Effect of a Lipid-Lowering Nutraceutical on Pulse-Wave-Velocity in Hypercholesterolemic Patients with or without Chronic Kidney Disease

Arrigo F.G. Cicero1, *, Angelo Parini1, Martina Rosticci, Barbara Brancaleoni1, Giuseppe Derosa2, Elisa Grandi1, Claudio Borghi1
1 Medical and Surgical Sciences Dept, University of Bologna, Via Albertoni 15, 40138 Bologna, Italy
2 Internal Medicine and Therapeutics Dept., P.le Golgi, University of Pavia, Italy

© 2013 Cicero et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Medical and Surgical Sciences Department Via Albertoni 15, 40138 Bologna, Italy; Tel: ++39 3498558017; Fax: ++39 0516826125; E-mail:


The recent literature has put a large interest on nutraceuticals with lipid lowering activity for the management of moderate cholesterolemia in subjects with mildly increased cardiovascular disease risk. The aim of our study was to evaluate the middle-term effect of a combined lipid-lowering nutraceutical on lipid parameters and aortic stiffness.

For this study we consecutively enrolled 40 moderately hypercholesterolemic outpatients with mild-to-moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) and 40 cross-matched hypercholesterolemic subjects without CKD. All the patient were treated daily with a combined nutraceutical containing red yeast rice (3 mg monacolin K) and berberine (500 mg). At the baseline and after 6 months of treatment we measured blood pressure, pulse wave velocity (PWV) and ematochemistry parameters.

No significant change has been observed during the study in both groups regarding body mass index, blood pressure, liver transaminases, creatinin-phosfokinase and eGFR.

In non CKD patients TC improved by (-21,6%), LDL-Cholesterol by (-24,2%), non HDL-Cholesterol (-24,0%) and TG (- 20,8%).

In CKD patients TC improved by (-21,1%), LDL-Cholesterol by (-23,7%), non HDL-Cholesterol (-23,9%) and TG (- 20,4%).

No difference among groups has been observed regarding the effects on lipid metabolism.

The PWV has significantly improved in both groups (p<0.01) without differences between groups.

In summary, a combined lipid-lowering nutraceutical improved lipid pattern and PWV in both non CKD and mild-tomoderate CKD patients.

Keywords: Arterial stiffness, Berberine, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dietary supplements, Nutraceuticals, Pulse Wave Velocity, Red Yeast Rice.