Back to Journals » Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management » Volume 12

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

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]