The purpose of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel comparison study was to evaluate the lipid-lowering effect of orally administrated nattokinase and nattokinase combined with red yeast rice (RYR) extract on blood lipids in patients with hyperlipidemia. A total of 47 patients with hyperlipidemia were assigned to one of three groups: 1. nattokinase-mono formula (50 mg/capsule), 2. combined formula of nattokinase with RYR (300 mg of extract/capsule) and 3. placebo. Subjects received a twice daily dose of two capsules for six months. The mono formula showed no effects on blood lipids until month six, while the combined formula ameliorated all of measured lipids starting from month one. In the combined group significant decreases were found with regard to: triglycerides (TG) by 15%, total cholesterol (TC) by 25%, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 41%, TC/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio by 29.5%, and increases in HDL-C by 7.5%. These changes were sustained until the end of study. After controlling for baseline levels, only the combined group, but not mono group, showed a significant difference (p<0.0001) in TC, LDL-C and TC/HDL-C ratio when compared with the placebo group. In summary, this study provides long-term efficacy of nattokinase supplementation and shows that the combined formula has relatively more potent effects than the mono formula on lowering of blood lipids, suggesting that combined nattokinase with RYR will be a better neutraceutical for patients with hyperlipidemia than nattokinase alone.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00749801.