Red Yeast Rice

Improved Heart Health

Heart disease is a significant health concern, causing an estimated 31.5% of deaths worldwideHigh cholesterol is a primary risk factor for heart disease and can lead to artery narrowing, increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Red Yeast Rice is a natural remedy used to promote heart health and lower cholesterol levels. Compared to prescription drugs, it may have fewer side effects. Studies have shown that Red Yeast Rice can effectively reduce total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure, especially when combined with statin drugs. It also contains monacolin K, which can improve endothelial function and maintain healthy vascular and heart health.

Incorporating Red Yeast Rice into your diet may provide several benefits in terms of maintaining optimal cardiovascular health. High cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease and can lead to narrowed and hardened arteries, elevating the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Red Yeast Rice is a reliable option for managing cholesterol levels, with minimal adverse side effects compared to conventional prescription drugs.

Studies have established the effectiveness of red yeast rice in reducing total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. When combined with statin drugs, red yeast rice may work even better in promoting heart health. Moreover, the presence of monacolin K in red yeast rice can enhance endothelial function and maintain healthy vascular and heart health. Hence, incorporating red yeast rice into your diet may provide numerous benefits for maintaining a healthy heart.

Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of chronic ailments like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Indicators include high blood pressure, body fat, blood sugar, and changes in cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

Red yeast rice can help manage these risk factors and prevent them. It effectively reduces total and LDL cholesterol levels. An 18-week study found that it also lowers blood sugar, insulin, and systolic blood pressure in people with metabolic syndrome.

Another eight-week trial on mice observed that red yeast rice prevents increases in cholesterol levels and body weight.

Incorporating red yeast rice into your diet may maintain optimal cardiovascular health by reducing cholesterol levels, blood sugar, insulin levels, and systolic blood pressure.

Decreased Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural immune response that protects your body against infections and foreign invaders. However, chronic inflammation is linked to conditions like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Supplementing with red yeast rice may help reduce inflammation and promote better long-term health. For instance, a study of 50 people with metabolic syndrome found that an eight-week supplement of red yeast rice and Borges olive oil lowered oxidative stress levels by up to 20%, a significant cause of chronic inflammation.

Furthermore, a study on rats with kidney damage discovered that administering red yeast extract reduced specific proteins associated with inflammation in the body.

Red Yeast Rice offers potential benefits in reducing inflammation and improving long-term health. A supplement containing red yeast rice and olive extract showed promising results in lowering oxidative stress levels, a key contributor to chronic inflammation. Additionally, administering red yeast extract to rats with kidney damage reduced specific proteins involved in inflammation in the body.

Reduced Cancer Risk

While there is only limited research available on the topic, which is mainly based on animal and test-tube studies, some evidence points towards the possibility that red yeast rice may have the potential to curb the growth and spread of cancer cells.

For instance, a study conducted on mice with prostate cancer found that administering red yeast rice powder significantly reduced the size of tumors as compared to a control group. However, it is essential to note that further investigation is necessary in order to fully comprehend the impact of red yeast rice on other types of cancer in humans.

In particular, more studies should be conducted to ascertain how the potential anticancer properties of red yeast rice may influence the overall population.

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Why Take Red Yeast Rice at Night?

As for when to take red yeast rice, it is generally recommended to take it with your evening meal or before bedtime. The reason for taking it at night is connected with the body’s cholesterol production during the night. Our body produces higher cholesterol at night, especially in individuals with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels). By consuming red yeast rice at night, the active compounds in the supplement can inhibit cholesterol synthesis during this peak production period, Which will help to lower overall cholesterol levels in the body.

Do Not Take the Capsules of Red Yeast With:

  • Alcohol
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Other statins
  • Niacin
  • Gemfibrozil
  • Hepatotoxic medications
  • Other supplements

Legal Considerations

When it comes to consuming manufactured products, it can be challenging to determine which brands are trustworthy and which ones are not. Given that faulty products can have harmful effects on one’s health, it is critical to choose only the best brand of red yeast rice supplements when making a purchase. It should be noted that these supplements fall under the preview of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations.

One way to ensure the quality of red yeast rice products is to verify whether they adhere to good manufacturing practices (GMPs). These guidelines cover several aspects like cleanliness, potency, and stability of ingredients, ensuring that no exaggerated claims about treating diseases are made. By following these protocols, one can rest assured that the products purchased are safe for consumption.

