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Effect of red yeast rice combined with antioxidants on lipid pattern, hs-CRP level, and endothelial function in moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects

Authors Cicero A, Morbini M, Parini A, Urso R, Rosticci M, Grandi E, Borghi C

Received 5 July 2015

Accepted for publication 14 January 2016

Published 23 February 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 281—286


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Hoa Le

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh

Arrigo F G Cicero, Martino Morbini, Angelo Parini, Riccardo Urso, Martina Rosticci, Elisa Grandi, Claudio Borghi

Medical and Surgical Sciences Department, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: monacolins, LDL-cholesterol, metalloproteinases, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, nutraceutical, clinical trial

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