Niacin to strengthen your HDL, ‘good,’ cholesterol

Niacin is an essential B vitamin that might raise your HDL, (“good”), cholesterol. Uncover out if you need to discuss to your doctor about taking niacin by yourself or with cholesterol prescription drugs.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Niacin, a B vitamin, has extensive been utilised to boost high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “superior” cholesterol that allows take out reduced-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “negative” cholesterol from your bloodstream.

But niacin is not for everyone. People who take niacin in addition to frequent cholesterol prescription drugs see extremely minimal additional advantage. And niacin can bring about uncomfortable and often hazardous facet effects.

What is niacin?

Niacin (nicotinic acid) is a B vitamin that is used by your system to switch foods into vitality. Niacin also assists maintain your anxious process, digestive process and skin healthy. Which is why niacin is often a aspect of a every day multivitamin, nevertheless most persons get adequate niacin from the food stuff they try to eat.

When it is made use of as a procedure to raise your HDL cholesterol or suitable a vitamin deficiency, niacin is sold in better doses that are recommended by your medical doctor. Prescription-energy niacin consists of this kind of drugs as Niacor and Niaspan.

Niacin is also accessible as an in excess of-the-counter dietary supplement. Dietary supplements marketed around-the-counter are not controlled like prescription medicines. The substances, formulations and consequences of about-the-counter niacin can differ extensively.

Don’t take niacin without the need of speaking about it with your health care provider to start with because niacin can bring about serious aspect effects when taken in large doses.

What impact does niacin have on cholesterol?

Niacin can elevate HDL cholesterol by additional than 30 %. There’s currently some debate about the precise purpose HDL performs in the overall body and in the growth of coronary heart condition. But HDL has usually been imagined to pick up surplus “bad” cholesterol in your blood and just take it to your liver for disposal, which is why HDL is dubbed the “good” cholesterol.

Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams for every deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles for every liter (mmol/L):

  • For males, HDL concentrations less than 40 mg/dL (1. mmol/L) enhance the possibility of coronary heart disease.
  • For ladies, HDL amounts underneath 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) improve the threat of coronary heart disorder.

Irrespective of niacin’s means to increase HDL, new study suggests that niacin treatment just isn’t connected to decrease fees of death, heart attack or stroke.

What else can be completed to maximize HDL?

Way of life changes are practical in boosting HDL:

  • Quit smoking if you are a smoker.
  • Eat a balanced eating plan.
  • Commence an exercise method, with your doctor’s Okay.

What aspect outcomes are related with getting significant doses of niacin?

Large-dose niacin can lead to abdomen upset and make your pores and skin flush or itch. Far more importantly, niacin can boost your chance of:

  • Higher blood sugar stages or sort 2 diabetic issues
  • An infection
  • Liver destruction
  • Stroke
  • Bleeding

Who may contemplate having niacin?

In the earlier, it was believed that HDL concentrations would raise even a lot more if niacin was included to cholesterol medications known as statins, these kinds of as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor). But current scientific studies show that niacin provides small additional advantage when in comparison with statins by itself, and might enhance the pitfalls of severe facet effects.

Most medical practitioners no extended recommend niacin for initial line cholesterol control — except for folks who can’t tolerate statins. In those people persons, the gains of niacin may well outweigh the chance of possibly major aspect outcomes.