B Vitamins Boast Many Benefits
Vitamin B3, or niacin, has been shown to increase levels of high-density lipoprotein , or good, cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides. Niacin supplementation has been used since the 1950s as a treatment for high cholesterol. While B3 alone may not be adequate treatment for high cholesterol, in combination with other medications, a B-vitamin supplement may be beneficial.
Low Vitamin B12 Induces Cholesterol Biosynthesis In Human Adipocytes
Human preadipocytes were cultured and fully differentiated in 12 different conditions representing varying concentrations of B12 and folic acid and intracellular cholesterol and extracellular homocysteine were measured. Adipocytes cultured in low or no B12 media showed maximum and significant increase in total cholesterol and homocysteine levels compared with controls . Folic acid alone had no significant effect on cholesterol and homocysteine levels. Therefore, we designed experiments to study only B12 deficiency while keeping the folic acid concentration constant to 6 M for rest of the experiments and used three main conditions: control , LB and NoB . The total cholesterol was significantly increased in NoB and LB conditions compared to control .
Effect of vitamin B12on cholesterol biosynthesis. Total cholesterol from adipocytes cultured in customised media: control , LB , and NoB . Total cholesterol was normalized for protein content and expressed as percentage. mRNA expression of cholesterol biosynthesis genes in adipocytes. HMGCS1, HMGCR, IDI1, SQLE, and SC4MOL. All experiments were performed as triplicates. Values are mean±SEM. *P0.05 **P0.01, ***P0.001, P value compared to control.
Modify Your Risk Factors
High cholesterol is usually treated based on total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol levels, plus the presence of additional risk factors for heart disease. While some cannot be changed, some can:
- Previous heart attack
- Family history of early heart disease
- Age over 45 in men and greater than 55 in women
- 10-year risk of a heart attack greater than 20%
Of these, not smoking is something you take action on. You can also treat your high blood pressure and diabetes to keep them under control.
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Getting Your B Vitamins Through Food Or Through Supplements
So if the bottom-line message here is that these B vitamins for cholesterol can help regulate healthy cholesterol levels, how can you be sure youre getting enough? Check your diet first food is always the best way to get your nutrients.
Foods rich in Vitamin B include whole grains, red meat, dairy products, sunflower seeds, almonds, broccoli, spinach, citrus fruits, bananas, and avocados, says Dr. Liana Casusi, MD, Medical Consultant at Oh So Spotless. If certain food cannot be included in the diet, then Vitamin B supplementation is suggested.
If youre trying to lower cholesterol naturally and achieve therapeutic levels of these nutrients, you may need to add B vitamin supplements to your daily routine.
Nutrition Research. 2011 Aug 31:608-15. Illingworth DR, et al. Comparative effects of lovastatin and niacin in primary hypercholesterolemia. A prospective trial. Arch Intern Med. 1994 154:1586-1595. Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis. 2000 26:341-8.
Originally published in 2012, this post is regularly updated.
Pantothenic Acid: The Lesser
Pantothenic acid, also known as Vitamin B5, is just as important as anemia-fighting B12, heart-healthy niacin or B2 , which supports adrenal health. Yet we dont hear as much about it.
In a 2011 study, researchers at the Princeton Longevity Center in New Jersey found that supplementing with pantethine, a derivative of Vitamin B5, reduced both total and LDL cholesterol in people with low to moderate risk of heart disease.
As far back as 1984, animal studies showed that pantethine supplements reduced plasma total cholesterol levels by 64.7% compared to animals not receiving pantethine.
Vitamin B5 is also necessary to:
- create red blood cells
- maintain a healthy digestive tract
- process other vitamins, particularly riboflavin
- make sex-and stress-related hormones in the adrenal gland
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Isolation Of Rna And Quantitative Real Time
The total RNA from the adipocytes was isolated using RNeasy Lipid Tissue Kit according to manufacturers protocol. cDNA synthesis, quantitative PCR and analysis were conducted as described elsewhere . RNA expressions were normalized to the housekeeping gene 18s rRNA . The custom taqman gene expression assays from Applied Biosystems were used for all the genes their catalogue numbers are provided in brackets. The details of the gene assays are: SREBF1 SREBF2 LDLR HMGCR HMGCS1 IDI1 SQLE SC4MOL Insig1 and StarD4 .
