, Volume 52, Issue 8, pp 1843-1852
Date: 25 Dec 2012

Effect on LDL-cholesterol of a large dose of a dietary supplement with plant extracts in subjects with untreated moderate hypercholesterolaemia: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

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To determine the effect of 4 weeks of supplementation, then, withdrawal of a dietary supplement (DS) containing red yeast rice extract, policosanol and artichoke leaf extract at twice the recommended daily dose (6 tablets, 6-TAB) compared to the usual dose (3-TAB) or to a placebo (PLA), on blood lipid profiles and safety biomarkers.


Forty-five healthy subjects (15 per group), with untreated hypercholesterolaemia, were included in this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.


After 4 weeks of supplementation, LDL-C was significantly lower in 6-TAB (−0.21 g/l; 95 % CI −0.38 to −0.03 g/l; p = 0.0217) and 3-TAB (−0.25 g/l; 95 % CI −0.42 to −0.07 g/l; p = 0.0071) compared to PLA, although no difference in LDL-cholesterol was observed between the two groups, while no effect was seen on triacylglycerol and HDL-cholesterol. Four weeks after the end of supplementation, no difference in LDL-C was seen between the PLA group and the DS-treated groups. The muscle breakdown biomarkers, as well as biomarkers of liver and renal function, were altered by neither dose of the DS. Acute application of the DS on permeabilised skeletal muscle fibres of rats did not induce deleterious effects on mitochondrial function.


Supplementation with twice the recommended dose of the DS was effective in reducing LDL-cholesterol and appeared safe, but according to the present results, no additional benefit could be achieved compared to the recommended dose.

This trial has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT01354340.