Effect of red yeast rice combined with antioxidants on lipid pattern, hs-CRP level, and endothelial function in moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects.
Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2016 ;12:281-6. Epub 2016 Feb 23. PMID: 26966368
Arrigo F G Cicero
Our aim was to test, through a crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial, if a short-term treatment with 10 mg monacolins combined with antioxidants could improve lipid pattern, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), and endothelial function in a small cohort of moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects. Thus, 25 healthy, moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects were consecutively enrolled and, after 4 weeks of stabilization diet, were randomized to the sequence placebo followed by a washout, monacolins or monacolins followed by a washout, placebo, with each period being 4 weeks long. At each study step, a complete lipid pattern, safety parameters, hs-CRP, and endothelial function have been measured. When compared to the placebo phase, during monacolin treatment, patients experienced a more favorable percentage change in total cholesterol (TC) (TC after monacolin treatment, -18.35%; TC after placebo treatment, -5.39%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (LDL after monacolin treatment, -22.36%; LDL after placebo treatment, -1.38%), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (non-HDL after monacolin treatment, -22.83%; non-HDL after placebo treatment: -7.15%), hs-CRP (hs-CRP after monacolin treatment: -2.33%; hs-CRP after placebo treatment, 2.11%), and endothelial function (pulse volume displacement after monacolin treatment, 18.59%; pulse volume displacement after placebo treatment, -6.69%). No significant difference was observed with regard to triglycerides, HDL-cholesterol, and safety parameters. On the basis of our data, we could demonstrate that a 10 mg monacolin nutraceutical treatment appears to safely reduce cholesterolemia, hs-CRP, and markers of vascular remodeling in moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects. These results need to be confirmed in larger patient samples and in studies with longer duration.