How To Take Niacin
Take your medicine as directed. The medicine comes in tablet form. Do not break or chew tablets before taking the medicine. Do not stop taking your medicine without talking with your provider first.
You take niacin 1 to 3 times per day. It comes in different doses, depending on how much you need.
Read the label on the pill bottle carefully. Some brands should be taken at bedtime with a light, low-fat snack others you will take with dinner. Avoid alcohol and hot drinks while taking niacin to reduce flushing.
Store all of your medicines in a cool, dry place. Keep them where children cannot get to them.
You should follow a healthy diet while taking niacin. This includes eating less fat in your diet. Other ways you can help your heart include:
- Getting regular exercise
Before you start taking niacin, tell your provider if you:
- Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
- Have allergies
- Drink a lot of alcohol
- Have diabetes, kidney disease, peptic ulcer, or gout
Talk to your provider about all of your medicines, herbs, or supplements. Certain medicines may interact with niacin.
Regular blood tests will help you and your provider:
- See how well the medicine is working
- Monitor for side effects, such as liver problems
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Signs Of Deficiency And Toxicity
A niacin deficiency is rare in the United States and other industrialized countries because it is well-absorbed from most foods and is added to many foods and multivitamins. A severe niacin deficiency leads to pellagra, a condition that causes a dark, sometimes scaly rash to develop on skin areas exposed to sunlight bright redness of the tongue and constipation/diarrhea. Other signs of severe niacin deficiency include:
Groups at risk for deficiency
- Limited diets. People whose diets are limited in both variety and quantity of foods, such as those living in poverty or who are very ill and cannot eat a balanced diet, are at increased risk. Developing countries that eat corn or maize as a main food source are at risk for pellagra, as these foods are low in both absorbable niacin and tryptophan.
- Chronic alcoholism. The absorption of several nutrients, particularly water-soluble vitamins including the B family, is decreased with excessive alcohol intake.
- Carcinoid syndrome. This is a disease of slow-growing cancer cells in the gut that release a chemical called serotonin. The syndrome causes tryptophan in the diet to be converted into serotonin rather than niacin, which increases the risk of decreased niacin.
- Blurred vision
- Impaired glucose tolerance and inflammation of liver in severe cases
The Role Of Cholesterol
While high cholesterol levels are cited as the cause for many problems, like heart disease and diabetes, the role of cholesterol in the body is typically misunderstood. In fact, cholesterol is necessary for the production of cells. Cholesterol is used to create new cells, and heal inflammation in the body. Cholesterol levels fluctuate based on the health of a person.
Typically, high cholesterol levels indicate that a persons body is unhealthy. Since cholesterol is a building block and repair feature of the body, the more cholesterol is in the blood, the more problems a body has. Cholesterol becomes a problem when small particle LDL cholesterol attaches to the walls of blood vessels. Here, it is trapped and oxidizes, creating inflammation and plaque buildup that can lead to problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and strokes. High cholesterol itself is not the problem, but rather a symptom of poor overall health.
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Measurement Of Cholesterol And Homocysteine
Total cholesterol was determined fluorimetrically in cell lysates using Amplex Red cholesterol assay kit according to manufacturers protocol . Reduced homocysteine was chromatographically separated using ion-paired reversed-phase HPLC with oxidative mode electrochemical detection . Conditioned media or serum was reduced with 50 mM DTT at 37°C for 15 min, precipitated by 150 g/L sulphosalicylic acid and centrifuged and supernatant used for detection and analysis.
Vitamin And Phytonutrient Supplements
You may have heard that antioxidant vitamins counteract the oxidative damage to cells caused by oxygen-containing free-radical molecules that increase your risk for a host of chronic illnesses, from obesity to cardiovascular disease. Part of how they work against heart disease is by helping to lower cholesterol, says Trista Best, MS, RD, a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements. “Antioxidants are plant compounds that stimulate the immune system and are also responsible for reducing inflammation by preventing clumping of blood platelets,” says Best. “If this damage persists, cholesterol rises, and the sticky substance can adhere to the walls of the arteries.” Best recommends people with high cholesterol try supplementing with antioxidant-specific supplements, such as NOW’s Super Antioxidants.
