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Recent Longevity News for the seven days ending 9/1/10.  You should consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.

Vitamin D is a prognostic marker in heart failure, study finds - Science Daily, 8/31/10 - "Survival rates in heart failure patients with reduced levels of vitamin D are lower than in patients with normal levels ... Results also suggest that low levels of vitamin D are associated with activation of the Renin Angiotensin System (RAS -- a pivotal regulatory system in heart failure) and an altered cytokine profile" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Iron deficiency in heart failure - Science Daily, 8/31/10 - "Iron deficiency is a relatively common nutritional disorder that affects more than one third of the general population, and is often associated with chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson's disease, rheumatoid diseases and renal failure ... iron deficiency must be viewed in a much broader clinical context, as it also affects at least one-third of non-anaemic CHF patients ... Iron deficiency appears to be independent of the severity of CHF symptoms, and occurs irrespective of anaemia. It also seems to be associated with exercise intolerance and leads to a reduced quality of life. Our research shows that it probably constitutes an ominous sign of a poor outcome, independently of the other well-established prognosticators. In light of its high prevalence and clinical consequences, iron deficiency may well be perceived as an attractive therapeutic target in CHF" - See Slow Fe Slow Release Iron Tablets 90-Count Box at Amazon.com.

Increasing selenium intake may decrease bladder cancer risk - Science Daily, 8/31/10 - "The lower the levels of selenium, the higher the risk of developing bladder cancer" - See selenium at Amazon.com.

Female Incontinence Risk Linked to Vitamin D Levels - Doctor's Guide, 8/26/10 - "Mean vitamin D levels were significantly lower for women reporting urinary and/or faecal incontinence regardless ... the risk of urinary incontinence was significantly decreased in women aged 50 years and older with vitamin D levels >30 ng/mL (P =.022), translating into a 45% decreased risk of urinary incontinence with vitamin D levels in the normal range ... treating pre- and postmenopausal women for vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency may strengthen pelvic muscles and potentially decrease the prevalence of urinary incontinence" - See vitamin D at Amazon.com.

Insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes linked to plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease - Science Daily, 8/25/10 - "People with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes appear to be at an increased risk of developing plaques in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease ... people who had abnormal results on three tests of blood sugar control had an increased risk of developing plaques. Plaques were found in 72 percent of people with insulin resistance and 62 percent of people with no indication of insulin resistance" - [Abstract]

Abstracts from this week's Doctor's Guide Nutrition/Dietetics plus abstracts from my RSS feeds (Click here for the journals, the PubMed ones at the top):

alpha-Lipoic acid protects diabetic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice from nephropathy - J Diabetes Complications. 2010 Aug 26 - "LA supplementation markedly protected the beta cells, reduced cholesterol levels, and attenuated albuminuria and glomerular mesangial expansion in the diabetic mice. Renoprotection by LA was equally effective regardless of whether the dietary supplementation was started 4 weeks before, simultaneously with, or 4 weeks after the induction of diabetes by STZ. LA supplementation significantly improved DN and oxidative stress in the diabetic mice. Severity of albuminuria was positively correlated with level of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs) in the kidney (r(2)=0.62, P<.05). Diabetes significantly changed the kidney expression of Rage, Sod2, Tgfb1 and Ctgf, Pdp2, nephrin, and Lias. LA supplementation corrected these changes except that it further suppressed the expression of the Lias gene coding for lipoic acid synthase" - See alpha lipoic acid at Amazon.com.

Acid diet (high-meat protein) effects on calcium metabolism and bone health - Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Aug 16 - "Increased potential renal acid load resulting from a high protein (intake above the current Recommended Dietary Allowance of 0.8 g protein/kg body weight) intake has been closely associated with increased urinary calcium excretion. However, recent findings do not support the assumption that bone is lost to provide the extra calcium found in urine. Neither whole body calcium balance is, nor are bone status indicators, negatively affected by the increased acid load. Contrary to the supposed detrimental effect of protein, the majority of epidemiological studies have shown that long-term high-protein intake increases bone mineral density and reduces bone fracture incidence. The beneficial effects of protein such as increasing intestinal calcium absorption and circulating IGF-I whereas lowering serum parathyroid hormone sufficiently offset any negative effects of the acid load of protein on bone health"

