The FDA warns to avoid these “natural” treatments for high cholesterol.

  • Red Yeast Rice sold by Swanson Healthcare Products and manufactured by Nature’s Value Inc.
  • Red Yeast Rice/Policosonal Complex sold by Swanson Healthcare Products, Inc. and manufactured by Kabco Inc.
  • Cholestrix sold by Sunburst Biorganics

Somehow, lovastatin (Mevacor), a prescription drug to treat high cholesterol, found its way into the products, which can be purchased over the Internet.

Image that.

The risk is that lovastatin can cause severe muscle problems leading to kidney impairment. The risk is greater if you add these “natural” product to ongoing prescription lovastatin treatment. Concurrent treatment with certain other drugs can also increase this risk.

Read this and this. Then, talk to your healthcare provider.

8/10/07 16:31 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.