Low dose red yeast rice with monacolin K lowers LDL cholesterol and blood pressure in Japanese with mild dyslipidemia: A multicenter, randomized trial

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Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2021 Sep;30(3):424-435. doi: 10.6133/apjcn.202109_30(3).0009.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Red yeast rice contains monacolin K, an inhibitor of cholesterol synthesis, and gamma-aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter. The daily dose of red yeast rice and monacolin K in previous studies was relatively high; therefore, there were safety concerns. We aimed to examine the effects of low daily dose red yeast rice on arteriosclerosis in patients with mild dyslipidemia.

METHODS AND STUDY DESIGN: Eighteen patients without known cardiovascular disease and unsatisfactory low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (3.96±0.19 mmol/L) controlled only by diet therapy were randomly allocated to receive low dose red yeast rice (200 mg/day) containing 2 mg monacolin K or diet therapy alone for 8 weeks. The primary outcome was the absolute change in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Secondary outcomes included total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and blood pressure.

RESULTS: Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased significantly in the red yeast rice group than in the diet therapy group (median [interquartile range]: control -0.20 [-0.62, 1.19] mmol/L vs. red yeast rice -0.96 [-1.05, -0.34] mmol/L, p=0.030). The red yeast rice group also exhibited significant decreases in total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and blood pressure. No severe treatment-related adverse effects on muscles, liver, or renal function were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: We found that patients in the red yeast rice group exhibited significant reductions in lowdensity lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and blood pressure without any recognised adverse effect. This suggests that low daily dose red yeast rice could reduce cardiovascular risk in patients with dyslipidemia.

PMID:34587702 | DOI:10.6133/apjcn.202109_30(3).0009

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