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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Aug 22;55(17):7162-9. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

Red mold dioscorea has greater hypolipidemic and antiatherosclerotic effect than traditional red mold rice and unfermented dioscorea in hamsters.

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  • 1Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry, National Taiwan University, 1, Section 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Monascus-fermented red mold dioscorea (RMD) was proven to produce higher monacolin K levels than red mold rice (RMR) in our previous study. The goal of this study is to investigate whether the novel RMD had more hypolipidemic and antiatherosclerotic effect than traditional red mold rice. The daily dose of RMR for adults was recommended as 1 g, which corresponded to 96 mg/kg/day for hamsters. Therefore, high cholesterol diet-induced hyperlipidemic hamsters were daily administrated with a 0.5-fold (48 mg/kg/day), a 1-fold (96 mg/kg/day), or a 5-fold dose (480 mg/kg/day) of RMD for 8 weeks. Furthermore, a 1-fold dose of RMR (96 mg/kg/day) and unfermented dioscorea (96 mg/kg/day) were also respectively used to evaluate the effect of hypolipidemic and antiarteriosclerosis. The results indicated that only needing a 0.5-fold dose of RMD was able to significantly lower total cholesterol (by 13.78%, p<0.001), triglyceride (by 38.74%, p<0.01), and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (by 43.11%, p<0.05) as well as maintain a high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, as compared to the hyperlipidemic group. RMD including a higher monacolin K level and a dioscorea substrate was able to exhibit a more significant difference in the hypolipidemic effect than RMR or unfermented dioscorea. Both RMR and dioscorea exhibited potent in vitro antioxidative ability and in vivo protection against hypolipidemia-induced oxidative stress. Therefore, the antioxidative ability of RMD provided by Monascus metabolites (dimerumic acid, tannin, phenol, etc.) as well as dioscorea was able to perform more antiatherosclerotic effects on increasing total antioxidant status, catalase, and superoxide dismutase activity and repressing lipid peroxidation and atherosclerotic plaque than RMR and dioscorea.

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