HealthDay News – For statin-intolerant patients with dyslipidemia with ischemic heart disease treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), nutraceuticals alone or in combination with ezetimibe improve the lipid profile, according to a study published in the December 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Giuseppe Marazzi, MD, PhD, from the Istituto di Ricerca a Carattere Scientifico San Raffaele Pisana in Rome, and colleagues conducted a randomized, prospective study comparing the safety and efficacy of a combination of nutraceuticals (red yeast rice, policosanol, berberine, folic acid, coenzyme Q10, and astaxanthin) and ezetimibe for 3 months. Patients who did not achieve their therapeutic target could add the alternative treatment for an additional 12 months. The authors enrolled 100 patients who were dyslipidemic with ischemic heart disease treated with PCI (50 to nutraceuticals and 50 to ezetimibe).

The researchers found that 14 patients in the nutraceutical group and none in the ezetimibe group achieved their therapeutic target (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol <100 mg/dL) after 3 months. The therapeutic goal was reached by 72.8% of the combined therapy group and by 100% of the nutraceutical group at 1-year follow-up. There were no reports of important undesirable effects.

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“Nutraceuticals alone or in combination with ezetimibe are well tolerated and improve the lipid profile in statin-intolerant patients with coronary heart disease,” the authors wrote. “Further studies are needed to assess long-term effects of nutraceuticals on mortality.”


Marazzi G, Pelliccia F, Campolongo G, et al. Usefulness of nutraceuticals (armolipid plus) versus ezetimibe and combination in statin-intolerant patients with dyslipidemia with coronary heart disease. Am J Cardiol. 2015;116(12):1798-1801. doi: