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Low daily dose of 3 mg monacolin K from RYR reduces the concentration of LDL-C in a randomized, placebo-controlled intervention

Heinz, Tina, Schuchardt, Jan Philipp, Möller, Katharina, Hadji, Peyman, Hahn, Andreas
Nutrition research 2016 v.36 no.10 pp. 1162-1170
blood lipids, cardiovascular diseases, cholesteremic effect, cholesterol, folic acid, homocysteine, hypercholesterolemia, lovastatin, placebos, red yeast rice, risk factors
Hypercholesterolemia and elevated homocysteine concentrations are associated with cardiovascular risk. Previous studies have demonstrated a cholesterol-lowering effect of red yeast rice (RYR) supplements which contained 5 to 10 mg of monacolin K. We hypothesized that the intake of a low monacolin K dose may likewise reduce low-density lipoprotein–cholesterol (LDL-C) and other plasma lipids. In secondary analyses, we tested the homocysteine lowering effect of folic acid, which was also included in the study preparation. Therefore, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled intervention study. One hundred forty-two nonstatin-treated participants with hypercholesterolemia (LDL-C ≥ 4.14 ≤ 5.69 mmol/L) were randomized to the supplement group with RYR or the placebo group. Participants of the supplement group consumed 3 mg monacolin K and 200 μg folic acid per day. A significant (P < .001) reduction of LDL-C (−14.8%), total cholesterol (−11.2%), and homocysteine (−12.5%) was determined in the supplement group after 12 weeks. A total of 51% of the participants treated with RYR achieved the limit of LDL-C <4.14 mmol/L advised and 26% reached the threshold level of homocysteine <10 μmol/L. No significant changes were exhibited within the placebo group. Other parameters remained unchanged and no intolerances or serious adverse events were observed. In conclusion, we demonstrated that a low dose of daily 3 mg monacolin K from RYR reduces the concentration of LDL-C; a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.