Risks Of Taking Niacin
Taking too much niacin for too long may increase the risk of metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes.
This happens because when niacin is present in higher amounts in tissues, it can prevent insulin from suppressing glucose synthesis in the liver.
This leads to higher circulating levels of glucose, causing elevated blood sugar.
Taking too much niacin, well over the tolerable upper limit, can result in a severe niacin flush that could also lead to organ failure.
Niacin interacts with some medications:
- Medications to treat type 2 diabetes
- Statins and other medications designed to lower cholesterol
Niacin And Other B Vitamins In Cardiovascular Risk
Niacin is used in a variety of multivitamin supplements together with other vitamins of class B, such as thiamine , riboflavin , and pyridoxine . According to the National Institutes of Health , the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance for adults ranges between 16 and 18 mg daily . Daily intake of niacin via multivitamin supplements maximally reaches tens of milligrams, which is far below the pharmacologically active hypolipidemic dosage . The main sources of dietary niacin are meat, fish, and nuts . Both experimental and clinical data provide evidence for the importance of B vitamins in the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome and in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Recent studies have shown that low levels of thiamine, niacin, and pyridoxine are associated with increased insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease .
Furthermore, pyridoxine influences the metabolism of fatty acids. The study on volunteers with marginal nutritional deficiency of vitamin B6 showed decreased plasma concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids of the n6 and n3 families, whereas the levels of TC, LDL-C, HDL-C, and TAG did not change . Altered synthesis of unsaturated, particularly n6 and n3 PUFA, was proved in cultured human hepatoma cells under the condition of vitamin B-6 restriction . These changes could participate in mechanisms by which vitamin B-6 inadequacy influences cardiovascular risk .
Na Dosing And Administration: How To Do Niacin
For essentially all other NA lipid therapies , ERNA is better tolerated and more effective for the other lipid fractions. Initiating dosing for ERNA therapy is essentially the same as IRNA as listed above. Most of the PG-ERNA studies have used one time/day dosing at bedtime with a small snack for two reasons: convenience and to match the time of peak hepatic lipid synthesis. The PG-ERNAs also have a somewhat higher rate of flushing than the WM-ERNA so giving it in a near fasting state may also reduce the chance of early breakdown of the polygel capsule that might happen with the increased peristaltic activity of a meal. Critics of the bedtime NA dosing used in the AIM-HIGH and HPS-2 THRIVE studies, however, point out that dosing NA in a fasting or near fasting state causes a drop in non-esterified fatty acids. This in turn can inadvertently cause a transient drop in blood glucose triggering release of epinephrine and hepatic gluconeogenesis which might have caused some of the negative results found in those studies . Also, persons taking any ERNA should be cautioned to avoid consuming a hot beverage with dosing since that can accelerate NA release and risk flushing.
Read Also: Is Clam High In Cholesterol
What Life Extension Says About Walnuts And Heart Health
In the August 2011 issue of Life Extension, William Faloon discusses the health impact of walnuts in his editorial entitledFDA Says Walnuts Are Illegal Drugs!Specific to walnuts and heart health, William Faloon had this to say:
The March 4, 1993, issue of theNew England Journal of Medicinepublished the first clinical study showing significant reductions in dangerousLDLand improvement in the lipoprotein profile in response to moderate consumption of walnuts. Later studies revealed that walnuts improveendothelial functionin ways that are independent of cholesterol reduction.
One study published by theAmerican Heart AssociationjournalCirculationon April 6, 2004, showed a64%improvementin a measurement ofendothelial functionwhen walnuts were substituted for other fats in a Mediterranean diet.
As mostLife Extensionmembers are aware, the underlying cause of atherosclerosis is progressiveendothelial dysfunction. Walnuts contain a variety of nutrients including arginine, polyphenols, and omega-3s that support the inner arterial lining and guard against abnormal platelet aggregation. These favorable biological effects explain why walnut consumption confers protection against coronary artery disease.
The US National Library of Medicine database contains no fewer than 35 peer-reviewed published papers supporting a claim that ingesting walnuts improves vascular health and may reduce heart attack risk.
We Can Prevent Heart Disease Costs Now
There are preventative steps that are natural and can make a substantial difference in reducing the risk for all forms of cardiovascular disease allowing us to make a major dent in heart disease costs. These preventative steps haveNobel Prize Winning Science from Dr. Louis J. Ignarro and cutting edge vascular research from Stanford Medical School through Dr. John Cooke.
Don’t Miss: Shrimp Has High Cholesterol
What Is The Connection Between Hdl And Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for almost seven million deaths yearly. Patients with high levels of low-density cholesterol are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease , and lowering LDL-C using HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, popularly known as statins, has become the primary target to reduce risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease . While LDL-C modulation does lead to significantly decreased risk of cardiovascular events, there are still a substantial number of patients who have incident cardiovascular events despite adequate control of LDL-C . This has prompted a search for alternative targets to reduce residual cardiovascular risk after achieving target LDL-C levels.
