Effects of xuezhikang, an extract of cholestin, on lipid profile and C-reactive protein: a short-term time course study in patients with stable angina

Jian-Jun Li, Sheng-Shou Hu, Chun-Hong Fang, Rui-Tai Hui, Li-Fu Miao, Yue-Jin Yang, Run-Lin Gao
Clinica Chimica Acta; International Journal of Clinical Chemistry 2005, 352 (1): 217-24

BACKGROUND: Reduction of cholesterol and inflammation can be achieved by administration of a statin. Xuezhikang, an extract of cholestin, available from Chinese red yeast rice, could effectively modify the lipid profile. However, limited information is available regarding rapid effects of Xuezhikang on plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) and the lipid profile in patients with stable angina. We evaluated the short-term time course effects of lipid profile and CRP by Xuezhikang in patients with stable angina.

METHODS: Forty-eight consecutive patients with stable angina were randomly assigned to 1200 or 2400 mg/day of Xuezhikang. Blood samples were drawn at days 0, 1, 7 and 14 for lipid profile and CRP levels in all patients, and hepatic enzymes were also evaluated at days 0 and 14.

RESULTS: Both doses of Xuezhikang induced significant reductions in median CRP levels and in mean CRP levels at day 1 (13.0% with 1200 and 16.6% with 2400 mg/day; 14.7% with 1200 and 18.4% with 2400 mg/day), and at day 7 (18.3% with 1200 and 20.2% with 2400 mg/day; 18.5% with 1200 and 22.6% with 2400 mg/day) as well as at day 14 (28.6% with 1200 and 30.4% with 2400 mg/day; 21.7% with 1200 and 24.8% with 2400 mg/day) compared with baseline without a dose-dependent effect but a time-dependent manner. In addition, no changes were found at days 1 and 7 regarding lipid profile. However, both doses of Xuezhikang induced significant reductions in total cholesterol (TC, 13% and 22%), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (23% and 32%) compared with baseline at day 14. The higher dose of Xuezhikang (2400 mg/day) resulted in significantly greater reductions in TC and LDL cholesterol compared with 1200 mg/day group (p<0.05, p<0.01, respectively). A less significant reduction was observed in triglycerides (TG) level (13% and 23%) compared with TC and LDL cholesterol. There was no significant difference in mean high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels compared with baseline in both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Xuezhikang resulted in rapid reduction of CRP within 24 h and lipid profile within 2 weeks, which may be clinically important for patients with coronary artery disease.

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