CRI Online reports that China's CDC equivalent has announced that a new, Chinese herbal medicine could cut the rate of coronary heart disease by about 33 percent.
The popular Chinese medicine, known as "Xuezhikang", could readjust human blood-fat levels and longterm use could lower the occurrence rate of the disease by over 45 percent and the recurrence rate of non-fatal myocardial infarctions by some 60 percent.
The effect was determined on the basis of a four-year survey carried out amongst 4,870 coronary disease sufferers.
Xuezhikang is one of three major preparations of red yeast rice, the others being Zhitai, Cholestin or Hypocol. It is produced by mixing rice and red yeast with alcohol. The mixture is then processed to remove the rice gluten.
Red yeast rice is rice that has been fermented by the red yeast, Monascus purpureus. It has been used by the Chinese for many centuries as a food preservative and food colorant. Red yeast rice is a common item used for cooking in China, Japan, and Asia, with an estimated average consumption of 14 to 55 grams of red yeast rice per day per person.
Red yeast rice also has been used in China for over 1,000 years for medicinal purposes.
Red yeast rice was described in an ancient Chinese list of drugs as useful for improving blood circulation and for alleviating indigestion and diarrhea.