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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 925302, 21 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/925302
Review Article

A Review on the Traditional Chinese Medicinal Herbs and Formulae with Hypolipidemic Effect

1Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong
2State Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology (Incubation), Shenzhen 518057, China
3Longhua Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200032, China
4Xuhui District Central Hospital of Shanghai, Shanghai 200031, China
5Food Safety and Technology Research Centre, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Received 28 February 2014; Revised 4 May 2014; Accepted 10 May 2014; Published 7 July 2014

Academic Editor: Sharad S. Singhal

Copyright © 2014 Tung-Ting Sham et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hyperlipidemia, characterized by the abnormal blood lipid profiles, is one of the dominant factors of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). For the low cost, effectiveness, and fewer side effects, the popularity of using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to handle hyperlipidemia is increasing and its role in health care has been recognized by the public at large. Despite the importance of TCM herbs and formulations, there is no comprehensive review summarizing their scientific findings on handling hyperlipidemia. This review summarizes the recent experimental and clinical results of nine representative single Chinese herbs and seven classic TCM formulae that could improve lipid profiles so as to help understand and compare their underlying mechanisms. Most of single herbs and formulae demonstrated the improvement of hyperlipidemic conditions with multiple and diverse mechanisms of actions similar to conventional Western drugs in spite of their mild side effects. Due to increasing popularity of TCM, more extensive, well-designed preclinical and clinical trials on the potential synergistic and adverse side effects of herb-drug interactions as well as their mechanisms are warranted. Hyperlipidemic patients should be warned about the potential risks of herb-drug interactions, particularly those taking anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs.