Niacin, which is simply natural vitamin B3,
REDUCES RISK OF HEART ATTACKS AND STROKES

There are few supplements that have been proven to lower mortality. Niacin can lower mortality from the #1 killer – heart attacks. Niacin also lowers OVERALL MORTALITY.

Consider this landmark study… the HDL-Atherosclerosis Treatment Study (HATS) was another landmark study demonstrating niacin’s huge benefits. When the group receiving simvastatin and niacin were compared to placebo, in 3 years of niacin and simvastatin there was a 90% reduction in “cardiac events” (heart attacks)!

In other words, heart attacks were nearly shut off.  The 90% reduction in heart attack events is truly phenomenal.

Comparing statins alone (e.g. “Lipitor” or “Crestor”), like the 4S, LIPID, AFCAPS/TEXCAPS, and Heart Protection Study, event reductions of 25-35% over approximately 3-5 years. So, compare a 90% heart event reduction WITH NIACIN vs. 30% with STATINS ALONE.

Table of Contents: JUMP TO LINKS – Click On the Info Below to JUMP TO the location on the page

  1. Why you should consider taking NIACIN to improve your health- JUMP TO
  2. NIACIN: NIACIN should be taken in a SPECIFIC WAY to prevent FLUSHING and LIVER problems – JUMP TO
  3. NIACIN FLUSHING: harmless, but irritating. How to reduce flushing.
  4. LINK to a good NIACIN supplement: NiaVasc
  5. LINK to the Slo-NIACIN website. Slo-NIACIN was used in the studies mentioned above. Available OTC at drugstores.


Niacin – vitamin B3 – in a class by itself for effecting cholesterol. Nearly every major NATIONAL PANEL (including NCEP) considers niacin “FIRST LINE THERAPY” for cholesterol problems.

 

The video above is not shown to bash statins – statins are beneficial in the right people. The video was shown to highlight niacin’s ability to LOWER OVERALL MORTALITY.

Niacin is capable of an amazing array of lipoprotein benefits. Nothing you can take will benefit your cholesterol like niacin.

Niacin’s effects include ALL OF THE GOOD CHOLESTEROL CHANGES THAT LEAD TO HEALTHY ARTERIES:

  • Increased HDL
  • Decreased small LDL
  • Decreased triglycerides
  • Decreased VLDL
  • Decreased lipoprotein(a): Lp(a) is a very bad LDL particle – niacin is one of the few effective treatments
  • Decreased LDL

Who should consider taking niacin?

Raising HDL can lead to a profound reduction in coronary events.

An aggressive preventive approach is to raise HDL to 60. This may help inactivate dangerous arterial plaque that is at risk for leading to heart attacks and strokes.

Our hope would be that by raising “good” HDL to 60, lowering “bad” LDL to 60, and improving LDL pattern (fluffy beach ball LDL), the 90% reduction in events of the HATS experience could be approached. Niacin can be tremendously helpful in achieving these aggressive goals.

Niacin is effective for reducing small LDL. This means niacin can shift the size of the LDL particles (there are 7 sizes of LDL) from the damaging small dense particles (like BBs) to the large buoyant particles (like fluffy beach balls) which do not cause disease.

Niacin is the #1 choice for reduction of lipoprotein(a). Lp(a) may be reduced by 30% with 2 grams of niacin per day. Lp(a) is a nasty, disease producing sub-particle of LDL. It tends to have a genetic link in families. Lp(a) is difficult to treat. Having a high Lp(a) may increase heart attack risk 500%.

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Niacin is natural vitamin B3, but you still must take it correctly due to liver problems

Niacin is very safe and effective when used properly. But when used improperly, it can pose unacceptable risks to your liver. If you take over 1000 mg (1 gram) a day, you should have your liver enzymes checked every 3 months. See other warnings below (gout, increased blood sugar, peptic ulcers, jaundice, hepatitis, etc.)

Three different types of niacin formulations are available:

1. Immediate-release, or “crystalline” niacinSlo-Niacin
2. Slow-release niacin
3. Extended- or “intermediate-release” niacin

Immediate-release or crystalline niacin is available in health food stores – it is called nicotinic acid. It is cheap and effective. BUT, it’s intolerable for about everybody who takes it. Because of the annoying “hot-flush” effect people will take small doses more than twice a day. Don’t take this form. Don’t take niacin more than twice a day. If you take it more than twice a day it is hard on your liver. It is best to take niacin ONCE A DAY at dinner or at bedtime.

