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10 Ways to Lower Cholesterol

red-yeast

Credit: Josh Rutledge

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Red yeast rice

Pros: This dietary supplement is derived from a fungus that grows in rice and contains small amounts of lovastatin (Mevacor). It can be effective in people who can't take statins, says Jacob Warman, MD, chief of endocrinology at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, in New York City. Although different people see different benefits, he says, "it always works to some extent."

Cons: Dietary supplements aren't tightly regulated in the United States the way drugs are, so there can be confusion about concentrations and proper dosages. A 2008 study found a 100-fold difference between the highest and lowest levels of monacolin among various supplement brands tested. Read more about red yeast rice.

Next: Bile acid sequestrants

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