The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

    Effect of Xuezhikang after a heart attack

    Xuezhikang (XZK) is an extract from red yeast Chinese rice.

    In this study by the Chinese Coronary Secondary Prevention Study Group, Chinese patients with heart disease taking XZK had fewer heart complications.

    First, the details.

    • 4,870 patients with a history of heart attack were randomly assigned to two 300 mg capsules of XZK or matching placebo over about 4.5 years.
    • 56% had high blood pressure, and 13% had diabetes.
    • Average lipid values
      • LDL (bad) cholesterol was 129 mg/dL (normal 62 – 130)
      • HDL (good) cholesterol was 46 mg/dL (normal 35 – 135)
      • Triglycerides 163.9 mg/dL (0 – 200)
    • The primary end point was a major coronary event — nonfatal heart attack and death from coronary heart disease (narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart).

    And, the results.

    • Frequencies of the major coronary events were 10% with placebo group and 6% in the XZK-treated group
    • Treatment with XZK also significantly decreased cardiovascular and total mortality by 30% and 33%, respectively.
    • The need for coronary revascularization decreased by 1/3.
    • LDL and total cholesterol went down, and HDL cholesterol went up.
    • No significant side effects were reported.

    The bottom line?
    XZK is an extract of Chinese red yeast rice. Lovastatin (Mevacor), the first statin approved in the United States, occurs naturally in certain forms of red yeast rice that are made when the rice is cultivated with the mold Monascus purpureus.

    The results here are similar to what might be found in a lovastatin study. However, the authors observed that “outcomes noted in this trial are greater than those reported with the use of statins in mainly Caucasian patients.”

    Do Asian patients respond differently than Caucasians?

    There’s more to learn about XZK and the other components in XZK.

    7/21/08 21:34 JR

    Leave a Comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment.