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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

[QUOTE=Lenin]Why is everybody assuming that there is anything NATURAL about 1000 mg. nicotinic acid a day? [/QUOTE]Well, I guess I'm not part of "everybody." ;) I believe in approaching use of niacin with extreme caution. Here is the approach I took:

When the doctor started getting concerned that my risk ratio was the highest it had ever been (4.0 with LDL 158) and mentioned statins, I said I wanted to try to get it down with diet first. She gave me three months. But we'd been this route a couple of years earlier, and though I got it down some then, after doing a lot of reading on the web, I decided on my own to try niacin in addition to being more careful about diet this time. I wanted to be extremely cautious, so took only 250 mg. for about two months before I went back to her for that 3-month checkup.

She expressed concern about using an OTC product, but I had read the research on the particular one I was taking and was satisfied that it was probably no more dangerous than a statin in terms of liver toxicity. She reluctantly agreed to let me try 500 mg, since my liver enzymes showed zero problems at the 250 mg level. After another three months, I had another lipid panel and liver enzyme test. At this point, my doctor was so excited about my results, that she asked me to get her the address of where I ordered that particular OTC niacin, so she could give it to others. However, the results (TC=202, LDL=115, HDL=60, trigs=83) were still not good enough for her, so she recommended increasing the niacin to 750 mg, which is the level I'm still at.

In my book, even 750 mg, though lower than most therapeutic doses, is still not natural. But it allows me to do some experimenting with diet to see if I can find some combination which will allow me to back off and lower that niacin dosage. The lower I can make it, the lower the risk.

I liked the assertive approach I used, though. By starting the OTC on my own at a low dose and getting back a very favorable liver enzyme test the first time, my doctor, though still concerned, was probably less adamently against continuing on an OTC than she might have been otherwise. I simply cannot see paying ten times the price for Niaspan, when the research on the one I'm using seems to indicate a high level of safety.

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