Fish and n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Intake and Depressive Symptoms: Ryukyus Child Health Study - Pediatrics. 2010 Aug 16 - "The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 22.5% for boys and 31.2% for girls. For boys, fish intake was inversely associated with depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratio [OR] for depressive symptoms in the highest [compared with the lowest] quintile of intake: 0.73 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.55-0.97]; P for trend = .04). EPA intake showed an inverse association with depressive symptoms (OR: 0.71 [95% CI: 0.54-0.94]; P = .04). DHA intake also showed a similar inverse, albeit nonsignificant, association (OR: 0.79 [95% CI: 0.59-1.05]; P = .11). In addition, intake of EPA plus DHA was inversely associated with depressive symptoms (OR: 0.72 [95% CI: 0.55-0.96]; P = .08). Conversely, no such associations were observed among girls" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.

Familial Longevity Is Associated with Decreased Thyroid Function - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Aug 25 - "We found that a lower family mortality history score (less mortality) of the parents of nonagenarian siblings was associated with higher serum TSH levels (P = 0.005) and lower free T4 levels (P = 0.002) as well as lower free T3 levels (P = 0.034) in the nonagenarian siblings"

Urinary Cortisol and Six-Year Risk of All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Aug 25 - "During a mean follow-up of 5.7 (SD = 1.2) yr, 183 persons died, of whom 41 died from cardiovascular disease. After adjustment for sociodemographics, health indicators, and baseline cardiovascular disease, urinary cortisol did not increase the risk of noncardiovascular mortality, but it did increase cardiovascular mortality risk. Persons in the highest tertile of urinary cortisol had a five times increased risk of dying of cardiovascular disease (hazard ratio = 5.00; 95% confidence interval = 2.02-12.37). This effect was found to be consistent across persons with and without cardiovascular disease at baseline"

DHEA-S Levels and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Postmenopausal Women - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Aug 25 - "Women in the lowest DHEA-S tertile had higher CVD mortality (17% 6-yr mortality rate vs. 8%; log-rank P = 0.011), and all-cause mortality (21 vs. 10%; P = 0.011) compared with women with higher DHEA-S levels. The increased CVD mortality risk [hazard ratio (HR) = 2.55; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.19-5.45] remained unchanged after adjustment for multiple CVD risk factors (HR = 2.43; 95% CI = 1.06-5.56) but became nonsignificant when further adjusting for the presence or severity of angiographic obstructive CAD (HR = 1.99; 95% CI = 0.87-4.59). Results were similar for all-cause mortality. Lower DHEA-S levels were only marginally but not independently associated with obstructive CAD" - See DHEA at Amazon.com.

Prediction of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Varieties through Their Phenolic Profile. Potential Cytotoxic Activity against Human Breast Cancer Cells - J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Aug 26 - "extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) varieties ...Five different Spanish EVOO varieties were analyzed, and RRLC-ESI-TOF-MS method was applied for qualitative and quantitative identification of most important phenolic compounds. We finally employed MTT-based cell viability protocol to assess the effects of crude EVOO phenolic extracts (PEs) on the metabolic status of cultured SKBR3 human breast cancer cells. MTT-based cell viability assays revealed a wide range of breast cancer cytotoxic potencies among individual crude PE obtained from EVOO monovarietals. Remarkably, breast cancer cell sensitivity to crude EVOO-PEs was up to 12 times higher in secoiridoids enriched-PE than in secoiridoids-low/null EVOO-PE"

Coffee consumption and risk of incident gout in women: the Nurses' Health Study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug 25 - "There was an inverse association between higher coffee intake and the risk of gout. The multivariate relative risks (RRs) for incident gout according to coffee-consumption categories [ie, 0, 1-237, 238-947, and >/=948 mL coffee/d (237 mL = one 8-ounce cup)] were 1.00, 0.97, 0.78 (95% CI: 0.64, 0.95), and 0.43 (95% CI: 0.30, 0.61; P for trend < 0.0001), respectively. For decaffeinated coffee, the multivariate RRs according to consumption categories (0, 1-237, and >/=237 mL decaffeinated coffee/d) were 1.00, 1.02, and 0.77 (95% CI: 0.63, 0.95; P for trend = 0.02), respectively. There was an inverse association between total caffeine from all sources and the risk of gout; the multivariate RR of the highest quintile compared with the lowest quintile was 0.52 (95% CI: 0.41, 0.68; P for trend <0.0001)"

