Red yeast rice (RYR) is a commonly used dietary supplement for the management of dyslipidemia. In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer warning to avoid RYR products because they may contain unauthorized drug (lovastatin) and also implemented Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) requiring that proper controls be in place by dietary supplement companies to ensure products are manufactured and processed in a consistent manner and produce high-quality products that are not adulterated with impurities or contaminants and are accurately labeled.
In this paper in Journal of Clinical Lipidology it is reported that the FDA had no information on the number of RYR manufacturers and their compliance with CGMP regulations. A total of 101 products containing RYR were reviewed. No product could be confirmed as passing any independent laboratory verification testing. Nearly one-half (42.6%) of the RYR product labels contained statin-related warnings (ie, potential for muscle pain or weakness, etc).
Currently, the FDA is not regulating manufacturers of RYR products and as a result, many of these products may contain monacolin K and toxins such as citrinin.
Via Seth Bilazarian, MD