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Best Red Yeast Rice Supplements in 2018-Top Picks and Buyer’s Guide

Did you know?
Do you know red yeast rice? Do you have an idea of what it does?

If you have never heard of this ingredient, or what it does, brace yourself for a new perspective, especially if you have issues with your cholesterol levels. This article will therefore, give you some ten supplements that we have found to be the best, as well as what to look out for, and what this ingredient entails.

Nature’s Plus Red Yeast Rice 5.0 120 Count - Pack of 2
Full Review
Nature’s Plus Extended release Red rice - 60 tablets (120 tablets)
Full Review
Sundown Naturals Red Yeast Rice 4.4 1200 mg Capsules (240 Count),
Full Review
Thorne Research Red Yeast rice with CoQ10 supplement 4.7 120 Capsules
Full Review
Blue Bonnet Red Yeast Rice Complex 4.4 90 Vegetarian Capsules
Full Review
BulkSupplements Red Yeast Rice Powder 4.5 (1 Kilogram)
Full Review
Wieder Red Yeast Rice with Phytosterols 4.4 1200 mg per 2 Tablets - 360 Tablets
Full Review
Thorne Choleast-900 red yeast rice extract 4.7 120 Capsules
Full Review
Optichoice® Ultimate Red yeast rice supplement 5.0 700mg – 120 Capsules/softgels
Full Review
Designs for Health Lipotrienols Red Yeast Rice 4.4 60 Capsules
Full Review
Traditional Supplements Red rice 4.9 240 Capsules
Full Review

1.Nature’s Plus Red Yeast Rice

Nature's Plus - Herbal Actives Red Yeast Rice 600 mg Extended Release Mini-Tabs, 120 Count - Pack of 2This supplement contains high quality extracts of red yeast rice. To add greater benefits to you, it has standard requirements of 10.2mg (1.7%) maximum amounts of monacolins.

Every tablet in the package comes with extended release systems that have revolutionized the market, and increase emphasis on sustainable benefits as well as rapid results. The tablets are vegetarian-friendly, and are free from allergens such as  dairy, soy and corn.

You can also trust the GMP compliance levels of the manufacturer. The manufacturing facilities are very good and conform to the set levels, and the FDA has certified them with the certificate as a result. Because of this, your satisfaction is always a guarantee.



  • It is good for reducing cholesterol levels in the body
  • You do not need high daily doses

  • None noted so far.


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2.Nature’s Plus Extended release Red rice

Nature's Plus - Extended Release Red Yeast Rice 600Mg (7361), 60 tablets (120 tablets)

Giving you an amazing combination of botanical principles, this supplement promises to increase synergistic results of the entire extract. The package comes in a unique safety and pure system, Herbashield. This comprises of an airtight seal, tamper safety cap, light resistant bottle, tamper-proof bottle seal, in addition to a packet that absorbs moisture.

This red yeast rice rel extract has consistently standard total monacolin levels of 1.7%, or 10.2 mg, and every tablet promises to revolutionize the extended release system to give you both sustained and quick results.


  • PROS:
    • Works efficiently and powerfully to reduce cholesterol levels in the body
    • There are no adverse side effects, at least on most people
    • You do not require high doses – just two per day is good enough
    • It is affordable for many users

    • It can raise the levels of liver enzymes in the body, so it requires caution in use
    • Some users have raised complaints of stomach upsets when using the supplement


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3.Sundown Naturals Red Yeast Rice

Sundown Naturals Red Yeast Rice 1200 mg Capsules (240 Count), Naturally Derived, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Non-GMO, No Artificial Flavors

The uses of red yeast rice extend as far back as China’s Tang dynasty (800 AD), and is increasing in popularity in the form of dietary supplements. If you are searching for a product that promises great results with all-natural ingredients, then look no further than this supplement.

It is suitable for vegetarians and lactose-intolerant individuals because it is 100% free of soy, gluten, and artificial flavors and dairy, and the supplement has a reputation of improving heart health. It contains 1,200 mg of red yeast rice for every two capsules, and it can be a good addition to your diet.



  • PROS:
    • It has good value for money
    • Very effective in reducing cholesterol, as long as you take it in the stated dose
    • Only requires a maximum of two tablets per day, so the dose is not high

    • It does not have a pleasant taste, though this is not a major issue
    • It is costly to buy the product
    • It may have some side effects on certain people


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4.Thorne Research Red Yeast rice with CoQ10 supplement

Thorne Research - Choleast - Red Rice Yeast Extract with CoQ10 - 120 Capsules

This product seeks to differentiate itself from similar products due to the addition of CoQ10, which increases antioxidant levels and activity in the body. It also contains pure and natural ingredients to support heart health through cholesterol reduction, and it is free from allergens such as gluten, dairy, artificial preservatives and eggs. It also is free of magnesium sterate, sugar, corn and yeast.

Take care though, that you use it under the advice of your doctor, as the product may have some side effects.




  • PROS:
    • It is effective in lowering cholesterol levels
    • Made from natural ingredients

    • It may have some side effects due to statin characteristics, which may include muscle pain
    • The monocolin amount is not clear


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5.Blue Bonnet Red Yeast Rice Complex

Red Yeast Rice Complex- 90 Vegetarian CapsulesBlueBonnet Nutrition is a company having its roots in the mission to provide the most natural and pure supplements, and it has stayed true to this commitment to this day. This supplement is very good at maintaining heart health, and the capsules are vegetarian-friendly, while being easy to ingest and absorb in the body. Because of its natural ingredients, it enhances heart health through cholesterol reduction.

They provide you with red yeast rice as well as other ingredients such as sugar cane wax-derived policosanol and plant sterols to give you the maximum benefits of the rice extracts. It is also free from allergens such as gluten, dairy, artificial preservatives and eggs, so is suitable for vegetarians and lactose-intolerant individuals.





  • PROS:
    • Improves the health of your body and effectively reduces cholesterol levels
    • Good customer service and quick shipping
    • It is easy to swallow

    • Has statin side effects
    • It is expensive compared to other supplements


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6.BulkSupplements Red Yeast Rice Powder

BulkSupplements Pure Red Yeast Rice Extract Powder (1 Kilogram)

This supplement is different from others – it does not package the ingredients as capsules, but rather as a red powder. It comes in a pouch that is factory-sealed and has a foil zip for maximum safety in packaging, and has undergone tests to verify its purity.

Its composition allows it to dissolve in hot water easily, and it has a fruity scent that adds some appeal to the taste.


  • It is well packaged and labelled
  • You can easily transfer it to containers because the powder is fine
  • Does not have allergens or additives, so it is safe to use
  • It is very effective in reducing cholesterol
  • The fact that it is in powder form means that you can mix it with other foods

  • The taste is not very pleasant, though this is not a major issue
  • It does not dissolve easily in drinks
  • You have to weigh each dose, which is inconvenient (compared to using measures like volume)


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7.Wieder Red Yeast Rice with Phytosterols

Weider Red Yeast Rice Plus with Phytosterols 1200 mg per 2 Tablets - 360 Tablets.The manufacturer provides a commitment to producing high quality products, and for most cases, this supplement seeks to maintain your cholesterol levels within normal ranges, in addition to moderate exercise.

The supplement seeks to establish itself as a leader in this field throughits ingredient composition – each tablet contains 1200mgs of red yeast rice extracts, 850mg of phytosterols, microalgae and red coating, all to provide you with high amounts of nutrients.





  • PROS:
    • Is very effective and good value for money
    • Uses natural ingredients
    • Quick shipment and good customer service

    • It may not work for every individual
    • It may have some side effects because of the statin mechanism
    • The size of the pill makes it hard to swallow


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8.Thorne Choleast-900 red yeast rice extract

Thorne Research - Choleast-900 - 900 mg Red Rice Yeast Extract - 120 Capsules

Setting itself as one of the best red yeast rice supplements, it requires you to take lower doses than regular Choleast, so this makes for easier supplementation. For even better results, you can take it with Q-Best 100 (optimally absorbed form of CoQ10).

The product sources its ingredients from pure sources, and contains no artificial preservatives, chemicals, GMOs or allergens. The only thing you need to avoid: taking it without the advice of your doctor or health-care professional.





  • It has excellent record of accomplishment of results, setting it as among the best
  • Easy to ingest

  • It has the same effects as statins, so be careful when using it


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9.Optichoice® Ultimate Red yeast rice supplement

Optichoice® Ultimate Red Yeast Rice™ + Coq10 and Cholesstrinol Hp - Award Winning Patent- Protected Heart Health Formula - Made in Usa- 700mg – 120 Capsules/softgels

This product sets itself as a highly advanced formula compared to its peers. It offers you a unique formulation of ingredients that promotes healthy heart support and absorption of CoQ10.

It especially uses a patented droplet system, VESIsorb, due to its superior bioavailability and absorption rates. The red yeast rice used in the product is organic and non-GMO, while undergoing tests for citrinin and found to be satisfactory. This is also aided by a patented combination, CholesstrinolTM HP, which proves to enhance the ability of the body to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.