Low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol have been shown to be an independent risk factor for ASCVD in several large epidemiologic studies. The Framingham Heart Study first associated low HDL-C with adverse cardiovascular events , and later studies have shown that cardiovascular risk decreases 2â3 % per 1 mg/dl increase in HDL-C . Given the high prevalence of low HDL-C levels, estimated in one European study as present in 33 % of men and 40 % of women , HDL-C has emerged as a popular target for cardiovascular risk reduction in the past several years and has been incorporated into important risk stratification models including the American ASCVD risk algorithm and the European SCORE model .
Who May Benefit From Taking Niacin
Niacin used to be a common addition recommended to patients who were already taking cholesterol medication.
However, more recent research has found that niacin supplementation is not particularly beneficial if someone is already taking statins.
Niacin is not a first-line treatment for cholesterol, but is now reserved as an option for people who are unable to take statins or have had poor reactions to them.
Niacin may also benefit people who generally wish to support cardiovascular health, cognitive health, or who have known niacin deficiency.
Because niacin is vital for cellular energy processes, some doctors use NADH paired with other antioxidants to help address fatigue in chronic conditions.
Don’t Miss: Tuna High In Cholesterol
Together We Can Work To Save A Million Lives By Sharing This Information About Lipoic Acid And Cardiovascular Health
Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicago area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.
The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about lipoic acid and cardiovascular health has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.
Who would have thought there could be a connection between walnuts and heart health. Yet recent research shows thatnotonly is there a strong connection between walnuts and heart health but that this connection also benefits the endothelium, which lines and regulates your cardiovascular system.
If youve been following my articles you know that Im a firm believer in endothelial health and function for improved cardiovascular health. Now organizations likeWebMDandLife Extensionare highlighting the benefits of walnuts and heart health. Here are excerpts from recent publications from these two outstanding organizations.
Vitamin D3 Benefits Increase Through The Method Of Absorption
If you are going to use vitamin D3 supplements to improve your vitamin D3 benefits then make sure that the product you use is either a spray or chewable supplement. This dramatically increases absorption over those supplements that you swallow. By using the spray or chewable supplements you will achieve better results in a shorter period of time.
As you hear more and more research toting the health benefits of vitamin D, please make sure that you choose a supplement that contains vitamin D3 in a chewable form. You will improve both your absorption and effectiveness in raising this needed nutrient in your bloodstream.
Together we can work to save a million lives!
Dan Hammer has a background in biology, chemistry, and exercise physiology. He used to run one of the largest health club operations in the Chicagoland area and has been helping people with their wellness issues for more than 25 years.
The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only and never as a substitute for professional medical advice or medical exam. The information about vitamin D3 benefits has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease without the supervision of a qualified medical doctor.
Don’t Miss: Cholesterol Levels Mayo
So Is Niacin A Good Choice For Lowering Cholesterol
The answer to that question is not cut and dried. There are doctors who have been prescribing a daily niacin dose for cholesterol for years who swear by the treatment as both effective and necessary. Others will take the results from these latest studies at face value and shy away from prescribing it to their patients.
The bottom line is that niacin therapy is likely right for some people and wrong for others, depending on their particular situation. Your best bet is to talk to your doctor/cardiologist and see if it makes sense for you. If you are currently on niacin and experiencing any flushness or other symptoms, consult your doctor and perhaps look into alternatives for lowering cholesterol.
Niacin To Lower Cholesterol What Does The Future Hold
Without doubt more research is needed to make precise recommendations of niacin for cholesterol!
The correlation between niacin and higher levels of HDL is known, but the high dose required makes general usage difficult.
However, most studies conclude that niacin is an effective and inexpensive treatment that can improve the cholesterol-to-HDL ratio.
So at the moment, unless under medical supervision, high doses of niacin are not advised just keep eating a healthy balanced diet, take some exercise and make a few lifestyle changes the effects on your HDL levels will be just as good!
Also Check: Is Canned Tuna High In Cholesterol
Can Niacin Help Control Your Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is considered good cholesterol.
Higher levels of HDL are associated with lower risks of heart disease and stroke.
Certain foods, like those high in fiber, can help boost your HDL numbers.
Niacin, a B vitamin, has been shown to help increase HDL and lower both the bad LDL cholesterol in your blood and triglyceride levels.
In this article, Ill talk more about what niacin is and its impact on cholesterol, as well as other benefits and risks from supplementing niacin.
Ill also outline when you should talk to your doctor about niacin and your cholesterol levels.
Warnings For People With Certain Health Conditions
For people with liver disease: You shouldnt take niacin if you have liver disease or abnormally high liver function blood tests. This drug can make your liver disease worse.
