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Atherosclerosis. 2013 May;228(1):198-202. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Low dose chromium-polynicotinate or policosanol is effective in hypercholesterolemic children only in combination with glucomannan.

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Lipid Research, Dipartimento di Pediatria e Neuropsichiatria Infantile, Sapienza Università di Roma, Rome, Italy.



A low-fat, fiber-rich diet is the first step in the management for hypercholesterolemic children. Glucomannan (GM) is a natural fiber that has been demonstrated to lower total and LDL-cholesterol. The use of high-dose chromium-polynicotinate (CP) and policosanol (PC) has also shown cholesterol-lowering benefits. We aimed at investigating the effects of low-dose CP or PC and their GM combination in hypercholesterolemic children.


A double-blind trial was conducted in 120 children (60 M, 60 F, 9 ± 4 years, median 9.6 years, range: 3-16 years) randomly assigned to 5 neutraceutical and 1 placebo (only resistant starch) 8-week treatment groups. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), total cholesterol (CholT), triglycerides (TG), HDL and LDL cholesterol were considered.


GM combination of low-dose CP or PC reduced CholT and LDL without changing HDL, TG and FBG. The highest post-treatment changes were seen after GM combination with CP (CholT 85 ± 3% and LDL 85 ± 5%, of pretreatment) which was significantly (p < 0.01) less than with low-dose CP or PC and starch. When GM was associated with starch, there was no lipid lowering effect, which was an unexpected finding as compared to previous data with GM and no starch. No adverse effects were reported.


This is the first report to show the cholesterol-lowering efficacy of GM combined treatment with low-dose CP or PC. Further studies are needed to investigate the best combinations and doses of nutraceutics to be added to the standard GM treatment. The potential negative association of GM and nutraceutics with starch is clearly shown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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