June 17, 2009
PHILADELPHIA—Red yeast rice and therapeutic lifestyle change decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level without increasing creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) or pain levels, and may be a treatment option for dyslipidemic patients who cannot tolerate statin therapy (Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(12):830-39). In the randomized controlled trial, 62 patients with dyslipidemia and history of discontinuation of statin therapy due to myalgias were assigned by random allocation software to receive 1,800 mg of red yeast rice,(31 patients) or placebo (31 patients) twice daily for 24 weeks. All patients were concomitantly enrolled in a 12-week therapeutic lifestyle change program.
In the red yeast rice group, LDL cholesterol decreased by 1.11 mmol/L from baseline at week 12 and by 0.90 mmol/L at week 24. In the placebo group, LDL cholesterol decreased by 0.28 mmol/L at week 12 and by 0.39 mmol/L at week 24. LDL cholesterol level was significantly lower in the red yeast rice group than in the placebo group at both weeks 12 (P<0.001) and 24 (P=0.011). Significant treatment effects were also observed for total cholesterol level at weeks 12 (P<0.001) and 24 (P=0.016). Levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglyceride, liver enzyme or CPK; weight loss; and pain severity scores did not significantly differ between groups at either week 12 or week 24.
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