Monacolin K is the health ingredient that red yeast rice is known for, being endorsed as a compound that helps reduce cholesterol levels.

In 2018, EFSA published its scientific opinion on the safety of monacolins in red yeast rice. EFSA concluded that the consumption of monacolin K from red yeast rice in food supplements at a use level of 10 mg/day poses a major health risk for consumers.

According to Synadiet, the European Commission’s position is now official on monacolin K. The Commission has sent a draft text to member states on which they had to position themselves before September 1, 2020: “Ban of monacolin K for doses greater than or equal to 3 mg / day and placing under Community control of doses less than 3 mg / day”. No transition period to allow for a run-off of stocks is provided for in the regulatory proposal.

This could therefore likely lead to a ban in Europe from 2021.

In this context, Lipophytol© is an interesting substitute for monacolin K with regard to cardiovascular health, based on its two cholesterol-related health claims:

1) Plant sterols contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels at a daily intake of 0.8 g;

2) Plant sterols can lower or reduce blood cholesterol levels at a daily intake of 1.5 to 2.4 g.

This health ingredient, composed of micronized, micro-encapsulated pine sterols, is authorized in food and in food supplements.

Lipophytol© contains up to 90% sterols. It is water-dispersible and available in powder form.

Lipophytol© has a special mode of action. Lipophytol© plant sterols compete with cholesterol for the formation of micelles during lipid metabolism. It thus reduces the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Two studies on animal models have demonstrated it effectiveness.

Sources:

EFSA, 2018: https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5368 
Synadiet, Sept 2020: http://www.synadiet.org/