For people with kidney disease: Ask your doctor whether niacin is safe for you to take. Niacin is processed by your kidneys. If you have kidney disease, the levels of niacin in your blood can get too high. This could cause you to have more side effects.
For people with diabetes: Niacin can increase your blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar is too high, your doctor may change your dosage of niacin or take you off of the medication.
For people with gout: Niacin can increase your uric acid levels, which may worsen your gout. Your doctor may take you off of niacin if your gout worsens while taking the drug.
For people with active peptic ulcer disease: You shouldnt take niacin if you have active peptic ulcer disease. This drug can increase the amount of acid in your stomach. This may aggravate your ulcer.
Also Check: Are Noodles Bad For Cholesterol
What Impact Does Niacin Have On Cholesterol
- If your HDL cholesterol is too low, niacin may help to increase it.
- If your LDL cholesterol is too high, niacin may help to decrease it.
- Niacin can also help decrease triglycerides.
Niacin is able to reduce cholesterol because it drops the number of fatty acids being activated from tissue storage and decreases how much LDL is synthesized.
It increases HDL by preventing the removal of it by liver cells, allowing the body to retain more.
While these are impressive benefits, niacin does not erase all risk for cardiovascular disease, even if it helps to normalize lipid levels.
This is because even as it helps to balance lipids, it may increase insulin resistance and contribute to potential blood glucose imbalance.
How Do I Determine The Appropriate Niacin Dosage
Niacin, one of the B vitamins, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. Although a healthy balanced diet provides adequate levels of niacin, you might need a supplement, especially if you need niacin to control your cholesterol levels. Niacin dosage is tricky because the vitamin is associated with side effects that can be serious. The appropriate dosage varies from person to person, but the average daily dose to reduce cholesterol in adults is between 500 milligrams and 2,000 milligrams daily.
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is water-soluble, which means that the body cannot store it. Adequate levels of niacin are usually obtained through the diet. The recommended daily allowances of the vitamin vary depending on age and gender. Men 19 or older should have 16 milligrams of niacin daily, and women older than 19 require 14 milligrams. Women who are pregnant should have 18 milligrams daily, and those who are breastfeeding should have 17 milligrams.
A higher niacin dosage is necessary when the vitamin is used to control cholesterol levels. The average adult daily dose to lower cholesterol is 500-2,000 milligrams. The dosage rarely is higher than 3,000 milligrams daily. The tablets or capsules are taken once to three times a day, depending on your specific needs.
Don’t Miss: Does Egg Beaters Have Yolk
Vitamin B3 For Lowering Cholesterol Safely
The finding that niacin lowered cholesterol was soon confirmed by Parsons, Achor, Berge, McKenzie and Barker and Parsons at the Mayo Clinic, which launched niacin on its way as a hypocholesterolemic substance. Since then it has been found to be a normalizing agent, meaning it elevates high density lipoprotein cholesterol, decreases low density and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol and lowers triglycerides. Grundy, Mok, Zechs and Berman found it lowered cholesterol by 22 percent and triglycerides by 52 percent and wrote, “To our knowledge, no other single agent has such potential for lowering both cholesterol and triglycerides.”
Elevated cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of developing coronary disease. In addition to niacin, a typical diet generally recommended by orthomolecular physicians will tend to keep cholesterol levels down in most people. This diet can be described as a high fiber, sugar-free diet which is rich in complex polysaccharides such as vegetables and whole grains.
Niacin Combined With Other Drugs Which Lower Cholesterol
Fortunately, niacin does not decrease cholesterol to dangerously low levels. Cheraskin and Ringsdorf reviewed some of the evidence which links very low cholesterol levels to an increased incidence of cancer and greater mortality in general.
Continuous use of niacin can be expected to reliably decrease mortality and prolong life.
Muscle Breakdown That Can Lead To Kidney And Heart Damage
- Risk factors: Taking niacin with statins | Age 65 years or older | History of diabetes, kidney problems, or low thyroid levels
Although rare, taking niacin together with a statin medication can cause a serious condition called rhabdomyolysis. This is when damaged muscle tissue is broken down in your body and releases proteins into the bloodstream, which can cause very serious and sometimes deadly kidney and heart damage. Talk to your healthcare provider if you develop sudden unexplained muscle pain, weakness, and tenderness, especially after you first start taking niacin or after your dose is raised.
Don’t Miss: Does Baked Potato Have Cholesterol
Supplements To Lower Cholesterol And Live A Happy Life
High cholesterol is hard to treat because symptoms are often invisible. The human liver can produce cholesterol fat. Humans can also get cholesterol from food sources such as dairy, meat, and fish. While a little cholesterol is good, too much can cause a stiffening, narrowing, and clogging of blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Some supplements like niacin, bergamot, and omega-3 fatty acids can aid in lowering cholesterol.