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Red Yeast Rice with Ankascin-568RTM

Cholesterol Lowering Without the Side-Effects

Simply put…

Yeast Rice with Ankascin-568R for the effective lowing of cholesterol levels without the side effects of statins. The mechanism of Ankascin-568R:

  • Effectively reduces total cholesterol levels
  • Reduces ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels
  • Increases ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels, and
  • Does not reduce CoQ10 levels or cause the toxic side-effects associated with statins (e.g. monacolin K)

High Blood Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a sterol obtained from animal fat and synthesized in the liver. It is a key component of cell membranes, accounting for 10%-50% of membrane lipids (fats). There are two types of cholesterol  that  are typically referenced when discussing health: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), referred to as ’good’ cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), referred to as ’bad’ cholesterol. Cardiovascular issues arise when there are abnormally high levels of total cholesterol in the blood, and when there is an imbalance of LDL and HDL cholesterol (high LDL:HDL ratio). This imbalance can result in the formation of plaques, which are fatty deposits of cholesterol that build up along blood vessels, narrowing the blood vessels. Blood vessel narrowing (stenosis) increases a person’s risk of heart disease. The  ideal  outcome  of  the  management of high blood cholesterol is the reduction of  a  person’s  risk  of  heart  disease. This is achieved through the lowering of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and with an improvement in the level of HDL cholesterol (increased HDL:LDL ratio).

The prevalence of high blood cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) is at a global all time high. In a  recent  report  published  by Canadian Health Measures Survey,  it  was reported that 38% of Canadian adults over the age of 18 have a high total blood cholesterol (1). Generally, lifestyle changes such as healthier eating, increased exercise, weight loss, and smoking cessation are encouraged before patients are given medication. However, depending on the rate of progress, dietary and lifestyle changes may not be adequate, and patients may be prescribed statins to help reduce high blood cholesterol.


Statins work by blocking the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme, which converts HMG-CoA into mevalonate, a building block of cholesterol (see Figure 1). Although statin medications have a great deal of research to support their use and ability to lower cholesterol levels, there are some problems associated with prolonged  usage.  First, the action of statins is not specific to LDL cholesterol, meaning that  statins  block the production of both HDL and LDL cholesterol. Therefore, statins may not address the imbalance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol – ‘good’ HDL cholesterol is vital for the production of vitamin D and various other hormones. Additionally, the levels of co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a co-enzyme that contributes to proper energy production in the body, is also affected by statins. CoQ10 levels are often diminished during statin treatment because, like cholesterol, CoQ10 is synthesized from mevalonate (Figure 1). Patients on long-term statin treatment may also suffer from muscle pain and weakness, liver damage, poor memory and confusion. As such, safer, natural alternatives are needed.

Traditional Red Yeast Rice Products

Red yeast rice (RYR)  is  the  name  given  to rice that has been fermented with the yeast Monascus purpureus,  and  is  used  in traditional Chinese medicine to lower cholesterol. The active ingredient in most RYR  products  is  monacolin  K  (MK).  MK  is chemically identical to the statin drug lovastatin (Mevacor®; Merc) and works by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase (a similar mechanism to that shown in Figure 1). As such, traditional RYR may cause similar toxic side-effects as those associated with statin usage. Regulatory bodies (Health Canada and the FDA) have stipulated that any product that contains more than 12 ppm of MK is to be considered a prescription drug. Despite this, many if not all RYR supplements on the market contain levels of MK that are above the regulated limit.

Furthermore, studies have shown up to one third of all RYR products on the market contain citrinin, a compound that is toxic to kidneys (nephrotoxic).

AOR’s RYR with Ankascin- 568RTM

AOR has launched a revolutionary Red Yeast Rice (RYR) product that is clinically superior to all others on the market and addresses the safety issues associated with RYR that contains MK and citrinin. AOR’s RYR is formulated to contain patent-protected Ankascin-568RTM, which is produced using a conventional RYR fermentation process, but, unlike other RYR products, a patented extraction process removes the toxic byproducts MK and citrinin. Therefore, AOR’s RYR is the world’s first RYR product that is certified to be free of MK and citrinin, and therefore is completely compliant with Health Canada and FDA regulations.

Instead of MK and citrinin, the patented Ankascin-568RTM formulation contains the active ingredients ankaflavin and monascin. In hamsters fed a high cholesterol diet for six weeks, these potent active ingredients have been shown to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol without negatively affecting the level of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. In fact, Ankascin-568R increased HDL levels, while MK decreased HDL levels. It has also been shown that Ankascin-568RTM does not affect the levels of creatine phosphokinase (a marker of muscle damage), in contrast to MK which elevates creatine phosphokinase activity. Finally, pathological examination of the liver of hamsters fed high fat and fructose diets revealed that  Ankascin-568R supplementation reduced lipid accumulation in the liver and effectively lowered blood glucose and insulin concentrations (2). To the best of our knowledge, no study has  reported  any toxic side-effects due to Ankascin-568R supplementation. Thus, AOR’s revolutionary RYR with Ankascin-568RTM has superior benefits, such as the reduction of  total  and LDL cholesterol and increase in HDL cholesterol without any of the toxic side- effects associated with other RYR products or statin drugs.

