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Research: Cholesterol

July 2010
Evaluation of the lipid lowering ability, anti-inflammatory effects and clinical safety of intensive therapy with Zhibitai, a Chinese traditional medicine.
Atherosclerosis, July 2010, Volume 211, Issue 1, pages 237-241
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the lipid lowering ability, anti-inflammatory effects and clinical safety of intensive therapy of the Chinese traditional medicine Zhibitai in subjects with moderate to high cardiovascular risk. METHODS: A total of 169 subjects (96 males and 73 females, aged 55-72) having moderate to high cardiovascular risk were recruited and randomly divided into Zhibitai group (n=85), which received 480 mg of Zhibitai orally twice daily, and atorvastatin group (n=84), which received 10 mg of atorvastatin orally once a day. Blood lipoproteins, myocardial enzymes, liver and renal functions were measured before treatment started, and after 4 and 8 weeks of the treatment. High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), P-selectin, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) were measured before and after the treatment. RESULTS: Plasma total cholesterol (TC) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were significantly decreased, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was increased in both groups, after 4 and 8 weeks of treatment (p<0.05 for all pairs). Interestingly, plasma triglycerides (TG) decreased in the Zhibitai group after 4 weeks of treatment but only decreased in the atorvastatin group after 8 weeks. Inflammatory factors such as hs-CRP, P-selectin, MMP-9 and sICAM-1 were significantly decreased in both groups after 8 weeks (p<0.01 for all pairs). Furthermore, there was no difference in myocardial enzymes, hepatic and renal function test parameters, incidence of myopathy or gastrointestinal tract symptoms in either group.
CONCLUSION: Zhibitai therapy is a good alternative to statin therapy to reduce plasma cholesterol levels in subjects with moderate to high cardiovascular risk. Most importantly, Zhibitai is safe to use.
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