  • Works very effectively to reduce cholesterol
  • Does not need a high dose for it to work

  • None noted so far.


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10.Designs for Health Lipotrienols Red Yeast Rice

Designs for Health - Lipotrienols RYR - 1200mg Organic Red Yeast Rice + 20mg Lycopene + Tocotrienols, 60 Capsules

This supplement combines natural ingredients that prove to support heart health, improve absorption of fat-soluble products as well as reduce activities of the enzyme reductase. Because of this, it supports healthy levels of lipids in your body, and this is thanks to monocolin levels from the red rice extract.

The yeast rice if fully organic – grown in US farms wand attaining the high standards needed for the product. In addition, the supplement is vegetarian friendly, and it does not contain products like GMOs, added preservatives, allergens or chemicals, and it does not contain citrinin as well.


  • Reduces cholesterol very easily
  • Easy to swallow

  • It may not be effective in some cases


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11.Traditional Supplements Red rice

Traditional Supplements Red Yeast RiceBecause this supplement follows traditional-based methods in extracting the red yeast rice extracts, it helps the body to maintain optimum LDL cholesterol levels, while reducing the chances of side effects in the body. The better aspect is that even doctors recommend it, especially for postmenopausal women and adult men. The supplement does not contain products like GMOs, added preservatives, allergens or chemicals.



  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels effectively
  • It is a good alternative to statins

  • None noted so far.




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What is Red Yeast Rice?

This is a type of rice that is native to China, also known as red fermented rice, anka, red koji rice, or ang-kak.  It is a red-purple fermented rice, and this is due to the rice being cultivated with a mould, Monascuspurpureus.  It has been in use as a food colorant, a spice, food preservative, and as a rice wine ingredient since about 300BC, but today some manufacturers add the product with the Sudan Red G dye because of lowering costs of food dyes.

It is a dietary staple in Asian communities in the US, as well as Japanese and Chinese people, with every individual having an average consumption of about 14 to 55 grams.


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Varieties of red yeast rice

You may wonder what exactly red yeast rice is. People have wondered for so many years if it can exist as a supplement, or you have to consume it directly. Well, the answer is not one or the other, but is both.

The truth is, Red Yeast Rice Extract (RYRE) is a traditional medicine from Asia, and medical professionals have long suspected it to be a cholesterol reducing agent in the body. This has led to people extracting it for use in different supplements that you will find.

The problem is, the product may seem fancy, but has not gone through extensive clinical studies to prove its effectiveness. Experts are unsure about the ideal doses and long-term safety precaution. It may even be harmful, for all we know.

However, the supplement has gained a large following among users, all claiming to experience certain benefits when using it. So, what exactly are the advantages of using this supplement?

To answer this question, you need to know the preparation methods of the rice.

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Preparation methods

There are three methods of preparing red yeast rice. They are Hypocol or Cholestin, Zhitai, and Xuezhikang.



Hypocol or Cholestin

You produce this type through fermenting specific strains of the mould. You achieve this by using a proprietary process, which results in a certain concentration of monacolin-K – which, you will notice, is the major ingredient in red yeast supplements that lowers cholesterol.



This is from fermenting a combination of different strains of the mould, Monascuspurpureus, on the rice. Mostly, the product will mainly consist of rice by weight, but will have a small weight composition of yeast.



This strain is from mixing red yeast and the rice with alcohol, and then processing it so that you eliminate most of the rice gluten. This strain actually has 40% higher cholesterol-lowering ingredients, compared to Hypocol or Cholestin.



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Benefits of red yeast rice supplements

The rice reduces the chances of heart conditions because of reducing cholesterol

Most of the studies on this issue use mainly Xuezhikang or Zhitai strains.  In eight studies done by Chinese scientists, control groups got placebos (these are pills without any active ingredients) for comparison reasons. In nine experiments, there were no control groups. The results of these studies were as follows:


Because they lower LDL and raise HDL, they end up reducing and even eliminating chances of atherosclerosis (plaque build-up) in the arteries. Blockage of the heart vessels can increase the chances of heart attacks, so these strains effectively reduce the chances of getting heart attacks and strokes.

Several placebo-controlled scientific trials confirm this – when LDL cholesterol reduces, in combination with healthy diets and other statin medication, it reduces the risk of heart attacks.

The rice enhances metabolism and digestion

Because red yeast rice reduces harmful cholesterol in addition to reducing blood sugar and blood pressure, it enhances bone strength and has anti-inflammatory effects.

The rice also acts as a soothing agent in cases of stomach upsets, indigestion as well as diarrhoea, and even is popular among acupuncture specialists, who use it to treat the colon/large intestine, spleen and the liver. However, it may not help much if you suffer from an acute liver condition.

