An open-label study on the short-term effects of a novel EFSA-compliant nutraceutical combination in mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia

Document Type : Short communication


1 Studio Minoretti, Oggiono (LC), Italy

2 Department of Environment, Earth and Physical Sciences, University of Siena, Siena, Italy

3 2E Science, Robbio (PV), Italy


Objective: Recently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has recommended to limit the use of total monacolins in red yeast rice (RYR) products to a dose <3 mg/day. However, data concerning the lipid lowering efficacy of the reduced dosage remain limited. A monacolin dose reduced due to safety issues may be expected to be less effective as a lipid lowering strategy and, for this reason, nutraceutical combinations with other active compounds may offer a viable solution as they can act synergistically through different mechanisms.
Materials and Methods: This 8-week open-label study was designed to investigate the safety and efficacy of a novel ESFA-compliant lipid lowering nutraceutical combination (Colestarmony Plus®; containing total monacolins from RYR at a dose of 2.9 mg/day, a highly bioavailable berberine formulation, and pomegranate extract) in subjects (n=40) with mild-to-moderate hypercholesterolemia and no history of cardiovascular disease.
Results: After 8 weeks of supplementation, Colestarmony Plus® significantly reduced total cholesterol (−10.4%, p<0.05), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (−14.8%, p<0.05), oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (−12.0%, p<0.05), and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (−14.0%, p<0.05) compared with baseline values. A subgroup of 22 patients underwent measurements of flow-mediated dilation, with values increasing by 18.0% at 8 weeks with respect to baseline (p<0.05). The supplement was generally well-tolerated.
Conclusion: Our short-term results indicate that the tested ESFA-compliant nutraceutical is effective in a primary prevention setting, even by providing only <3 mg/day of monacolins.