21 doctors weighed in:
Does niacian affect cholesterol?
21 doctors weighed in

Dr. Bennett Werner
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
10 doctors agree
In brief: Yes, but...
Niacin lowers triglycerides and mildly raises HDL (good) cholesterol and, theoretically, that should lower the risk of heart disease.
However, the recent nih sponsored aim high study showed no improved outcomes when extended release Niacin was added to a statin drug. See: http://www.Aimhigh-heart.Com/ diet is good, but statins are the mainstay of therapy and nothing has been shown to be better.

In brief: Yes, but...
Niacin lowers triglycerides and mildly raises HDL (good) cholesterol and, theoretically, that should lower the risk of heart disease.
However, the recent nih sponsored aim high study showed no improved outcomes when extended release Niacin was added to a statin drug. See: http://www.Aimhigh-heart.Com/ diet is good, but statins are the mainstay of therapy and nothing has been shown to be better.
Dr. Bennett Werner
Dr. Bennett Werner
Thank
13 comments
Dr. Peter Kurzweil
Dr. Yoder's point is an excellent one. There are many, many examples of therapies which intuitively one would think would help, such as lowering triglycerides and raising the 'good' cholesterol improving outcomes. Clinical observation can be more accurate that 50 studies, I have found. I have noticed that there is some association with clinical depression and low HDL--time will tell...
Dr. Joseph Eastern
On the other hand, statins appear to be grossly overrated. Several studies have shown that if you have had a heart attack you should be on a statin; but if you are a male under 70 without demonstrable heart disease, or a female of any age and any cardiac status, statins will not prolong your life.
Dr. Chris Oh
Internal Medicine
8 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Niacin lowers cholesterol - especially triglycerides and it prescribed for exactly that condition.
Main side effect is facial flushing and Aspirin is usually recommended to take with Niacin to minimize this side effect.

In brief: Yes
Niacin lowers cholesterol - especially triglycerides and it prescribed for exactly that condition.
Main side effect is facial flushing and Aspirin is usually recommended to take with Niacin to minimize this side effect.
Dr. Chris Oh
Dr. Chris Oh
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Pam Yoder
Thanks, Chris. I hope the member sees the article about you on our blog!
Dr. Pam Yoder
Obstetrics & Gynecology - Maternal Fetal Medicine
2 doctors agree
In brief: IM, Card discussion
Thanks for your question.
I referred it to the appropriate specialties and to some physicians in your area.

In brief: IM, Card discussion
Thanks for your question.
I referred it to the appropriate specialties and to some physicians in your area.
Dr. Pam Yoder
Dr. Pam Yoder
Thank
2 comments
Dr. Foster Carr
Primarily used for high triglyceride levels rather than high cholesterol. Although the two conditions frequently come together.
Dr. Pam Yoder
Thanks, Dr. Carr.
Dr. Randy Baker
Holistic Medicine
In brief: Multiple benefits
Niacin appears to work better than any drug in raising HDL ("good cholesterol") 15-35%, while lowering LDL 15-25% and lowering triglycerides 20-50%, again better than any drug.
Even better, it preferentially lowers levels of the more dangerous small LDL particles. A recent study suggests it may not provide help to those on statins, but it may be a good alternative to statins. See my comment:.

In brief: Multiple benefits
Niacin appears to work better than any drug in raising HDL ("good cholesterol") 15-35%, while lowering LDL 15-25% and lowering triglycerides 20-50%, again better than any drug.
Even better, it preferentially lowers levels of the more dangerous small LDL particles. A recent study suggests it may not provide help to those on statins, but it may be a good alternative to statins. See my comment:.
Dr. Randy Baker
Dr. Randy Baker
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Randy Baker
For more info see http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/niacin/CL00036 and http://cholesterol.about.com/cs/nicotinicacid/a/niacin1.htm
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