The best niacin formulation to try is Slo-Niacin® (Upsher Smith Pharmaceuticals). Slo-Niacin® has the advantage of published data proving efficacy and safety; it was the form used in the HATS Trial (above). It is available over-the-counter in pharmacies.
For a SloNiacin $2 off coupon, click here: http://www.slo-niacin.com/coupon.lasso

Slo-Niacin Used Alone

*A retrospective analysis of 63 patients with HDL (mean 34 mg/dL) and total cholesterol (223 mg/dL) who were treated with 1300 mg/day (mean dose) time-released nicotinic acid (SLO-NIACIN® Tablets or generic equivalent) for 7.4 months. †Statistically significant P value compared to baseline.
‡A 6-month randomized, open-label trial of 42 patients with LDL >130 mg/dL and HDL <45 mg/dL for men (<55 mg/dL for women) who received 3 months of atorvastatin 10 mg/day or incremental doses of SLO-NIACIN® Tablets to 1500 mg/day followed by 3 months of combined treatment. Results in the table above reflect results of SLO-NIACIN Tablets alone.

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Slo-Niacin a specific formulation of niacin. The product Slo-Niacin was used in the studies mentioned above. There is also a product called NiaVasc that is very similar. HOW TO TAKE NIACIN:

  1. Begin with 500 mg of SloNiacin at dinner or at bedtime.
  2. Take 500 mg for 2-4 weeks.
  3. If you are tolerating the 500 mg, increase the dose by 500 mg increments to 1000 mg (at one time).
  4. Every 2 weeks to 1 month increase the dose until your cholesterol targets are reached or your get to the maximum dose of 2000 mg.
  5. BOTTOM LINE: gradually increase the dose over time, so you become TOLERANT to the FLUSHING. Take all at 1 time.

Cautions with niacin

  1. Liver disease
  2. Elevated liver tests
  3. Peptic ulcer disease
  4. Abnormal bleeding
  5. Gout may flare (uric acid can increase)
  6. Blood sugar may increase and change insulin or medication requirements for diabetics
  7. If you take over 1000 mg a day, your liver enzymes should be checked every 3 months

The dreaded NIACIN FLUSH is harmless, but annoying. Don’t let flushing deter you.

The niacin flush is like a blush except there is itching and a sense of light burning or pins and needles. Some women describe it like a hot flash.

You will become tolerant to this side effect. This is NOT an allergy or an allergic reaction.  The flushing in a natural effect of niacin, and is harmless other than it is annoying.

How to reduce the harmless NIACIN FLUSHING:

  1. Take your total dose ALL AT ONCE at dinner or at bedtime.
  2. Take a baby aspirin (81mg) 1 hour before you take the niacin (check with your doctor – aspirin thins the blood and can increase bleeding).
  3. Drink plenty of water.
  4. Eat a few nuts to slow absorption of the niacin
  5. Apple pectin helps, so eat an apple or take apple sauce with the niacin
  6. Alcohol increases flushing, so no alcohol with niacin
  7. NEVER SKIP DOSES – flushing will occur after a skipped dose
  8. You will become TOLERANT to the FLUSHING over time.

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Benefits of Niacin (vitamin B3)

Slo-Niacin Picture

  • Lowers total cholesterol, apoB, triglycerides, LDL, small dense LDL, shifts LDL B to LDL A, and lowers Lp(a)
  • Inhibits LDL oxidation (the 1st step in PLAQUE FORMATION)
  • Increases HDL, especially “good” HDL 2
  • Fibrinolysis, inhibits platelet function
  • Inhibits inflammatory cytokines, and adhesion molecules (which for plaque)
  • Potent anti-oxidant

…but it doesn’t stop there, either.

Randomized studies show reduction in coronary heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, and cardiac death of 26%, and a reduction in total mortality of 11%.

Can niacin benefit arteries in other ways besides cholesterol improvement?

  • Niacin may be anti-inflammatory
  • Niacin is an anti-oxidant
  • Niacin reduces oxidation of LDL
  • Niacin prevents other destructive cells from attacking the arteries and accumulating (monocytes, macrophages, and adhesion molecules)

Be aware of these niacin-like supplements that don’t work

  • Nicotinamide—It sounds like niacin. It has no beneficial effects.
  • No-flush niacin—Or inositol hexaniacinate. No-flush, no-effect. Theoretically, this agent should work. It contains six niacin molecules attached to an inositol molecule. Rats do great on it, but humans lack the enzyme to break it down to effective niacin. It’s also expensive.

