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Is Red Yeast Rice Safe and Effective for Lowering Serum Cholesterol?

      Red yeast rice is traditionally made by soaking grains of rice in water until saturated. It is then fermented with Monascus purpureus yeast, which turns the rice a bright reddish purple color. The fully cultured rice is then either sold as the dried grain or pulverized to a fine powder. It may be prepared and eaten in the same manner as white rice or it can be used to color a wide variety of food products, including pickled tofu, red rice vinegar, and Peking duck. In addition to culinary uses, red yeast rice has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve circulation, relieve gastrointestinal distress, and prevent diarrhea (
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      , ).
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