It fights cancer

Studies show that red yeast rice kills human prostate cancer cells because it increases AMPK levels while inhibiting mTOR.

Prevents obesity

The enhanced liver enzymes, improved leptin levels and higher levels of good cholesterol are helpful for managing obesity.

Reducing inflammation

Studies were on rats that had high levels of cholesterol, and they ate the red rice. This resulted kidney stress and inflammatory factors such as IL-6. Not only has this, but the active ingredient in red rice enhanced brain function due to encouraging cell growth in the brain.

It can strengthen bones

In mice, red rice aids in treatment of osteoporosis because it increases levels of BMP4 and BMP2, while raising density levels of bones and helping in the formation of bones.


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Red Yeast rice side effects

One thing to note in all of this is that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not approve of most red yeast rice uses. In fact, the organization goes further to treat monacolin-K products as drugs, and they have moved to try to ban the product from sales in certain states in the US until 2003, when these products began appearing again after several years of disappearance. Therefore, you should not attempt to use red yeast rice supplements without the approval and advice of your doctor.

The red yeast rice is often a supplement, though there is a lack of standard manufacturing regulations, so some products in the market unfortunately laced with toxic metals as well as other drugs. This is why you need to purchase them from trusted, reliable sources to reduce contamination risks.

Possible side effects

Above all else, your health and life come first. You need emergency treatment if you notice any sign of allergic reactions, which include swelling of body parts including the tongue, lips, face, or your throat, if you have difficulties in breathing, or you get hives.

You need to stop using the supplement immediately when you notice that you are:

Developing muscle weakness, pain or tenderness accompanied by fever, dark coloured urine or unexplained fatigue – this is mainly due to a condition called rhabdomyolysis, where muscle fibres break down and release substances into the can be fatal if not dealt with immediately.

Less urinating than your usual amounts, or no urinating at all

In addition, other side effects may occur, though these are not very common. They include:


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Some of the interactions it has

Because you do not know the effects that red yeast rice may have on your body, ensure you discuss it with your doctor first. There is also the case of you having prescriptions for other conditions, if you consume recreational drugs like alcohol, if you take herbal remedies, or even other diet supplements.

So what are some of the drugs, which interact with red yeast rice? Here is a breakdown:


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Other medications that reduce cholesterol levels

Inhibitors of CYP3A4. These include saquinavir, clarithromycin, ritonavir, diltiazem and indinavir.

Alcohol – this can raise the risks of damaging the liver when taken with red yeast rice.

Grapefruit – this, along with its juice, can reduce the metabolism rate of the body. This therefore, allows more of the drug to circulate in the body and raise the risks of liver damage in addition to getting side effects.

Avoid taking red yeast rice in conjunction with liver supplements, since their ingredients may damage the liver. These ingredients include


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Who is ineligible for the supplement?


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How to take red yeast rice

The packages that you purchase will have directions indicated on them, so ensure you follow these instructions strictly. You can also receive dosage advice from your doctor or pharmacist, but above all – do NOT overdose.

The product is usually available in capsule form, though there are other forms such as teas, topical forms, tablets and tinctures. Note that you should not attempt to take multiple forms of the product at the same time, unless your doctor advised you to. Using different forms constitutes as overdosing.

You must take red yeast rice supplements with food, and this will reduce the chances of stomach upsets.

When storing it, put it in a sealed container – the product label will direct you on this issue – and put it away from direct light, moisture and heat.

Dosage of red yeast rice supplements

The problem with this product is doctors fail to establish a standard dose. This worsens by the lack of set manufacturing standards in the industry – the active ingredients and the supplement quality will differ among different manufacturers.



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How to choose a red yeast rice supplement

There are certain ingredients that are usually in all red yeast rice supplements. Here is a breakdown of what to look.

Coenzyme Q10
The body manufactures this enzyme, which is then useful in maintaining cell acts as an antioxidant, and is naturally in certain foods, especially organ meat, peanuts, sardines and beef. In itself, it does not have any side effects, so it is safe for the most part.
This treats high blood pressure and improve lipid profiles of the body.
It is a trace mineral, having enzyme and structural roles in the body.
People may view Red rice supplements under sceptical eyes, but the truth is it works for some people better than others do. Just be sure to get advice from your doctor before starting with it. The winning supplements of this article goes to the Thorne Red Yeast Rice, because it maintains high quality standards while ensuring that it is safe for use. The reviews have also contributed to our recommendation of the product, and it is a worthwhile investment.

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