MONACOLIN K-FREE RED YEAST RICE Dr. Tzu-Ming Pan is an Emeritus Professor of Biotechnology at the National Taiwan University in Taipei. His research over many years focused on beneficial molecules produced by Monascus and many other plants and bacteria. His lab identified a strain of Monascus that did not make monacolin K, yet surprisingly was able to reduce LDL cholesterol in animal models. After several years of work, Dr. Pan and his group isolated two molecules from red yeast rice that were responsible for this cholesterol lowering effect. These molecules, named monascin and ankaflavin, are chemically very similar (see Figure 4),
When it comes to supplements, you have two basic options, natural and synthetic. There are critics and proponents of both types, so it’s important to decide for yourself which type is best for you and your lifestyle. The way to do that is to learn more about natural supplements versus synthetic supplements and how they differ.
What Are Synthetic Supplements?
Scientists will tell you that synthetic supplements are identical to vitamins and minerals found in food. Obviously, that’s impossible, since synthetic vitamins and minerals are processed in a laboratory, while natural vitamins and minerals are derived from plants. Your body can tell the difference, even if a microscope can’t. Synthetic supplements contain little or no natural ingredients. Some claim to contain 10% natural vitamins, but the rest of the ingredients will have come from a lab. The “ingredients” of synthetic supplements are chemicals that are constructed in a lab. They may look, feel and taste natural, but your body may not—probably does not—absorb synthetic supplements in the same way that your body would absorb natural supplements.
What Are Natural Supplement?
Natural supplements are concentrated vitamins and minerals derived solely from plants. While they are manufactured in a lab for sterility purposes, they are not created in a lab. Nature does the creation with natural supplements. Natural supplements are as close to nature as you can get without eating the actual plant. Natural supplements allow you to ingest concentrated amounts of vitamins and minerals. They also allow you to get vitamins and minerals from plant foods that you may not have access to, from far away places.
Why Take Natural Supplements?
Over years of depleting soil resources and poisoning the land with weed killers and pesticides, much of the growing soil has been depleted of nutrients. This means that even when you do everything in your power to eat healthy, you may not be getting the same amount of vitamins and minerals that your ancestors did when they ate the same things. It’s almost like you’re getting watered down nutrients. Natural supplements contain concentrated amounts of the same vitamins and minerals that are found in natural foods. When you supplement your diet with natural supplements, you get the actual nutrition that you should have received from eating a wholesome, plant-based diet.
How the Body Reacts to Synthetic Vitamins
One great example of this is with vitamin B2. Many people don’t get enough of this in their diet. However, natural supplements with vitamin B2 are readily absorbed by the body. The synthetic version of vitamin B2 is made with acetic acid, bacteria and nitrogen. The body has a hard time absorbing the synthetic version and much of it is passed through in bodily waste.
When taking supplements, it’s essential to choose ones that the body readily absorbs, ones that are most like eating whole foods. Only you can decide if natural or synthetic supplements are right for you. But keep the above information in mind when choosing your supplement brand.