Doctors at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia randomly assigned 43 patients with high cholesterol to take either red yeast rice capsules or pravastatin (Pravachol, one of the cholesterol lowering statin drugs such as Lipitor and Zocor) every day for 12 weeks. The supplement group took four 600 milligram capsules twice per day, while the pravastatin group took 40 mg a day. By the end of the study, 1 of 21 patients on red yeast rice had stopped the treatment due to muscle pain, as had 2 of 22 patients on pravastatin. LDL cholesterol levels fell by an average of 30 percent among supplement users, and by 27 percent among pravastatin users. See

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