The Federal Trade Commission (FDC) keeps a check on deceptive advertising practices by manufacturers of these supplements. However, some companies circumvent such restrictions using creative marketing strategies. Nevertheless, the FDC has the power to regulate such practices and take suitable action against any violations.

In conclusion, users must exercise caution while purchasing red yeast rice capsules and conduct due diligence before choosing a brand. By checking for adherence to GMPs and FDA guidelines and being aware of deceptive marketing tactics, consumers can safeguard their health and make informed decisions about their purchases.

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What To Check Before Buying Red Yeast Rice Brands?

Before you try any of these brands, be sure to seek advice from an expert.

There are a variety of brands on the market. Therefore, before you purchase any brand, it is essential to know which one you should look for in order to figure out which one is the best for you.

  • It is crucial to check if the product contains active ingredients such as lovastatin and monacolin K, which are effective in reducing cholesterol levels. Products lacking these ingredients will not be efficient in managing high cholesterol levels or weight loss.
  •  Check the percentage of lovastatin or monacolin K in each pill or capsule. The lower the portion, the better the results and the more influential the supplement.
  •  Ensure that the supplement has an extremely high level of potency for it to be effective in reducing blood cholesterol or losing fat. A label indicating “high potency” means that the product is highly effective in dropping blood cholesterol and shedding excess weight.
  •  Ideally, the supplement should contain as few ingredients as possible to reduce the risk of suffering from any adverse negative effects. Natural active ingredients are preferable over synthetic ones because they are more effective.
  •  Be sure to verify whether the Red Yeast Rice Brand’s manufacturer has an excellent reputation. Check the good manufacturing practices of the brand through online customer reviews or by calling the company’s customer service to see if there have been any complaints.
  •  Confirm that the supplement is free of artificial preservatives, additives, flavors, or colorants.
  •  It is advisable to purchase the supplement from a qualified health care professional like a naturopathic or medical doctor, your nearest pharmacy, or a reputable health food store.
  •  Note that you may still experience the same side effects as statin drugs when taking this supplement.

Red Yeast Rice Brands To Avoid FAQs

What to avoid when taking red yeast rice?

When taking red yeast rice, it’s essential to avoid consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice as they may interact with the medication and increase the risk of side effects. Additionally, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare provider before taking red yeast rice if you’re pregnant, nursing, have liver disease, or are taking any other medications.

What is the best form of red yeast rice?

The best form of red yeast rice is generally the one that contains a standardized amount of monacolin K, which is the active ingredient that helps lower cholesterol. Look for a product that lists the amount of monacolin K on the label and choose a reputable brand that follows good manufacturing practices.

What brand of red yeast rice contains monacolin K?

There are several brands of red yeast rice supplements that contain monacolin K, but one commonly recommended brand is Cholestin. However, it’s important to note that the FDA has ruled that supplements containing more than trace amounts of monacolin K cannot be sold in the US as dietary supplements so some brands may have reformulated their products.

How long does it take for red yeast rice to lower cholesterol?

The time it takes for red yeast rice to lower cholesterol can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s starting cholesterol levels, dosage, and overall health. Some studies suggest that significant reductions in cholesterol levels can occur within 4-12 weeks of starting red yeast rice supplementation. Still, it’s essential to continue monitoring cholesterol levels and working with a healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective use.

Should you take red yeast rice with coq10?

If you are considering taking red yeast rice CoQ10, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider. Red yeast rice can reduce cholesterol levels, but it can also lower CoQ10 levels. CoQ10 supplementation with red yeast rice may be recommended to help prevent potential side effects.


Red yeast rice is a natural remedy for low cholesterol, but there can be significant differences in quality and potency among different brands. Some products may contain high levels of lovastatin and monacolin K, which can have adverse health effects. Therefore, it’s essential to choose carefully and opt for a product without excessive lovastatin if you’re using red yeast rice to lower your cholesterol. To make an informed decision, consult a qualified healthcare professional who can guide you in selecting a safe and effective brand that suits your specific needs and health condition.

Note: The information presented herein has been compiled primarily from consumer reviews. While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and reliability, the content should be regarded as subjective opinions and experiences shared by individuals.