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Leeds Enterprise Partnership Award £90,000 Research Grant to Ilkley Nutritional Company                                                                                                                                                                 

As part of an Innovation project undertaken by Biomedical Nutrition Limited, the Leeds Enterprise Partnership has awarded £90,000 towards the total project cost of £200,000.

Cardio-K a food supplement product developed by Ilkley based Biomedical Nutrition to maintain healthy cholesterol levels is now undergoing further research and clinical trials. The research will be investigating how Cardio-K reduces cholesterol without the onset of Myopathy (Muscle Pain, Weakness & Fatigue).

The main ingredient of Cardio-K is Red Yeast Rice Extract, the active ingredient of Red Yeast Rice is Monacolin K. Independent trials already submitted to the European Food Safety Authority have proven Monacolin K does reduce cholesterol, a reduction in LDL levels of between 22%- 26% can be achieved.

Clinically Proven: Two human studies (Heber et al.,1999; Lin et al., 2005) investigated the effect of red yeast rice preparations with known monacolin K content on total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations. 

In brief Study 1: shows a reduction of 22% on the LDL levels for the treatment group from baseline, compared with only 3% from the placebo group.  Study 2: Shows an LDL reduction in the treatment group of 26% Vs 1.4% for the placebo group.

However, further research into this will determine why Cardio-K reduces cholesterol without the onset of Myopathy.  

Red Yeast Rice Extract is made by fermenting a type of yeast (Monascus purpureus) over rice, which contains naturally occurring substances called Monacolins.  Monacolins, particularly one called lovastatin, sometimes referred to as Monacolin K, is believed to be converted in the body to a substance that inhibits MHG-CoA reductase, the enzyme that triggers cholesterol production. Working in much the same way as a prescription statin would work by reducing the amount of cholesterol the liver makes.

Co Enzyme Q10 – another ingredient contained in Cardio-k is a naturally occurring nutrient found in each cell of the body. In addition to playing a significant role in the energy system of each of our cells, CoQ10 is also believed to have antioxidant properties and may play a role in heart health.

We asked Dr Mike Clark a retired GP for his general views on Monacolin K.

Q: What would you say the differences are between a prescription statin and a naturally occurring statin like Monacolin K  A: Naturally occurring substances tend to have better side effect profiles than prescription drugs, for a number of possible reasons. Probably the most important is that they have not been isolated, they tend to have a gentler action on biological systems. Maybe the associated constituents moderate their action in vivo, but nobody really understands why herbals or naturally occurring substances behave in this way.

Q:Do you think Monacolin K is as effective as some of the most commonly prescribed satins? A: I am sure that it is. If it is better tolerated, then it will be even better, as a prescribed drug is of no use if not tolerated, no matter how effective it is theoretically.

Cardio-K is a one a day formulation available in pack size 30 capsules retailing at £8.99 from leading health food stores, pharmacies and online at

Further product information is available at

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