Red yeast rice, cholesterol and hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism and elevated cholesterol often go
hand in hand, and as you may have noticed, there are
TONS of supplements out there that claim to be the
answer to lowering cholesterol naturally but, are they
all good for you?

Here is a question we got from Barbara which will help
us answer this, and cover options to lower cholesterol

I am hypothyroid and was following a hypothyroid diet,
eating a lot of protein, and feeling pretty good. My
thyroid levels are good now, I take Amour Thyroid but
my cholesterol has gone up. My doc wants to put me
on a statin which I don’t want to take so I have cut
way back on the animal fat and I am taking Red yeast
rice, coQ10 and fish oil but I have started feeling
bad again and having some symptoms like I was when my
thyroid was off. Can any of these things I am taking
have adverse affects on my thyroid and what do you do
to eat for your thyroid and keep you cholesterol under

Thank you, Barbara

Well, Barbara, the answer is yes. One of the things
you’re taking may be causing those symptoms and that
is the Red yeast rice.

For centuries, this ingredient has been used in China
as a food and a medicinal product to lower cholesterol,
the “bad” one (because it may act like statins), to
promote blood circulation and improve problems of
digestion BUT, it’s been found that it’s not safe for
people under 20 years old, people with liver disease,
kidney problems, thyroid and musculoskeletal disorders.

Although side effects of this ingredient are not common
they can appear and include:

Dizziness, muscle aches and weakness, headache, stomach
ache, bloating and gas, and heartburn – many of them
symptoms of hypothyroidism.

One more thing…

Considering that Red yeast rice acts like statins, it
also can lower the amount of Coenzyme Q10 in your body
and as a result you may experience fatigue, muscle aches,
and even muscle damage. You’re supplementing with
Coenzyme Q10 but it may be that it’s not enough to
counteract the effect of the Red yeast rice.

So… what natural options do you have to lower cholesterol

We’d like to suggest diet, exercise, and other natural
remedies that have shown to be OK for people with low
thyroid function such as supplements containing beta
sitosterol, an ayurvedic herb called guggul, which can
help boost thyroid function and at the same time reduce
cholesterol levels, vitamin E, vitamins B6, B12, and
folic acid.

Although vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid don’t have a
direct effect on cholesterol, they help lower homocysteine
levels, which has been linked with elevated cholesterol

If you want to try guggul, we suggest that you consult
a good naturopath to determine it’s OK for you… this
substance may raise the blood pressure and since it’s
quite powerful should be taken with proper guidance.

Many times diet, exercise and the help of the right
supplement is all you need to solve the problem of high

Cholesterol is a topic we address in a chapter of
The Hypothyroid Diet book by the way. We do it because
there are many myths around it… most people blame
high bad cholesterol on all fats BUT not all fats are
evil, and they are not the only ones that can elevate
LDL or “bad” cholesterol!

Consult a natural health care practitioner, adjust
your diet again, and regularly shake the body with
any exercise you do enjoy :)

Give your body a chance to find balance naturally and
you’ll see that it can be done.

To your health and joy,


P.S. Fish oil is good… a wonderful healthy fat! And
it’s not the only one considered healthy.


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  • star says:

    If you want to lower your cholesterol try putting cinnamon in stuff [ i add to my coffee ] works like a charm wil take a while but it works . Dont eat fast foods like french fries etc as they dont use good oils to fry in . i too have thyroid problems last TSH was 31.02 or something back in 2008 it was 41.09 or here abouts so i brought it down some using iodine when i can get it [ insurance doesnt pay for that ] so you dont need satins to bring it down just change your diet and use cinnamon in stuff even like oatmeal , pies , coffee, tea , it also will help your blood sugar if you are diabeatic .

  • annetta says:

    I am going to try the cinnamon. I eat oatameal almost everyday. I am currently taking Armour Thyroid, but I think it need to be adjusted because I am feeling worse than before. I am also going to try taking armour 2 times a day, I normally take it before I go to bed in order to wake up energized. Help me…..

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