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Wreaking Havoc On The Entire Body
The list of bad things that statins can do to you is almost unbelievable:
- They interfere with the production of Coenzyme Q10, which supports the immune and nervous systems and protects heart muscle
- They increase insulin resistance and the risk of developing diabetes
- They can induce mitochondrial dysfunction
- They increase risk for ALS and Parkinsons disease, as well as prostate and breast cancer
- They can cause liver damage by triggering over-production of digestive enzymes
With natural alternatives that have been proven as effective or even more effective, why subject yourself to these risks? For starters, olive oil, nuts and bergamot extract are naturals at regulating cholesterol.
But theres a vitamin youve probably not heard that much about that can safely lower bad LDL cholesterol without impacting CoQ10 levels or causing bodily harm.
In fact, lowering cholesterol is just one of its health benefits.
Vitamins To Lower Cholesterol
In 30 seconds
Reducing Cholesterol works best with a holistic approach that includes eating well, cutting bad habits and exercising more but vitamins can be a useful way to boost results.When taking vitamins for Cholesterol, its important to stick to the guidelines and be aware of side effects as well as the benefits.Vitamins can help lower cholesterol, but theyre not a substitution for a healthy lifestyle.
When youre looking for ways to reduce cholesterol, one of the first considerations we make is what were eating. High cholesterol has a number of causes, but smoking, drinking and regularly eating fatty foods is the main culprit so it makes sense to switch to healthier meals to improve your heart health. But can vitamins help reduce cholesterol? And which ones should you take?
In this article, well look at the best vitamins for cholesterol. Whether youre looking for preventative steps to reduce total cholesterol in the body, or supplementing a new cholesterol-lowering diet, taking vitamins can be a helpful way to boost results and lower cholesterol naturally.
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Otc Supplements For The Management Of High Cholesterol
Emily M. Ambizas, PharmD, MPH, CGPAssociate Clinical ProfessorCollege of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New YorkClinical Specialist, Rite Aid PharmacyWhitestone, New York
US Pharm. 2017 42:8-11.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States, with coronary artery disease being the number-one cause of death.1 Dyslipidemia is a major contributor to the development of CAD and other forms of atherosclerosis individuals with high total cholesterol levels have about twice the risk for heart disease. Approximately 100 million adults in the U.S. have total cholesterol levels > 200 mg/dL , and almost 74 million have high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol .2,3 Adults aged > 20 years should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years.2
How To Take It
Generally, high doses of niacin are used to control specific diseases. Such high doses must be prescribed by a doctor who will increase the amount of niacin slowly, over the course of 4 to 6 weeks. Take niacin with meals to avoid stomach irritation.
Daily recommendations for niacin in the diet of healthy individuals are:
- Men, 19 years and older: 16 mg
- Women, 19 years and older: 14 mg
- Pregnant women: 18 mg
- Breastfeeding women: 17 mg
How To Lower Cholesterol In Seven Days According To A Nutritionist
Consider this your day-by-day guide to getting your cholesterol levels down and your health a kickstart in seven days.
Consider this your day-by-day guide to getting your cholesterol levels down and your health a kickstart in seven days.
Changing something as important as your cholesterol might seem an insurmountable task. Here, nutritionist Lisa Guy gives seven day-by-day tips to help you on your way.
Increase your fruit and vegie intake. They are rich in important nutrients, low in saturated fats and are cholesterol-free. They are also rich in fibre, which has a cholesterol-lowering effect. Aim to have at least five serves a day, and to eat a variety of different coloured fruits and vegies each day.
Reduce your intake of unhealthy fats. Saturated and trans fats raise blood cholesterol levels. Trans fats are the worst, so limit your intake of processed and fast foods. Choose low-fat dairy products, healthy oils such as olive oil, and flaxseed oil instead of butter. Trim fat from meat and skin from poultry.
Cook with olive oil, a source of healthy monounsaturated fats. It has a higher oxidation threshold than most monounsaturated oils and remains stable at higher temperatures, so is more resistant to hydrogenation and the formation of trans fats. Monounsaturated fats help to lower total cholesterol levels.
