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),
With integrity informing every decision, we never settle for mediocrity by ensuring complacency never takes hold. Because if it were to do just that, evolution would cease, and cutting-edge breakthroughs towards better medicine may never come to be. It is with this fierce dedication to continuous, diligent innovations, we always pave the way forward, rather than simply imitate by following others.
Because curcumin has literally hit a glass ceiling in terms of truly innovative delivery methods, AOR was inspired to challenge this and make something unique. This brings us to the next step in curcumin evolution, Curcumin Ultra®. Comprised of two truly innovative raw materials: CurQfen®, and Turmacin®, Curcumin Ultra® offers the benefits of a more whole food, truly botanical formula, while showing a significant increase in bioavailability. This is due to the addition of Turmacin®, which is comprised of highly water soluble sugar chains known as polysaccharides. AOR prioritizes free form curcumin only; thus, reporting 48x more bioavailability in its marketing material.
Kumar et al., (2016), also compared the ratio of free form curcumin to conjugated curcumin. Here, they reported 75% free form curcumin and 25% conjugated curcumin in the plasma 5 hours after administration of CurQfen® (1000 mg). This exceedingly high concentration of free form curcumin suggests that the fenugreek-curcumin complex effectively protects curcumin from rapid breakdown; thus, resulting in a fast acting, yet long lasting, highly potent effect.
While the conundrum of curcumin’s various solubility issues has been made clear, we have to take a step back and remember that the South Asian population have been using turmeric for thousands of years with effect. Indeed, not a therapeutic, drug like effect per se, but effective nonetheless. Perhaps this has more to do with accessing the synergistic constituents of the whole root, as opposed to just curcuminoids, and isolated curcumin in many cases?
Traditionally, turmeric root is boiled in water and/or milk before ingestion. With the former method, it is highly unlikely it extracts any curcuminoids, seeing they are hydrophobic. Rather, this water extraction method liberates water soluble components from turmeric, i.e. polysaccharides. Conversely, the latter method most likely yields minimal amounts of curcuminoids, with a possible increase if clarified butter is added—remember “fat loving”?
The use of Turmacin® in osteoarthritic patients has shown promising results. In a randomized, single-blind, placebo controlled trial, the effects of Turmacin® (1000 mg/day) were compared to glucosamine sulfate (1500 mg/day), a combination of Turmacin® and glucosamine (1500 mg/day), and placebo (800 mg/day) over a 42-day period. Osteoarthritis patients showed the greatest symptom improvement. This was measured by physical performance, questionnaires and clinician assessment when given Turmacin® over time. Turmacin® was well-tolerated at high doses (Madhu et al., 2013).
As you can see, there is benefit to incorporating traditional methods, while still adhering to an orthomolecular, targeted, therapeutic approach. Curcumin Ultra® combines synergistic aspects of turmeric and a full spectrum of curcuminoids, while still providing the highest free form curcumin available on the market.
Now that we have finally set the record straight, it is clear how truly complex curcumin is biologically speaking, and as the subject of research. However, now that we have taken this journey, we hope that everyone can make a truly informed decision when choosing a modern curcumin formulation. What do you want coursing through your veins? The choice is yours.
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