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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

Why is everybody assuming that there is anything NATURAL about 1000 mg. nicotinic acid a day? There's certainly no way that anyone could get it in one's food. On top of that it's chemically compounded into a form to avoid the flush.
Just because something is sold without a prescritiption doesn't in any way render it "natural."
Niacin therapy is a very potent DRUG therapy, one among the choice of several drug therapies.

I found this interesting and perhaps others will too (from the Linus Pauling Institute.):
High cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases

[quote]Pharmacologic doses of nicotinic acid, but not nicotinamide, have been known to reduce serum cholesterol since 1955 (22). Only one randomized placebo-controlled multicenter trial examined the effect of nicotinic acid therapy alone (3 grams daily) on outcomes of cardiovascular disease. The Coronary Drug Project (CDP) followed over 8,000 men with a previous myocardial infarction (heart attack) for 6 years (23). In the group that took 3 grams of nicotinic acid daily, total blood cholesterol decreased by an average of 10%, triglycerides decreased by 26%, recurrent nonfatal myocardial infarction decreased by 27%, and cerebrovascular events (stroke + transient ischemic attacks) decreased by 26% compared to the placebo group. Though nicotinic acid therapy did not decrease total deaths or deaths from cardiovascular disease during the 6-year study period, post-trial follow up 9 years later revealed a 10% reduction in total deaths. Four out of five major cardiovascular outcome trials found nicotinic acid in combination with other therapies to be of statistically significant benefit in men and women (24). Nicotinic acid therapy has been found to result in markedly increased HDL-cholesterol levels, as well as decreased serum Lp(a) lipoprotein concentrations, and a shift from small dense LDL particles to large, buoyant LDL particles, all of which are considered cardioprotective changes in blood lipid profiles. Because of the adverse side effects associated with high doses of nicotinic acid (see Safety), it has most recently been used in combination with other lipid-lowering medications in slightly lower doses (22). A recent randomized controlled trial found that a combination of nicotinic acid (2 to 3 grams/day) and a cholesterol-lowering drug (simvastatin) resulted in greater benefits on serum HDL levels and cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and stroke, than placebo in patients with coronary artery disease and low HDL levels (25, 26). However, an antioxidant combination (vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, and b-carotene) appeared to blunt the beneficial effects of niacin plus simvastatin.

Although it is a nutrient, at the pharmacologic dose required for cholesterol-lowering effects, the use of nicotinic acid should be approached as if it were a drug. Individuals should only undertake cholesterol-lowering therapy with nicotinic acid under the supervision of a qualified health care provider, so that the potential for adverse effects may be minimized and treatment benefit maximized.[/quote]

I'm doing Lipitor plus small doses (couple/three hundred mg./day) of niacin (for my HDL) and I guess I should discontinue my Vit.C and Vit. E til I find out if there's an adverse interaction.
I cannot BELIEVE they tested 8300 men for 9 YEARS and didn't bother to measure their HDL levels...I guess because there wasn't much thinking about HDL and heart disease in the '60's and '70's? (I VAGUELY recall only total cholesterol being of much interest.)

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