The Forgotten B Vitamin That Manages Cholesterol
First of all, lets get one thing straight:
Cholesterol is not the enemy.
Our bodies need cholesterol the way they need fiber, protein and a host of vitamins and minerals.
For the longest time, though, cholesterol was demonized by flawed science and more recently by Big Pharma, who wants you to depend on toxic statins to be sure your cholesterol levels stay in check.
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Special Precautions & Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feedingLIKELY SAFE
Allergies: Niacin might worsen allergies by causing histamine, the chemical responsible for allergic symptoms, to be released.
Heart disease/unstable angina: Large amounts of niacin can increase the risk of irregular heartbeat. Use with caution.
Crohn’s disease: People with Crohn’s disease might have low niacin levels and require supplementation during flare-ups.
Diabetes: Niacin might increase blood sugar. People with diabetes who take niacin should check their blood sugar carefully.
Gallbladder disease: Niacin might make gallbladder disease worse.
Gout: Large amounts of niacin might bring on gout.
Kidney disease: Niacin might accumulate in people with kidney disease. This might cause harm.
Liver disease: Niacin might increase liver damage. Don’t use large amounts if you have liver disease.
Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Niacin might make ulcers worse. Don’t use large amounts if you have ulcers.
Very low blood pressure: Niacin might lower blood pressure and worsen this condition.
Surgery: Niacin might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking niacin at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Fatty deposits around tendons : Niacin might increase the risk of infections in xanthomas.
Thyroid disorders: Thyroxine is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Niacin might lower blood levels of thyroxine. This might worsen symptoms of certain thyroid disorders.
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Urberg, M., Benyi, J., and John, R. Hypocholesterolemic effects of nicotinic acid and chromium supplementation. J Fam.Pract. 1988 27:603-606. View abstract.
– Blankenhorn DH, Malinow MR, Mack WJ. Colestipol plus niacin therapy elevates plasma homocysteine levels. Coron Art Dis 1991 2:357-360.
Alhadeff L, Gualtieri CT, Lipton M. Toxic effects of water-soluble vitamins. Nutr Rev. 1984 42:33-40. View abstract.
Ali EH, McJunkin B, Jubelirer S, Hood W. Niacin induced coagulopathy as a manifestation of occult liver injury. W V Med J. 2013 Jan-Feb 109:12-4 View abstract.
American Dietetic Association Website. Available at: www.eatright.org/adap1097.html .
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. ASHP Therapeutic Position Statement on the safe use of niacin in the management of dyslipidemias. Am J Health Syst Pharm 1997 54:2815-9. View abstract.
Andersson RG, Aberg G, Brattsand R, Ericsson E, Lundholm L. Studies on the mechanism of flush induced by nicotinic acid. Acta Pharmacol Toxicol . 1977 Jul 41:1-10. View abstract.
Anon. Niacinamide Monograph. Alt Med Rev 2002 7:525-9. View abstract.
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Vitamin B3 Niacin For Lowering Cholesterol
Niacin works in the liver by affecting the production of blood fats, and it has been well-researched. Several well-designed double-blind, placebo controlled studies have found that niacin can reduce LDL cholesterol by approximately 10 percent and triglycerides by 25 percent while raising HDL cholesterol by 20 percent to 30 percent.
High LDLs lead to atherosclerosis and then cardiovascular disease, warns Nadia Chariff, Health Advisor & Registered Dietitian at Coffeeble. Make no mistake, dietary & lifestyle factors such as high saturated fat intake & lack of exercise definitely play a part! Besides recommending alternative diets & increased activity, I recommend niacin to my patients.
What Impact Does Niacin Have On Cholesterol
Niacin can raise HDL cholesterol by more than 30 percent. There’s currently some debate about the exact role HDL plays in the body and in the development of heart disease. But HDL has generally been thought to pick up excess “bad” cholesterol in your blood and take it to your liver for disposal, which is why HDL is dubbed the “good” cholesterol.
Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams per deciliter or millimoles per liter :
- For men, HDL levels under 40 mg/dL increase the risk of heart disease.
- For women, HDL levels under 50 mg/dL increase the risk of heart disease.
Despite niacin’s ability to raise HDL, recent research suggests that niacin therapy isn’t linked to lower rates of death, heart attack or stroke.
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