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Background: Several lipid ratios may be predictors of coronary artery disease risk. We assessed the efficacy of Monascus purpureus Went rice (red yeast rice) on lowering lipid ratios.

Method and results: We evaluated 79 hypercholesterolemic patients (aged 23-65 years) who received a twice-daily dose of either red yeast rice or a placebo at 600 mg for 8 weeks. The 8-week treatment with red yeast rice showed significantly greater reduction than the placebo treatment in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein B/apolipoprotein A-I ratios.

Conclusions: Red yeast rice can reduce lipid ratios in hypercholesterolemic patients.

(C) 2007 European Society of Cardiology