Figure 1.
Mechanism of Action of Statins
Statins block the action of HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that converts an intermediate molecule in cho-lesterol synthesis called HGM-CoA into mevalonate. Mevalonate, also an intermediate molecule, is a building block of both cholesterol and co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10). Therefore, blocking the action of HGM-CoA reductase with statins reduces the synthesis of both cholesterol and CoQ10. Arrows represent intermediate steps in the pathway.

RYR Ankascin-568RTM: Unique Mechanism of Action

AOR’s RYR with Ankascin-568RTM may be more effective than MK and statin drugs due to its unique mechanism of action. Instead of merely reducing total cholesterol production, RYR with Ankascin-568RTM works to remove LDL cholesterol from the body. In addition to effects on cholesterol, AOR’s RYR with  Ankascin-568RTM  may also be useful in the management of the symptoms of diabetes. A study by Wang  et al. showed that in a cohort of 39 patients with high fasting blood glucose levels, daily supplementation with Ankascin-568RTM for 12 weeks reduced fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels more significantly than placebo (4). Other studies conducted in-house by Sunaway Biotech Ltd have shown that Ankascin-568RTM has blood pressure lowering effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats, following a single administration of RYR with Ankascin-568RTM. Ankascin-568RTM may also have neuroprotective  effects, as amyloid beta plaques (a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease), accumulating as a result of infusion of amyloid beta, were reduced when rats supplemented with RYR with Ankascin-568RTM (Sunaway Biotech Ltd, unpublished data). A small human pilot study to investigate the blood pressure and neuroprotective effects of RYR with Ankascin-568RTM is currently underway.

Table 1. Comparison of the CholesterolLowering Effects of RYR with Ankascin-568R and Statins (MK)
RYR with Ankascin-568R lowers total cholesterol levels (enhanced excretion of total cholesterol as bile acid) and specifically reduces ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol (promotion of the break-down of LDL cholesterol in the liver). Ankascin-568R also improves the ratio of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol to ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol by promoting the synthesis of HDL cholesterol in the liver. Unlike statins (MK), which block HGM-CoA reductase, Ankascin-568R does not interfere with the synthesis of CoQ10 or cause any toxic side effects.


AOR’s RYR with Ankascin-568RTM is a new, exciting, regulatory compliant formulation that:

  • Effectively reduces total cholesterol levels
  • Reduces ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels
  • Increases ‘good’ HDL cholesterol levels, and
  • Does not reduce CoQ10 levels or cause the toxic-side effects associated with statins (MK)

Key Terms

Red Yeast Rice (RYR) RYR is produced from the fermentation of rice with Monascus purpureus yeast, and is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine for the maintenance of normal cholesterol levels.

Monacolin K (MK) MK is a naturally occurring statin present in most RYR products. As it is chemically similar to a synthetic statin called Lovastatin®, MK may cause the same toxic side effects caused by statins.

RYR with Ankascin-568RTM AOR’s RYR with Ankascin-568R is a revolutionary formulation and the world’s first RYR product that is free of MK and citrinin. RYR with Ankascin-568RTM contains a combination of the active ingredients monascin and ankaflavin, which have been shown to be clinically superior to MK at lowering blood cholesterol.

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) HDL and LDL cholesterol are the two main types of cholesterol, and are often termed ‘good’ (HDL) and ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol. The ideal objective of cholesterol management is the reduction of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol with the improvement of the level of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol (increased HDL:LDL ratio).

Hypercholesterolemia Hypercholester- olemia is the term for high blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol may result in the formation of fatty deposits (plaques) in the walls of blood vessels, resulting in the narrowing (stenosis) of the blood vessel, the obstruction of blood flow, and an elevated risk for heart disease.

Statins Statins are a class of drugs commonly prescribed for the management of high blood cholesterol. The mechanism of action of statins is shown in Figure 1.


1. Statistics Canada. Cholesterol levels of adults, 2012 to 2013. article/14122-eng.htm Accessed: 4th May 2017.

2. Lee et al. Monascin and ankaflavin have more anti-atherosclerosis effect and less side effect involving increasing creatinine phsophokinase activity than monacolin K under the same dosages. J. Agrric. Food Chem. 2013;61(1): 143–50.

3. Hsu et al. Improvements of ankaflavin isolatedfrom Monascus-fermented products on dyslipidemia in high-fat diet-induced hasmster. J. Func. Food. 2013;5(1):434-443.

4. Wang et al. A randomized, double-blind clinical study to determine the effect of ankascin 568 plus on blood glucose regulation. Journal of Food and Drug Analysis. 2016;25(2):409-416.

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