The filamentous fungus ‘ Monascus’ has been used as a natural food coloring and folk medicine in East Asia for centuries. Several bioactive substances produced by Monascus species have been isolated and identified. Recent studies demonstrated their mode of action in vitro and effectiveness in vivo, and their utilization for health foods and medicine has advanced. This mini review will introduce the physiological functions and safety of bioorganic chemicals produced by Monascus species.
Keywords: Monascus, γ-aminobutyric acid, polyketide metabolites, dimerumic acid, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME, monacolins, citrinin, B-conglicinin
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