Niacin to raise your HDL, ‘good,’ cholesterol

Niacin is an vital B vitamin that might elevate your HDL, (“very good”), cholesterol. Obtain out if you should talk to your health care provider about taking niacin by itself or with cholesterol remedies.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Niacin, a B vitamin, has lengthy been employed to increase superior-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol — the “very good” cholesterol that aids get rid of very low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “terrible” cholesterol from your bloodstream.

But niacin is not for everybody. Persons who choose niacin in addition to frequent cholesterol remedies see quite small extra profit. And niacin can cause unpleasant and occasionally unsafe facet consequences.

What is niacin?

Niacin (nicotinic acid) is a B vitamin which is employed by your body to turn food stuff into electricity. Niacin also aids keep your nervous technique, digestive technique and skin healthy. Which is why niacin is usually a portion of a daily multivitamin, although most persons get sufficient niacin from the food stuff they try to eat.

When it really is employed as a therapy to increase your HDL cholesterol or accurate a vitamin deficiency, niacin is bought in bigger doses that are recommended by your health care provider. Prescription-power niacin incorporates these types of medicines as Niacor and Niaspan.

Niacin is also out there as an around-the-counter complement. Health supplements bought around-the-counter are not controlled like prescription remedies. The elements, formulations and consequences of around-the-counter niacin can differ extensively.

Do not choose niacin without discussing it with your health care provider initial due to the fact niacin can cause major facet consequences when taken in superior doses.

What affect does niacin have on cholesterol?

Niacin can elevate HDL cholesterol by far more than 30 %. There’s at this time some debate about the actual part HDL performs in the body and in the improvement of coronary heart illness. But HDL has generally been thought to pick up excessive “terrible” cholesterol in your blood and choose it to your liver for disposal, which is why HDL is dubbed the “very good” cholesterol.

Cholesterol amounts are measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L):

  • For adult males, HDL amounts less than forty mg/dL (1. mmol/L) increase the possibility of coronary heart illness.
  • For women, HDL amounts less than fifty mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) increase the possibility of coronary heart illness.

Regardless of niacin’s capacity to elevate HDL, recent investigate indicates that niacin treatment is not connected to lower costs of loss of life, coronary heart attack or stroke.

What else can be completed to increase HDL?

Way of living changes are helpful in boosting HDL:

  • End using tobacco if you are a smoker.
  • Take in a healthy diet plan.
  • Begin an training method, with your doctor’s Okay.

What facet consequences are connected with taking superior doses of niacin?

Large-dose niacin can cause belly upset and make your skin flush or itch. A lot more importantly, niacin can increase your possibility of:

  • Large blood sugar amounts or form two diabetic issues
  • Infection
  • Liver hurt
  • Stroke
  • Bleeding

Who could possibly contemplate taking niacin?

In the earlier, it was thought that HDL amounts would increase even far more if niacin was additional to cholesterol remedies identified as statins, these types of as atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor). But recent studies point out that niacin delivers small extra profit when as opposed with statins by itself, and might increase the challenges of major facet consequences.

Most doctors no lengthier recommend niacin for initial line cholesterol handle — apart from for persons who can not tolerate statins. In individuals persons, the gains of niacin might outweigh the possibility of most likely major facet consequences.