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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)