Niacin to increase your HDL, ‘good,’ cholesterol

Niacin is an vital B vitamin that may well increase your HDL, (“great”), cholesterol. Come across out if you should chat to your medical doctor about using niacin alone or with cholesterol drugs.

By Mayo Clinic Staff members

Niacin, a B vitamin, has extended been utilized to raise superior-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “great” cholesterol that helps clear away lower-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “undesirable” cholesterol from your bloodstream.

But niacin is just not for all people. People who take niacin in addition to common cholesterol drugs see extremely tiny more benefit. And niacin can induce not comfortable and often risky side consequences.

What is niacin?

Niacin (nicotinic acid) is a B vitamin that’s utilized by your body to transform foodstuff into electricity. Niacin also helps keep your nervous technique, digestive technique and pores and skin healthful. Which is why niacin is frequently a element of a each day multivitamin, while most men and women get plenty of niacin from the foodstuff they take in.

When it is really utilized as a cure to raise your HDL cholesterol or appropriate a vitamin deficiency, niacin is sold in greater doses that are prescribed by your medical doctor. Prescription-strength niacin consists of these medicines as Niacor and Niaspan.

Niacin is also out there as an more than-the-counter supplement. Dietary supplements sold more than-the-counter are not controlled like prescription drugs. The elements, formulations and consequences of more than-the-counter niacin can fluctuate greatly.

Never take niacin with no speaking about it with your medical doctor first mainly because niacin can induce critical side consequences when taken in superior doses.

What effects does niacin have on cholesterol?

Niacin can increase HDL cholesterol by far more than thirty per cent. You will find currently some debate about the precise part HDL performs in the body and in the progress of coronary heart disease. But HDL has frequently been imagined to decide up excessive “undesirable” cholesterol in your blood and take it to your liver for disposal, which is why HDL is dubbed the “great” cholesterol.

Cholesterol ranges are calculated in milligrams for each deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles for each liter (mmol/L):

  • For adult men, HDL ranges below 40 mg/dL (1. mmol/L) raise the chance of coronary heart disease.
  • For girls, HDL ranges below 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) raise the chance of coronary heart disease.

Regardless of niacin’s potential to increase HDL, new research suggests that niacin remedy is just not connected to reduced fees of death, coronary heart assault or stroke.

What else can be performed to raise HDL?

Life style alterations are beneficial in boosting HDL:

  • Stop smoking if you happen to be a smoker.
  • Take in a healthful diet program.
  • Get started an workout plan, with your doctor’s Okay.

What side consequences are affiliated with using superior doses of niacin?

Significant-dose niacin can induce belly upset and make your pores and skin flush or itch. Extra importantly, niacin can raise your chance of:

  • Significant blood sugar ranges or style two diabetes
  • Infection
  • Liver hurt
  • Stroke
  • Bleeding

Who could take into account using niacin?

In the past, it was imagined that HDL ranges would raise even far more if niacin was added to cholesterol drugs identified as statins, these as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor). But new scientific tests point out that niacin offers tiny more benefit when compared with statins alone, and may well raise the dangers of critical side consequences.

Most health professionals no for a longer period advocate niacin for first line cholesterol management — except for men and women who won’t be able to tolerate statins. In those people men and women, the benefits of niacin may well outweigh the chance of potentially critical side consequences.