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.
Following this opinion, the European Commission issued its position in March 2020: it intends to ban monacolin K in Europe starting in 2021 (at daily doses of ≥3 mg and placed under EU scrutiny at lower doses). This decision is not yet official, but it will most likely be implemented according to Synadiet.
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.
EFSA, 2018: https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5368
Synadiet, flash info, March 2020: http://www.synadiet.org/