Should niacin be part of your program?

Niacin is a safe, effective choice for many, if not most, people interested in plaque-control and regression. For most people, it’s certainly worth it.

Editorial: American Journal of Cardiology, 2007 May, Duke University: Safety Considerations w/ Niacin

Despite a few case reports of muscle damage associated with niacin-statin combination therapy, 2 decades of clinical evidence since the introduction of statins do not support a general muscle damaging effect of niacin either alone or in combination with statins.

CARDIOLOGIST’S EDITORIAL CONCLUSION: Overall, the perception of niacin side effects is often greater than the reality. As a result, a valuable medication for cardiovascular risk is underused.

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WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER NIACIN?

When taken at doses greater than the RDA, niacin confers an array of health benefits.

Niacin:

* Increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) by 20-35%. No other available over-the-counter treatments, and very few drugs, are as effective.

* Decreases small low-density lipoprotein (small LDL) particles. Small LDL is an important yet underappreciated cause of heart disease. Niacin is the most effective agent known for correcting this abnormal pattern.

* Decreases triglycerides by 30%. Niacin is especially effective when taken with fish oil (at doses of 4000 mg a day, providing 1200 mg of EPA/DHA).

* Decreases very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles.

* Decreases lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a). No other treatment approaches the power of niacin to reduce the genetically determined pattern of high Lp(a), which is among the most serious risk factors for heart disease.

* Decreases low-density lipoprotein (LDL), usually by 20-40 mg/dL, or 5-25%.

Niacin blocks the release of fatty acids from fat cells. Fewer fatty acids are passed through to the liver, resulting in fewer VLDL particles. Less VLDL leads to less small LDL and higher HDL. Niacin also improves endothelial function and nitric oxide synthase activity.

Prevents complications from heart disease

Niacin may not only lower cholesterol, it may thereby lower a persons risk of cardiac complication overall. As levels of LDL rise, so does a person’s chance of heart attack, stroke, and the disability caused as a result of these conditions. Niacin has been shown to reduce the risk of adverse cardiac event and mortality in patients who suffer from atherosclerosis. In a study of 8, 341 men conducted from 1966-1974…

Niacin was the only lipid lowering agent shown to reduce the rate of cardiac event and mortality.

Niacin has also been shown to work effectively with statin drugs commonly prescribed for this condition. Findings have also shown niacin to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease when combined with exercise and a low-fat diet in an at risk population.
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Reduction in death and myocardial infarction

In the well-known HDL-Atherosclerosis Treatment Study (HATS), 160 participants were given niacin and simvastatin (Zocor) or a placebo. Compared to the placebo group,

The group receiving niacin and simvastatin had a 90% reduction in death and MI over 3 yrs.

In other words, heart attacks were nearly eliminated.

Although the study sample was small, its results are striking.
By comparison, statin drugs alone reduce heart attack risk by 25-35%.

The 90% reduction in CARDIAC EVENTS in the HATS trial is
truly remarkable.

Combat Raynaud’s disease and other circulatory problems.

Niacin improves circulation by relaxing arteries and veins, and disorders characterized by circulation difficulties may benefit as a result. In those suffering from Raynaud’s disease, for example, niacin’s ability to improve blood flow to the extremities may counter the numbness and pain in the hands and feet that occurs when blood vessels overreact to cold temperatures. The calf-cramping and other painful symptoms of Intermittent claudication, another circulation disorder, may lessen under the vessel-relaxing influence of niacin as well.

Ease symptoms of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The anti-inflammatory properties associated with niacinamide may help in calming joint Inflammation, a frequent cause of rheumatoid arthritis pain.

In a double-blind, 12-week study, osteoarthritis sufferers who received niacinamide supplements reported less inflammation and greater joint flexibility than other participants who were given a Placebo. The niacinamide group also required less conventional anti-inflammatory medication to relieve their customary pain and swelling.

Treat the conditions that contribute to type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is often a condition that also effects those with high cholesterol and heart disease. Until recently, researchers were not certain if niacin was safe for use by those with type 2 diabetes. Current results confirm that niacin is a safe and effective treatment that may benefit the conditions, like high cholesterol and heart disease that exacerbates type 2 diabetes.

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.