Skip to main content
CNN.com CNN.com -- Health
ASK AN EXPERT
Got a question about a health story in the news or a health topic? Here's your chance to get an answer. Send us your questions about general health topics, diet and fitness and mental health. If your question is chosen, it could be featured on CNN.com's health page with an answer from one of our health experts, or by a participant in the CNNhealth community.




* CNN encourages you to contribute a question. By submitting a question, you agree to the following terms found below.
You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. By submitting your question, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your questions(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statment.
Thank you for your question!

It will be reviewed and considered for posting on CNNHealth.com. Questions and comments are moderated by CNN and will not appear until after they have been reviewed and approved. Unfortunately, because of the voume of questions we receive, not all can be posted.

Submit another question or Go back to CNNHealth.com

Read answers from our experts: Living Well | Diet & Fitness | Mental Health | Conditions

Expert Q&A

  • Share this on:
    Share
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

How can I pick thehealthiest brand ofred yeast rice?

Asked by Robyn, Port Washington, New York

Open quote
Close quote

I saw Dr. Gupta talking about red yeast rice. I want to try it but there are so many different kinds. How do you know which are the best brands with the best ingredients? I know many of the natural supplements put a lot of junk in the product.

I believe he said to take 600 mg twice a day. I take Wellbutrin and Klonopin. Will that interfere?

Expert Bio Picture

Diet and Fitness Expert Dr. Melina Jampolis Physician Nutrition Specialist

Expert answer:

Hi Robyn. The question as to which supplements you can trust is an excellent one. Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer. In the United States, the supplement industry is very loosely regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

That agency mainly acts to ensure that products are made according to good manufacturing practices, which include potency, cleanliness, and stability, that ingredients are generally safe, and that companies are not making unsubstantiated claims about curing or treating disease.

The Federal Trade Commission also helps ensure that companies are not engaging in deceptive advertising practices, but advertising restrictions are easily circumvented with creative marketing and wording that implies a specific health benefit.

Because there is tremendous variability in manufacturing and quality control standards from company to company, choosing an effective product can be challenging. The best approach is probably to buy supplements from a pharmacy, health food store, qualified health care professional such as medical or naturopathic doctor, or from a large retail chain such as Whole Foods Market, which has very rigid standards for evaluating all supplements that its stores carry.

In addition, whenever possible look for the USP label on products. The U.S. Pharmacopeia is a nonprofit group that has set standards for many popular supplements. You may also want to visit the Web site http://www.consumerlab.com/, a private company that utilizes independent testing facilities to analyze the ingredient content of many vitamin and supplement products.

Red yeast rice, in particular, is a supplement that should be taken only under the supervision of a health-care professional. As with other supplements, just because a product is natural does not mean that it is completely safe and free of side effects in everyone. This supplement in particular requires some oversight by a health-care professional because it contains the same active compound as one of the popular cholesterol-lowering statin medications. While red yeast rice has no known drug interactions and fewer side effects than statins, it could theoretically interfere with other medications and should be avoided by women who are pregnant or nursing and people with severe liver or kidney disease.

Finally, as with any cholesterol-lowering medication or supplement, eating a heart healthy diet, getting regular exercise and weight loss when appropriate should always be the first step toward lowering cholesterol.

More Q&A

  • CNN's Medical UnitCNN's medical unit brings you the best experts available to answer your questions about current events and health issues that matter most to you.
Will jogging hurt an obese person's joints?asked by: Asked by John Simmet; St. Paul, Minnesota
Is creatine a safe supplement?asked by: Asked by Ralph; New York
What foods cause flatulence?asked by: Asked by Peter; United States
Quick Job Search
keyword(s):
enter city:

CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.

Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.