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Am Fam Physician. 2001;64(1):36-38

The article “Alternative Therapies: Part II. Congestive Heart Failure and Hypercholesterolemia” (September 15, 2000, page 1325) contained an error in the second sentence of the first full paragraph in the right-hand column on page 1328. The correct sentence reads as follows: “This ‘red rice yeast product’ has been used for centuries in China and contains starch, protein, fiber and at least eight statin compounds, which function as 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase inhibitors.” The abbreviation was also incorrectly expanded in Table 1. The corrected table is reprinted above.

ProductOther namesEfficacyMechanism of actionFormulationDosage/intervalSide effectsDrug interactions
Congestive heart failure (CHF)
Q10UbiquinoneModest, at bestAntioxidant; positive ionotropeLiquid, capsules100 to 200 mg per dayNone recordedNone recorded
HawthornCrataegus species, haw, may, whitethornIncomplete, but highly promising data; approved for use in Germany and Asia for mild cases of CHFVasodilatory effects; increased coronary flow; decreased peripheral resistance; ACE–inhibitor-like effectDry extracts or liquidAverage daily dosage: 5 g or 160 to 900 mg extract for a minimum a minimum of 6 weeksNone recordedMay interfere with digoxin or digoxin monitoring
Hypercholesterolemia
GarlicAllium sativum, poor man's treacleNot efficaciousNoneFresh, oil, aqueous, fermented or driedLarge quantities can cause stomach stomach complaintsNone recorded
SoyGlycine sojaProved efficacy; will decrease total cholesterol 5 to 9%, LDL 13%Estrogen-like properties; alters hepatic cholesterol metabolismExtractAverage daily dosage: 25 g soy proteinPossible occasional stomach pain loose stool and diarrheaNone recorded
CholestinWent yeast, Monascus purpureus, fermented on riceAs efficacious as commercial StatinsHMG CoA reductase inhibitorCapsules1,200 mg twice dailyPossible liver enzyme elevation and myositis; none, however, recordedSame as commercially available statins
Gugulipid/guggal gumCommiphora molmol, Arabian myrrh, Somalian myrrhPreliminary data promising; needs larger controlled studies; widely used in IndiaIncreased hepatic LDL binding sites*Extract powdered resin; concentrated tablets75 mg per dayNone recorded†None recorded

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