Red yeast rice has the effect of lowering cholesterol levels. Since cholesterol production takes place in the liver mainly at night, it’s best to take red yeast rice before going to bed in order to obtain maximum benefit.
Several studies have shown that monacolin K derived from red yeast rice has similar pharmacological effects to those of the most commonly-prescribed lipid-lowering drugs (1). It increases levels of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol), and lowers those of LDL (‘bad’ cholesterol), total cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Cholesterol is produced in the liver at night, at a time when the body has stopped receiving food (2). Lipid-lowering treatments act by inhibiting the early stages of cholesterol production, preventing its release into the bloodstream. Red yeast rice and its active principles act in the same way, so it’s best to take it in the evening before going to bed.
It’s a natural alternative that should be taken under medical supervision, just like any supplement used for therapeutic purposes (3).
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