Recent Blog Articles

Cholesterol

Ask the doctor: Can flaxseed and red yeast rice supplements lower cholesterol?

Updated: March 01, 2014

w0314c16207250221324

Image: Thinkstock

Q. I have just stopped taking a statin drug because it was causing muscle pain. To control my cholesterol, I'm now taking ground flaxseed and a daily red yeast rice pill. Are these supplements effective for lowering cholesterol?

A. Studies on flaxseed for lowering cholesterol have had mixed results, but there is some evidence it can lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol. Red yeast rice has been shown effective for lowering both total and LDL cholesterol, but because it may have the same side effects and interactions as a statin drug, talk to your doctor before taking it.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.