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I was wondering if anyone has started taking non-prescription Niacin to help in their efforts to lower LDL and raise HDL, and, if so, has it worked?

Or, do you need a doctor's prescription to start taking it (in large doses)?

If it's worked, what kind? Immediate, delayed release? How much?

If, come my next blood test, my results aren't better, I might consider taking Niacin as I've heard nothing but good about it for lowering LDL and raising HDL.
From my own experience I've been taking niacin for nearly 20 years, and it has raised my HDL significantly. You don't need a prescription for it unless you are taking Niaspan, which is only available by prescription. I take immediate-release niacin, 250mg four times a day, for a total of 1000mg. Immediate-release niacin is probably best used for raising HDL. If you are more concerned about lowering LDL, I've heard that time-release niacin is best used for that.

I'm not a doctor, so I really can't make any recommendations as to how much or what form of niacin will benefit you most. It would probably be better if you talk this over with your doctor. He can probably best advise you as to which form of niacin would be best for you, and how much to take.
I've been off the niacin a couple of weeks now trying to see if the pains in my thigh may be related to niacin, but being off it hasn't seemed to help at all so I think the problem is unrelated to the niacin. I'll probably wait until I see the doctor next week before going back on niacin, though.

Anyway, I lowered my LDL from 247 to 190 and increased my HDL from 62 to 72 with 750 mg Enduracin, a sustained-release OTC niacin. I've had another more recent lipid panel in which both LDL and HDL were higher, but that was after my experiment of eating two eggs a day for almost three months.

My philosophy about taking niacin was to take no more than necessary to do the job, so I started out with 250 mg a day for three months. When that didn't get numbers down enough, I tried 500 mg a day for six months. That brought LDL to 202, but my doctor suggested increasing the niacin to 750 mg daily, which resulted in the LDL of 190. This is combined with a low-saturated fat and low-trans fat diet.

If you choose to take an OTC niacin in therapeutic doses, make sure you get regular liver enzyme tests, as the niacin can be just as dangerous as the statins. The number of people who are affected is low, but just in case you are one of them, the regular tests would allow one to quit before permanent damage was done. Niacin is not recommended for anyone whose liver has been damaged from alcohol or who drink heavily.
mgHealth,

I am working my way up SLOWLY trying to mitigate the flush. With my 10 mg. Lipitor, I can easily take 125 mg X 3 doses occasional flush, 250 x 3 with a light flush all the time and 375 mg x 2 doses (2 days now) on a full stomach with a flush that is close to my bearable limit. I've been increasing the dosage over the last 2 months and the first 125 mg. doses were MURDER but they've eased off a lot.
I would LIKE to try 375 x 3 but I'm only eating 2 full meals a day right now and I don;t DARE take this stuff on an empty stomach...the flush is crucifying with 5 minutes!
Im getting a significant increase in my HDL and a superb shift to HDL2.

I'm using an ANCIENT bottle of Pioneer Brand 500 mg. straight VERY flushing niacin from GNC...must be 15 years old or older! Since I'm taking Lipitor, I have no interest in ever going above a total of 1500 mg/day in 3 divided doses...but I have my doubts about ever getting above 1125 mg. because of the flush!
Well,
The 375 mg. X 2 or 3 doses is proving untenable; the facial and neck stinging is just too much to bear.
I have to stay at 250 mg. for at least a month til I try higher again.
I think the 250's still give me a nice enough HDL boost that I sorely need...now if ONLY I had Stumper's Cardio-Chek!:D

Hmmm, I broke 200 tablets of 500 mg. niacin into 4 pieces each with MUCH WORK for a total of 800 pieces...and now I take 2 at a time :rolleyes: ...MURPHY'S LAW STRIKES AGAIN!
mg_health,

I just started taking niacin (Inositol Hexanicotinate) 3 days ago.

I bought the 'No Flush Niacin' brand from 'Source Naturals'. I've started on 250mg/day. My first few doses caused a mild tingling sensation in my lips, and the first night I did feel a strange feeling in my throat, almost like a mild constriction.

The last 2 doses did not cause any wierd sensation in the throat. I was reading that IH is supposed to be the best tolerated niacin, and about as effective as the immediate release.

I have my next blood work on June 24th - and I want to increase my HDL level. I'm also exercising regularly again (jogging 3 miles 3-4 times/week), but even when I was younger and more active than today, I was never able to budge my HDL above about 45. I hope the niacin finally budges it significantly.

HubbleRules


:cool:
Lenin,

I will definitely post my results.

I'm starting off very slowly (250mg/day) to let my body get used to it. If I don't get a significant improvement in HDL, I'll consider upping it to 500mg/day - and see if I can tolerate it.

I don't think I'd want to go beyond 750mg/day. There are lots of warnings about using Niacin in 'therapeutic' dosages (1000+mg/day) - so I want to avoid therapeutic levels if at all possible. If you do use it in these high doses, you should get regular liver-function tests, because it can be toxic to the liver at high doses.

I'm still having some very slight residual tingling around the lips from my 250mg intake last night - so I may even throttle back a bit until I get used to it and can take it without any lasting side-effects.

HubbleRules
:cool:
[QUOTE=HubbleRules]mg_health,

I just started taking niacin (Inositol Hexanicotinate) 3 days ago.

I bought the 'No Flush Niacin' brand from 'Source Naturals'. I've started on 250mg/day. My first few doses caused a mild tingling sensation in my lips, and the first night I did feel a strange feeling in my throat, almost like a mild constriction.

