Reply To: Acupuncture / Traditional Chinese Medicine?

October 22, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Both Western meds and TCMs are known to have side effects. Good grief, what doesn’t? This morning I received my Mayo Clinic Health letter. In it was an article about Cholesterol-lowering supplements. Not your subject, directly, I know.

First, the link to the letter:

Second, to my point, taken from the letter: “Red yeast Red yeast is fermented rice that’s cultivated using a species of red mold. The Chinese have used it for centuries for medicinal purposes, as well as to flavor, color and preserve foods and beverages.

Benefits: Some products containing red yeast rice have monacolin K, which is the same cholesterol-lowering ingredient (emphasis is mine, the same ingredient!) found in the drug lovastatin (Mevacor, Altoprev).
Possible side effects: There is no way of knowing how much monacolin K is present in products containing red yeast rice. Some products also contain citrinin, a toxin that has been linked to kidney failure. Side effects of lovastatin, such as muscle pain and liver toxicity, may also apply to red yeast rice.”

In fact, for a few years the import of red rice yeast was prohibited. “Court Reverses FDA Decision to Ban Import of Red Yeast Rice Product CholestinT June 17, 1998: Boulder, CO”

The problem is, that without USP (USP Verified dietary supplements are products that have been voluntarily submitted to the USP Dietary Supplement Verification Program and have successfully met the program’s stringent testing and auditing criteria) you will never really know, you can only accept on faith, that the providers of your “meds” are reliable and that’s a big risk. One example from recent Chinese history- Melatonin added to Milk, yes even baby formula, to raise the apparent protein levels.

Of course, some Chinese supplements are well known and Government controlled, same as in this country. And the anti-cancer properties of certain mushrooms seem to be well accepted in the US and in Japan. I just read an NIH study yesterday regarding the Coriolus mushroom.