SCIMAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIMAT / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Red yeast rice results from fermenting regular rice with a fungus Monascus purpureus. The fungus partially digests the rice starch granules and produces naturally occurring statins, i.e., substances known to inhibit the production of cholesterol in humans.The statins crystallise on the rice grain surface. Thus, with red yeast rice, the Chinese have been ingesting statins for over a thousand years. The fungus produces Monacolin K, also known as mevinolin, which is the same active statin as the drug Lovostatin. Enhanced SEM. Image width: 80 micrometers, magnification: 1250x if the image is printed 10 cm wide.
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