The last 2 doses did not cause any wierd sensation in the throat. I was reading that IH is supposed to be the best tolerated niacin, and about as effective as the immediate release.

I have my next blood work on June 24th - and I want to increase my HDL level. I'm also exercising regularly again (jogging 3 miles 3-4 times/week), but even when I was younger and more active than today, I was never able to budge my HDL above about 45. I hope the niacin finally budges it significantly.

HubbleRules


:cool:[/QUOTE]

I guess, for some people, they may never be able to naturally increase their HDL levels. I feel I may be one of those as well. Please let me (us) know when you get your upcoming results. Hopefully, the niacin works for you! My HDL is currently at 36. It's been as low as 26! Usually, however, it hovers in the mid-30s. There has been a correlation, though, between my levels of triglycerides and my levels of HDL: when my triglycerides were higher, my HDL was lower. When my triglycerides got lower, my HDL levels increased respectively.
[QUOTE=ARIZONA73]Hubble,

Do you mean that you've also experienced some side-effects from inositol hexanicotinate? Wow, that must mean that it contains niacin after all. I've always been a regular user of plain immediate-release niacin, and sometimes experience some flushing, which I never minded. But when I tried flush-free niacin, I felt nothing! Absolutely nothing at all. For me, it was like drinking a glass of water. Anyway, I hope it works for you. But don't be surprised if you find that much higher doses are required in order for it to have much of an effect. You may even have to take as much as 2000-3000mg. But of course I hope you are able to get good results with lower doses.[/QUOTE]


Arizona,

I guess everyone reacts differently to meds and supplements. I had a 'mild' reaction with the IH. I'm purposely taking it slow, and will gradually build up the doseage if I do not notice a significant increase in my HDL.

However, I'd be afraid to go as high as 2000-3000mg - I don't know if I could handle that level. The instructions from internet site where I bought it said to take 500mg 3x per day for a total of 1500mg - don't know if I'd ever go that high.

Right now the reaction I feel is very mild - but I found it wierd that my lips tingled very slightly the next day... I'm taking another dose as I type right now.

Mg_Health,

You sound like you have the same issue as I do - an HDL level that is stuck at a low point. Mine also usually comes in at the high 30s, 45 is off the chart for me.

I'm exercising again, and dropping weight, and cutting back on carbs, so hopefully my triglycerides will be much improved at my next blood test, and hopefully that will improve the HDL level.

I will post my results (probably end of June).

Regards,

HubbleRules

:cool:
I'm in the same boat and I must work like the Dickens to keep my HDL out of the 30's. Before the Lipitor it was 28 for me but the statin got me 7 points. Sousing can get me into the high 50's but that isn't really an option anymore.
I think I'm gettin a LITTLE boost (maber 4-5 points) from the low dose niacin (averaging about 500 mg/day quick hit.)

This week I'll try something new. Ten minutes after my meal I'll take 125 mg.; then 1/2 hour later I'll take another 125. My theory is that the flush will be mitigated because it hits like gang busters and is gone in 20 minutes...so maybe the divided doses will be painless. Alas, on an empty stomach I can get a major flush with only 75 mg.
Lenin,

Don't become too impatient with the relatively small short-term effects it has had on your HDL. It takes time. I think that the longer you take it the more you will likely benefit. At least, that's been my experience, and I've been taking it for about 20 years already.

I think you must be taking the same brand of niacin that I take (Puritan's Pride 250mg?). Since those tablets are serrated, you can easily break them in half (well, maybe plus or minus 25mg anyway). That may not be a bad idea. You can just take the lower doses more often throughout the day. It really shouldn't matter. Or maybe next time you can just order the 100mg tablets. Maybe that would be easier and more convenient. Anyway, just try to stick with it if you can, and I hope that you will continue to experience even more of an increase in your HDL.

I don't know what's going on with this stupid dial up connection I have. I've lost connection to the internet about 4 times already, and it's taken me about a half hour just to get this message through. :mad:
[QUOTE=mg_health]I was wondering if anyone has started taking non-prescription Niacin to help in their efforts to lower LDL and raise HDL, and, if so, has it worked?

Or, do you need a doctor's prescription to start taking it (in large doses)?

If it's worked, what kind? Immediate, delayed release? How much?

If, come my next blood test, my results aren't better, I might consider taking Niacin as I've heard nothing but good about it for lowering LDL and raising HDL.[/QUOTE]

MG,

I take NIACIN. (with excellent results). I take immediate release tablets. (approx. 3,000 mg a day) I do not find any difference between my prescription brand "NIACOR" or any other store bought niacin. The only reason I mainly take the prescription brand is because my prescription plan provides me a 90 limit for a very small co-pay (approx. $10.00)

Also, it is a good idea to work with your doctor on the optimal dose. He may want you to take 500 mg a day for awhile, and then check your blood results. (Which makes sense).
[QUOTE=jdmol]I have been taking Niacin for 10 years now and it does work. You should really consult your physician though as you need a liver enzyme test to get a base line before you start. Then follow up tests once a year should do well. I was taking 500 mg four times a day when my cholesterol was through the roof. The last time I had it checked my cholesterol was around 140 so I backed off to 200 mg 4 times a day. On the high dosages I was taking I noticed my skin was developing large dry patches everywhere that was covered. I have been using the NO FLUSH version of it but even the regular kind flushes me only fhe first day or two then after that there's no problem at all.[/QUOTE]

jdmol,

Did you notice an increase in HDL the longer you took niacin? I've been taking niacin approx 3 years, my HDL is about 47. I take between 2000 - 3000mg of immediate release a day. (prescription brand NIACOR)





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