PLoS One. 2014 Jun 4;9(6):e98611. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098611. eCollection 2014.
A meta-analysis of red yeast rice: an effective and relatively safe alternative approach for dyslipidemia
To explore whether red yeast rice is a safe and effective alternative approach for dyslipidemia.
Pubmed, the Cochrane Library, EBSCO host, Chinese VIP Information (VIP), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), Wanfang Databases were searched for appropriate articles. Randomized trials of RYR (not including Xuezhikang and Zhibituo) and placebo as control in patients with dyslipidemia were considered. Two authors read all papers and independently extracted all relevant information. The primary outcomes were serum total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglyceride (TG), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The secondary outcomes were increased levels of alanine transaminase, aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase, creatinine and fasting blood glucose.
A total of 13 randomized, placebo-controlled trials containing 804 participants were analyzed. Red yeast rice exhibited significant lowering effects on serum TC [WMD = -0.97 (95% CI: -1.13, -0.80) mmol/L, P<0.001], TG [WMD = -0.23 (95% CI: -0.31, -0.14) mmol/L, P<0.001], and LDL-C [WMD = -0.87 (95% CI: -1.03, -0.71) mmol/L, P<0.001] but no significant increasing effect on HDL-C [WMD = 0.08 (95% CI: -0.02, 0.19) mmol/L, P = 0.11] compared with placebo. No serious side effects were reported in all trials.
The meta-analysis suggests that red yeast rice is an effective and relatively safe approach for dyslipidemia. However, further long-term, rigorously designed randomized controlled trials are still warranted before red yeast rice could be recommended to patients with dyslipidemia, especially as an alternative to statins.