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Beware -- Cholesterol Lowering Supplement Quality Varies Widely

If you’ve used the popular cholesterol-lowering supplement red yeast rice, it probably listed 600 milligrams of rice as the sole ingredient on the bottle. But different brands of capsules contain widely varying amounts of monacolins, the active ingredient.

An investigation found that the level of monacolins ranged across brands, from a low of 0.31 milligrams to a high of 11.15 milligrams per capsule -- a 100-fold difference. In addition, a third of the products contained citrinin, a toxin that can cause kidney failure in animals.

CNN reports:

“The lack of standardization across brands is found throughout the supplements industry, not just in red yeast rice products ... Multiple lab tests have found that supplements ‘contain sawdust or 99 percent water’”.

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