Periodontal disease and carotid atherosclerosis: Are hemodynamic forces a link? - Atherosclerosis. 2010 Jul 29 - "Worse periodontal health was associated to the presence of carotid atherosclerosis. Patients with carotid plaques (n=19) had higher periodontal indices compared with subjects without plaques (n=14) (gingival index: 1.40+/-0.71 vs. 0.69+/-0.64, p=0.006) ... In the 66 examined common carotids, wall shear stress was inversely related to all periodontal indices (r=0.54, p<0.00001 for peak wall shear stress and gingival index) ... The present study identifies for the first time a link between periodontal indices and wall shear stress, suggesting that an alteration of hemodynamic profile might contribute to atherosclerosis in subjects with periodontal disease"

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

Health Focus (Niacin):

Note:  I see a lot of orders for no-flush niacin.  I assume the reason people are buying this is to raise HDL cholesterol.  I couldn't find any research that no-flush niacin works to increase HDL.  It's probably a waste of money for the no-flush.  Just do a Medline search of  hexanicotinate HDL, hexaniacinate HDL or no-flush niacin.  Here are the the only studies I could find:

Accumulation of chylomicron remnants and impaired vascular reactivity occur in subjects with isolated low HDL cholesterol: effects of niacin treatment - Atherosclerosis. 2006 Jul;187(1):116-22 - "evaluation of no-flush niacin treatment ... Twenty-two low HDL subjects with reduced FMD were randomized into two groups, one given 1.5 g/day niacin and a placebo group. After 3-month treatment, plasma lipids and chylomicron kinetics were not changed by niacin treatment"

Varying cost and free nicotinic acid content in over-the-counter niacin preparations for dyslipidemia - Ann Intern Med. 2003 Dec 16;139(12):996-1002 - "Commonly used over-the-counter niacin preparations (500-mg tablets or capsules) from the 3 categories of immediate-release, sustained-release, and no-flush were purchased at health food stores and pharmacies and from Internet-based vitamin companies ... The average content of free nicotinic acid was 520.4 mg for immediate-release niacin, 502.6 mg for sustained-release niacin, and 0 for no-flush niacin ... No-flush preparations of over-the-counter niacin contain no free nicotinic acid and should not be used to treat dyslipidemia. Over-the-counter sustained-release niacin contains free nicotinic acid, but some brands are hepatotoxic. Immediate-release niacin contains free nicotinic acid and is the least expensive form of over-the-counter niacin"

http://www.lipidsonline.org/slides/slide01.cfm?tk=25&dpg=34 shows that with extended release niacin, HDL peaks out at 2,500 mg.  http://www.lipidsonline.org/slides/slide01.cfm?q=effect+of+niacin&dpg=7 hows immediate release crystalline niacin compared to Niaspan.  There isn't much gain in HDL with the immediate release crystalline niacin after 1,000 mg per day.  After seeing that, I'll probably cut down from 3,000 mg but from the slide it appears that there is a significant advantage to lowering triglycerides by going to 3,000 mg plus there is a linear decrease in LDL-C by going to 3,000 mg immediate release crystalline niacin.  This graph also shows that immediate release crystalline niacin is significantly better at raising HDL and lowering triglycerides compared to Niaspan.  Also see the slide titled CHD Risk According to HDL-C Levels.

I’ve never seen any studies on Niaspan and liver damage but it would seem like it would be similar to the slow release niacin. The only study I’ve seen on that is:

A comparison of the efficacy and toxic effects of sustained- vs immediate-release niacin in hypercholesterolemic patients - JAMA. 1994 Mar 2;271(9):672-7 - "None of the patients taking IR niacin developed hepatotoxic effects, while 12 (52%) of the 23 patients taking SR niacin did"

Be sure to see a doctor to have your liver enzymes checked before and after taking any niacin supplement.  See the bottom of http://www.lipidsonline.org/slides/ for some great slide shows on HDL.  The January 2007 Harvard Men's Health Newsletter has a good article on HDL cholesterol but it is a paid subscription.  See niacin at Amazon.com and niacin at Amazon.com.

Related Topics:

General Information:

  • niacin at Amazon.com
  • Extended-Release Niacin and Hyperlipidemia Management - November 15, 2000 - American Academy of Family Physicians - aafp.org - "Niacin can lower LDL cholesterol by 10 to 25 percent and triglyceride levels by 20 to 50 percent, and can raise levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol by 15 to 35 percent ... The daily niacin dosage was started at 375 mg taken nightly and slowly increased, to a maximum of 3,000 mg per day, at four-week intervals for a total of 25 weeks. Patients were permitted to take 325 mg of aspirin before taking the study medication if they wished to prevent flushing ... The dose response demonstrates a linear effect, with maximal benefit at a dosage of approximately 2,500 mg, although the maximum recommended dosage of extended-release niacin is 2,000 mg"
  • Niacin - A New Look at an Old Drug - U.S. Pharmacist, 10/15/03 - "In one study, up to 53% of patients treated with IR niacin reported flushing, compared with 22% in the SR niacin group; four of the 23 IR-treated patients (17%) withdrew because of flushing. However, 67% of patients discontinued SR niacin therapy because of liver enzyme elevations (three times the upper limit of normal), and 52% of patients developed hepatotoxic symptoms; however, no patients treated with IR niacin developed significant changes in liver enzymes ... Because the incidence and severity of flushing often decreases with continued use—sometimes dissipating altogether—stress that any interruptions in therapy may lead to losing any tolerance" - Note:  I've been taking two grams of the TwinLab immediate release niacin for years and I don't get any flush from it if I take it with a little food. - Ben
  • A comparison of the efficacy and toxic effects of sustained- vs immediate-release niacin in hypercholesterolemic patients - JAMA. 1994 Mar 2;271(9):672-7 - "None of the patients taking IR niacin developed hepatotoxic effects, while 12 (52%) of the 23 patients taking SR niacin did"

News & Research:

  • Preventing heart problems while keeping a cool head: Cause of flushing effect arising from cholesterol treatment with nicotinic acid - Science Daily, 7/26/10 - "The opposite approach, which involves increasing the concentration of "good" HDL cholesterol using nicotinic acid, has proven unpopular among patients up to now. The reason for this is that treatment with nicotinic acid has an unpleasant but harmless side-effect: the drug makes patients turn quite red in the face ... the higher an individual's level of HDL cholesterol, the lower his or her risk of contracting these diseases. For this reason, the strategy of increasing HDL plasma concentration through medication has become more prevalent of late. The drug on which most hopes are pinned here is nicotinic acid ... The flushing phenomenon can be prevented by inhibiting prostaglandin formation or blocking the prostaglandin receptors in the skin, while the desired effects of the nicotinic acid on lipid metabolism remain unaffected"
  • Vitamin B3 shows early promise in treatment of stroke - Science Daily, 2/24/10 - "An early study suggests that vitamin B3 or niacin, a common water-soluble vitamin, may help improve neurological function after stroke ... Niacin is known to be the most effective medicine in current clinical use for increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), which helps those fatty deposits ... Niacin essentially re-wires the brain which has very exciting potential for use in humans"
  • Quality of HDL Differs in Diabetics But Improves With Niacin Therapy - Medscape, 12/22/09 - "HDL cholesterol in individuals with diabetes has impaired endothelial protective functions compared with the HDL from healthy subjects, although treatment with extended-release niacin can improve these endothelial protective effects"
  • Adding Niacin Boosts Effectiveness of Simvastatin/ezetimibe - Medscape, 12/16/09 - "In high-risk patients with hyperlipidemia, the addition of extended-release niacin provides superior results to therapy with simvastatin and ezetimibe alone ... At 64 weeks, compared with simvastatin and ezetimibe alone, the triple combination significantly improved HDL cholesterol (+21.5%), triglycerides (-17.6%), non-HDL cholesterol (-7.3%), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B and A-I, and lipoprotein ratios"
  • Vitamin B niacin offers no extra benefit to statin therapy in seniors already diagnosed with coronary artery disease, study suggests - Science Daily, 11/18/09 - "This does not mean that niacin therapy may not have other cardiovascular benefits, but any such benefits are independent of reducing the amount of plaque buildup and patients should be aware of that ... Lima cautions that an ongoing national study of the long-term vascular benefits of dual therapy and whether extended-release niacin, also known as nicotinic acid, lowers death rates from heart disease should provide more definitive data" - Note:  The article implies that prescription Niaspan works better than immediate release niacin.  See http://www.lipidsonline.org/slides/slide01.cfm?q=effect+of+niacin&dpg=7 which implies the opposite.  The prescription might have less flush but I couldn't tell the difference.  Like I've said in the past, the flush gets less the longer you use it and is practically non-existent after you taken it for several months if you take it with food.  Also, the slow release may produce liver damages.  See:

  • Niacin Tops Zetia in Cutting Artery Plaque - WebMD, 11/16/09 - "The question is whether ezetimibe works at all ... Niacin has been around for 50 years. It's a well-understood drug, and in this trial it was clearly superior ... Ultrasound images of neck arteries showed that Niaspan reduced artery plaque by about 2%. Zetia did not slow plaque buildup, although it did lower cholesterol"
  • ARBITER 6-HALTS: HDL Raising With Niacin Superior to Ezetimibe - Medscape, 11/16/09 - "Adding extended-release niacin (Niaspan, Abbott) to statin therapy results in a significant regression of atherosclerosis as measured by carotid intima-media thickness (IMT), whereas the addition of ezetimibe (Zetia, Merck/Schering-Plough) to statin therapy did not, according to an eagerly anticipated study"
  • Raising 'Good' Cholesterol Levels May Benefit Clogged Arteries - Science Daily, 11/6/09 - "Using MRI scans, we have shown a reduction in the size of artery walls in patients after a year of treatment with nicotinic acid ... Nicotinic acid, sometimes known as niacin, is one of the oldest drugs used for atherosclerosis and only fell out of favour as statins came to prominence. It is known to raise levels of good cholesterol in the blood"
  • MRI study: Reduced carotid wall area with Niaspan - theheart.org, 10/30/09 - "So, in terms of relieving a stenosis, for example, it is not clinically relevant. The point is the direction of change. Atherosclerosis has, for years, been considered a relentlessly progressive disease process. To bring about a demonstrable reversal, however small, in only 12 months is mechanistically significant," he said. "Furthermore, remember that the plaque is heterogeneous. We don't know what compositional changes have been induced, but if, for example, the lipid component had been reduced—and there are data from other studies to suggest this happens—then even a small change in total size could be very relevant to plaque behavior."
  • Ignored cholesterol blamed for heart attacks - MSNBC, 6/9/09 - "Statins — taken by millions to cut heart attack and stroke risk — do not affect lipoprotein (a) ... people with the highest liporotein (a) levels were two to three times more likely to have a heart attack than those with the lowest levels ... Niacin, a vitamin often prescribed generically to lower cholesterol, also lowers lipoprotein (a) levels. It can cause uncomfortable flushing, however. Aspirin can also lower lipoprotein (a) levels" - [WebMD]
  • Biology Of Flushing Could Renew Niacin As Cholesterol Drug - Science Daily, 4/6/09 - "Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, has long been regarded as one of the most effective weapons in managing cholesterol. It can lower levels of triglycerides, fatty acids and to a lesser extent, the "bad" kind of cholesterol (LDL) while at the same time powerfully increasing the "good" kind (HDL). But there's a catch – a big one. Patients don't like to take niacin because in most of them, it causes embarrassing, uncontrollable intense flushing, a rush of blood to the face and other skin surfaces accompanied by a prickling sensation ... One particular protein in that group, beta-arrestin1, was found to trigger the chemical reaction that led to flushing ... beta-arrestin1 plays no role whatsoever in niacin's ability to lower cholesterol and fatty acids ... the discovery opens the door to the possibility of developing a "biased ligand," a drug that would trigger GP109A, but not the beta-arrestins"
  • Low Levels Of Good Cholesterol Linked To Memory Loss, Dementia Risk - Science Daily, 6/30/08 - "Researchers defined low HDL as less than 40 mg/dL ... At age 60, participants with low HDL had a 53 percent increased risk of memory loss compared to the high HDL group" - [WebMD] - The best way to increase HDL is niacin.  See niacin at Amazon.com.  Start slow maybe even with the 100 mg capsules.  It took me about three months to get immune to the flush from 2000 mg per day.  Taking it with soup seems to be the best.
  • Niacin's Role In Maintaining Good Cholesterol - Science Daily, 6/5/08
  • Combination Niacin-Laropiprant Plus Simvastatin Reduces Cholesterol by Almost 50% - Doctor's Guide, 11/6/07 - "When patients with dyslipidemia added simvastatin to their experimental combination of extended-release niacin and laropiprant -- a novel anti-flushing agent -- they reported reductions in low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) of as much as 48% from baseline ... high density liopoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was increased by 28% and triglycerides decreased by 33%"
  • New Combination Drug Improves Multiple Cholesterol Disorders in Single Pill - Doctor's Guide, 11/5/07 - "Simcor combines prescription niacin and simvastatin, two FDA-approved medications with established safety profiles, to target good cholesterol (HDL), bad cholesterol (LDL), and triglycerides in a single pill" - Sounds stupid to me.  Why would you pay prescription drug prices for something that is dirt cheap like niacin.  It is the Niaspan form of niacin, which they claim has less flush.  I tried Niaspan and couldn't tell any difference in the flush plus the flush eventually stopped even with immediate release niacin.  Plus I worry about increased liver damage with Niaspan.  Click here for the study that concerns me which was sustained release niacin, not Niaspan but it would seem to be similar.  Plus immediate release niacin is about 20% more effective at raising HDL than Niaspan.  Click here and note where Niaspan is on the graph.  I'm just eye balling the 20%.
  • Merck Niacin Drug Controls Cholesterol - Intelihealth, 9/5/07 - "The drug, called Cordaptive, can both raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. It combines an extended-release form of the B vitamin niacin with a chemical to inhibit an often intolerable niacin side effect called flushing -- redness, burning and tingling of the face ... compared with dummy pills, Cordaptive produced an 18 percent drop in levels of LDL-C, or "bad" cholesterol; a 26 percent drop in another type of blood fat called triglycerides, and a 20 percent increase in levels of HDL-C, or "good" cholesterol"
  • Niacin (Nicotinic Acid) -- The Old Drug Is Making a Comeback With A New Act - Medscape, 6/11/07 - "Niacin (nicotinic acid) is well known as the most effective drug currently available for raising levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, raising it by 25% to 35% at the highest doses"
  • FDA Approvals: Veramyst, Niaspan, and HepaGam B - Medscape, 5/9/07 - "Film-Coated Niacin Extended-Release Caplets (Niaspan) May Reduce Flushing ... use of the new orange-coated formulation significantly reduced the incidence of flushing by 9%"
  • Combining Agents Leads to Safe Treatment of Lipid Abnormalities - Physician's Weekly, 5/7/07 - "Combining the use of statins and niacin should be encouraged because it appears to safely treat multiple lipid abnormalities in appropriate high-risk patients"
  • Improving Outcomes With HDL Cholesterol - Physician's Weekly, 4/9/07 - "Patients who have high HDL levels appear to have better protection against vascular disease than others and some variants of HDL may actually reduce plaque in the coronary arteries. Essentially, HDL acts as a scavenger compound; it moves the lipids from the blood vessel to the liver, where they are then excreted from the body ... Currently, in the United States, the only medication other than statins designed specifically to help physicians raise the HDL cholesterol levels in their patients is niacin"
  • An Old Cholesterol Remedy Is New Again - New York Times, 1/23/07 - "In its therapeutic form, nicotinic acid, niacin can increase HDL as much as 35 percent when taken in high doses, usually about 2,000 milligrams per day. It also lowers LDL, though not as sharply as statins do, and it has been shown to reduce serum levels of artery-clogging triglycerides as much as 50 percent ... There’s a great unfilled need for something that raises HDL ... Right now, in the wake of the failure of torcetrapib, niacin is really it. Nothing else available is that effective" - See niacin at Amazon.com.
  • Gene Tied To Longevity Also Preserves Ability To Think Clearly - Science Daily, 12/26/06 - "Centenarians were three times likelier to possess CETP VV compared with a control group representative of the general population and also had significantly larger HDL and LDL lipoproteins than people in the control group ... Researchers believe that larger cholesterol particles are less likely to lodge themselves in blood vessels" - Could niacin do the same thing?  See:
  • Prolonged-Release Nicotinic Acid Combined With a Statin in NAUTILUS - Medscape, 10/19/06 - "The safety and tolerability profiles of prolonged-release nicotinic acid did not differ in patients who were and were not taking a statin. In particular, there was no sign of serious hepatic or muscle toxicity in patients receiving prolonged-release nicotinic acid with a statin. The addition of prolonged-release nicotinic acid to a statin raised levels of HDL cholesterol"
  • Comparative Effects on Lipid Levels of Niaspan and Statins - Medscape, 7/28/06 - "Niacin is the best HDL-cholesterol raising drug right now"
  • Niacin Extended-Release Tablets Combined With Low/Moderate Dosed Statin Achieves Better Total Lipid Control Versus Higher Dose Statin Monotherapy or Simvastatin and Ezetimibe - Doctor's Guide, 6/22/06 - "patients given Niaspan in combination with a low to moderate dose of Lipitor or Crestor achieved equivalent reduction in LDL-C (51-58%), 1.2 to 1.9-fold greater decreases in triglycerides and 2.5 to 3.5 fold greater increases in HDL-C, than patients who received high-dose Crestor or Zocor/Zetia"
  • Aspirin for Preventing Flushing from Niacin - Medscape, 6/13/06 - "the impact of flushing can be minimised by careful dose escalation, administering 'extended-release' NA at bedtime, administering ASA 30 min before 'extended-release' NA and avoiding alcohol or hot drinks near the timeof administration"
  • Hypertriglyceridemia - Medscape, 6/1/06 - "ER niacin has been shown to lower the triglyceride level by ~25% and raise the HDL level by almost 30%"
  • About 5% of Long-term Niacin Users Evolve Into HDL Hyperresponders - Doctor's Guide, 3/14/06 - "about 5% of patients on long-term therapy become hyperresponders, increasing their HDL levels by 50% or more ... Overall, these patients lost 4% of body weight while on niacin treatment"
  • Combination Treatment Shown for First Time to Cause Regression of Atherosclerosis - Doctor's Guide, 11/16/05 - "reversal of atherosclerosis - a primary cause of stroke and heart attacks - can be achieved with a combination of Niaspan (prolonged-release nicotinic acid) and a statin ... ARBITER 2 clearly showed that statins alone are not enough to halt the progression of atherosclerosis even when the LDL-C target is met. However, the addition of Niaspan 1000 mg stopped the progression of atherosclerosis in 12 months ... a further 12 months of treatment with Niaspan and a statin actually achieves regression of atherosclerosis"
  • Adding Niacin to Lovastatin Therapy Might Improve Efficacy for Dyslipidemia - Doctor's Guide, 10/5/05 - "Niacin has been shown to be one of the most effective drugs for improving levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or good cholesterol ... Combining the best LDL lowering and best HDL raising drugs makes sense"
  • Can Niacin Slow the Development of Atherosclerosis - Medscape, 5/20/05 - "Extended-release niacin slowed the development of atherosclerosis in adults with coronary artery disease, independently from statin therapy"
  • The Effects of Niacin on Lipoprotein Subclass Distribution - Medscape, 1/19/05 - "the combination of niacin and a statin may be among the best available treatment options for many patients with complex forms of dyslipidemia ... Niacin effectively modifies all major lipids and lipoproteins with respect to both their quantity and quality. It is the most effective agent currently available for raising low levels of HDL cholesterol"
  • Two-Pronged Cholesterol Approach Works - HealthDay, 11/11/04 - "Niacin is the most effective treatment to treat low HDL ... Overall, combining niacin with a statin slowed disease progression 68 percent more than a statin alone. The combination treatment also resulted in a 60 percent reduction in heart attacks, deaths, strokes, and other coronary events"
  • Niacin in Diet May Prevent Alzheimer's - WebMD, 7/14/04 - "those who got the least niacin were 70% more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who got higher amounts ... Those at the study's highest niacin level were getting 45 mg per day in diet and supplements"
  • Niacin Extended-Release/ Lovastatin Combination Effective in Patients with Multiple Lipid Disorders - Doctor's Guide, 4/23/03 - "Treatment by niacin ER/lovastatin was found to be more effective than each of its components, showing improved levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides (TG)" - Note:  Niacin usually increases HDL (the good cholesterol) much more than statins.  From my own experience and from taking to others, it seems like many physician's may ignore low HDL.
  • Statins May Cut Alzheimer's Risk - HealthDay, 4/21/03 - "extended-release niacin reduced brain cholesterol levels by 10 percent" - Note: Red yeast rice is a non-prescription statin but you should still check with your physician.  See iHerb or Vitacosticon red yeast rice products.
  • Raising HDL-C Levels Slows CAD Progression and Reduces Mortality - Medscape, 4/3/04 - "Results of two studies of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C)-targeted therapies indicate that attacking heart disease by increasing HDL-C levels appears to slow progression of atherosclerosis and reduce mortality ... Although the protective effect of HDL-C is well known, "most researchers ignore this fact," said Henrietta Reicher-Reiss, MD, from Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Israel. It is a costly oversight since "about half of heart attack victims have normal [low-density liprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels]," ... drugs designed to target HDL-C have a number of adverse effects. Niacin, for example, causes flushing, and fibrates are associated with gastrointestinal side effects. That side-effect profile might be a factor against this approach. Statins, on the other hand, tend to be very well tolerated"
  • Vitamin K and niacin good for complexion, experts say - HealthDay, 3/26/03 - "Vitamin K was found to be successful in treating dark circles under the eyes. It's also been found effective for treating bruising on the face following dermatologic procedures such as laser treatment for spider veins ... Niacin shows promise as an over-the-counter ingredient in anti-aging products"
  • Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia: Vitamins Can Help Prevent - WebMD, 2/28/03 - "High levels of a substance in the blood called homocysteine tops the list of potentially new risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and now dementia. A new study suggests that high homocysteine levels are linked with mental declines associated with Alzheimer's disease in elderly people ... High homocysteine levels can be treated very easily with vitamins, including folate, niacin, and B-12"
  • Statin-Niacin Combination Counters Dyslipidaemic Cardiovascular Risk - Doctor's Guide, 12/20/02 - "Combined statin-niacin is a safe, tolerated therapy that lowers low density lipoprotein cholesterol and raises high density lipoprotein cholesterol ... At niacin doses of at least 1000 (mean 1480) mg/day added to a constant statin regimen in 29 patients, high density lipoprotein cholesterol rose significantly (by 20 percent)"
  • Niacin Appears Safe for Treating Patients Who Have Diabetes and High Cholesterol - Doctor's Guide, 11/21/02
  • Extended-Release Niacin Safe, Effective in Type 2 Diabetes - Medscape, 7/26/02
  • Niacin May Be Effective Therapy For Broad Range Of Diabetes-Associated Dyslipidaemias - Doctor's Guide, 7/25/02 - "After niacin treatment, the patients' LDL peak particle diameter increased from 252 +/- 7 Å to 263 +/- 7, the researchers reported. Their small, dense LDLc particle mass decreased from 27 +/- 11 mg/dL to 15 +/- 4 mg/dL. Total HDLc increased from 39 +/- 7 mg/dL to 51 +/- 11 mg/dL. Their HDL2, as the percentage of total HDLc mass, increased from 29 +/- 8 percent to 45 +/- 10 percent, and their Lp(a) decreased from 43 +/- 17 mg/dL to 25 +/- 10 mg/dL ... Twenty-one percent of the patients were unable to tolerate niacin because of reversible adverse effects. Another 14 percent were unable to adhere to the niacin dosing regimen of three times daily"
  • 'Advent' Study Highlights Safety And Efficacy Of Niaspan (Niacin) In Diabetic Patients - Doctor's Guide, 7/22/02
  • Niacin Helps Hearts - Nutrition Science News, 11/01
  • question regarding your new cholesterol-lowering supplement, Policosanol - Life Extension Magazine, 11/01 - "Studies show that niacin (B3) in doses of 1.5 grams to 3 grams lower triglycerides levels and raise HDL concentrations. Those who tolerated higher doses of niacin (nicotinic acid) showed even more improvement in lipid levels. