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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 892697, 11 pages
Research Article

Study of the Effects of Monacolin K and Other Constituents of Red Yeast Rice on Obesity, Insulin-Resistance, Hyperlipidemia, and Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Using a Mouse Model of Metabolic Syndrome

1Department of Japanese Oriental Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Toyama 930-0194, Japan
2Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Toyama 930-0194, Japan
3School of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City 24205, Taiwan
4Department of Hyperbaric Medicine, Cardinal Tien Hospital, Hsintien, Taipei County 231, Taiwan
5Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 333, Taiwan
6Graduate Institute of Life Sciences, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei 114, Taiwan
7Department of Environment and Humanity, Faculty of Human Development, University of Toyama, Toyama 930-8555, Japan

Received 29 August 2012; Accepted 1 December 2012

Academic Editor: Elisabet Stener-Victorin

Copyright © 2012 Makoto Fujimoto 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.


Purpose. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a progressive and intractable disease associated with metabolic syndrome. Red yeast rice (RYR) contains monacolin K, a potent inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, and its consumption decreases cholesterol and triglyceride levels. We examined the efficacy of RYR constituents using a novel metabolic syndrome-NAFLD mouse model (MSG mice). Methods. Two types of RYR grown under different culture conditions were used. 1P-DU contained only 0.002 g/100 g of monacolin K, whereas 3P-D1 contained 0.131 g/100 g. MSG mice were divided into three groups: control (C) group fed standard food, RYR-C group fed standard food with 1% 1P-DU, and RYR-M group fed standard food with 1% 3P-D1. Mice were examined from 12 to 24 weeks of age. Results. Serum insulin, leptin, and liver damage as well as macrophage aggregation in visceral fat in RYR-C and RYR-M groups were lower than those in C group. The serum adiponectin levels in RYR-C group were significantly higher than those in RYR-M and C groups. Conclusions. RYR was effective against obesity-related inflammation, insulin resistance, and NAFLD in MSG mice irrespective of monacolin K levels. GABA and various peptides produced during fermentation were determined as the active constituents of RYR.