Efficacy and safety of Monascus purpureus Went rice in subjects with hyperlipidemia

Eur J Endocrinol. 2005 Nov;153(5):679-86. doi: 10.1530/eje.1.02012.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the lipid-lowering effect of Monascus purpureus Went rice on serum lipids in patients with hyperlipidemia, and to assess its safety by reporting adverse events and clinical laboratory measurements.

Design and methods: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. In all, 79 patients (aged 23-65 years) with a mean baseline low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) level of 5.28 mmol/l (203.9 mg/dl) received a twice daily dose of placebo or Monascus purpureus Went rice (600 mg) for 8 weeks.

Results: At week 8, Monascus purpureus Went rice therapy reduced LDL-C by 27.7%, total cholesterol by 21.5%, triglycerides by 15.8% and apolipoprotein B by 26.0%. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I levels were increased by 0.9 and 3.4% respectively (not significant). No patient in the Monascus purpureus Went rice treatment group had an alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or creatine phosphokinase (CPK) measurement that was > or = 3 times the upper limit of normal at week 4 and week 8.

Conclusion: Monascus purpureus Went rice significantly reduced LDL-C, total cholesterol, triglycerides and apolipoprotein B levels, and was well tolerated in patients with hyperlipidemia. However, this study only provides data from an 8-week trial and long-term safety and efficacy data are needed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apolipoproteins B / blood
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fermentation*
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / blood
  • Hyperlipidemias / diet therapy*
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional* / adverse effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Monascus / physiology*
  • Oryza / adverse effects
  • Oryza / metabolism*
  • Oryza / microbiology*
  • Safety
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol