Should some people avoid red yeast rice?

I’ve just found out that I can no longer consume anything made with red yeast rice, as it counters my statin medication (Lipitor). WAH! My days of char siu and Fujian red wine chicken are over. :cry:


defer to others in the primary care world, but I am not so sure this is true

One of the ingredients of Red yeast rice is monacolin K which is a close analog to lovastatin. The problem is that the amounts of monacolin K in red yeast rice vary quite significantly from company to company and there are really no studies on the longer term use of red yeast rice.

I would avoid restaurants in general who use red yeast rice in their food, independently if you are taking statins or not

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One of my friends ran into a serious heart related issue which was ultimately traced back to red yeast rice.


How common is it for char siu to be made with red yeast rice?

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Is it for coloring? Traditionally, it’s done with red fermented tofu.

Which is traditionally red from red yeast rice.


Is there any natural dye color that can be used for Charsiu instead of this? I’ve been using pomegranate natural dye for my red jelly. Maybe I can test it out in a Charsiu marinade and make a honey pomegranate glaze for the finish.

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There a number of food grade colors made from different sources like red beets, pomegranate etc. which also shouldn’t add any unwanted flavor components
The other question I have is why do we need any red color (beside tradition) ?


whoops. completely missed that point.

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I wonder whether a serving of char siu has a significant amount of monacolin K?

  1. Some clinical trials gave participants 1.2 to 4.8 grams of red yeast rice (not red bean curd) a day.

  2. I can’t find a traditional recipe for red fermented bean curd using red yeast rice. These two commercial ones should contain less red yeast rice than salt. Per the label, 15 grams of the top one contains 620 mg of salt.



  1. Char siu recipes typically call for maybe one cube of red fermented bean curd per pound of pork.

Hi, if it mentions the red yeast coloring aspect, can you tell us at what point in the video’s timing? Thanks

Here is an email I wrote to my cousin a couple days ago, about it; from which y’all can excerpt the pertinent info:

"I am on Lipitor, a statin medication to reduce cholesterol. When I first was prescribed the meds 3 years ago, I was told to no longer eat grapefruit, because it counters the med. I am only now finding out that other foods which counter statin meds are those made of ‘red yeast rice.’ They are primarily Asian, though some manufacture is now coming out of Europe. It is white rice which is then fermented which causes reddish-colored mold to grow all over the exterior of it. Not only is it dished out as rice, but the reddish-purplish mold is removed and powdered and used as a coloring for quite a few Asian foods. Below is a starter list, not comprehensive. Serious illness can result, including kidney failure:

Bagoong alamang (Filipino fermented shrimp)
Balao-balao (Filipino fermented rice & fish)
Burong isda (Filipino fermented rice & shrimp)
Char siu (i.e. bbq pork, etc.)
Chinese pastries that are colored red
Fujian red wine chicken
Peking duck
Pickled tofu
Red rice vinegar
Red rice: beware of any rice which is red. It may be coated with the colorant.
Red yeast rice
Red yeast rice sauce
Sake - certain types that are reddish
Tofu that has been colored red

For maximum safety don’t eat anything Asian which has been colored reddish."

I’m not sure where you’re getting this from. If anything, it enhances the effects (including the side effects) of statins.

In addition to what @honkman posted, there is this from the Mayo Clinic.

Nowhere does the Mayo Clinic page state that red rice yeast “counters” the effects of a statin. It is also unclear if reports of kidney failure were secondary to a contaminant.

Red rice yeast may not be particularly healthy, but it does NOT inhibit the action of statins.

Yeah, exactly, monacolin K is lovastatin.

You’ve got it backwards. Who told you this?

Grapefruit juice contains Cyp3A4 inhibitors (Cyps in general make sure that any drugs doesn’t stay forever in your body.) There are a number Cyps in your body but the main one for drugs is Cyp3A4 and so when you drink grapefruit juice with your drug it takes much longer for your drug to get eliminated from your body and you can unintentionally “overdose” and have more significant side effects.

… the studies showing dangerous effects used massive amounts of furanocoumarins, the amount found in a quart or more of the juice. What’s more, eating half a grapefruit is even less risky than drinking grapefruit juice, since it takes several fruits to make a single glass of juice.

4 posts were split to a new topic: Medical care: threat or menace?

No I do not have it backwards and to answer your question, “who” told me to not consume red yeast rice products is Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy, in the instructions which came with the statin med they administered me earlier this month. Here I’m posting Kaiser’s instructions with the applicable blurb highlighted in yellow, for you to see.

You misread it. They say not to take read yeast rice products because they may contain lovastatin. They don’t say it counters your atorvastatin. It’s more like they’re afraid you’ll get a statin overdose.

They’re probably talking about red yeast rice supplements, which typically contain 600 to 1200 mg of red yeast rice. I’m skeptical that one serving of char siu contains a significant enough quantity that it would matter.

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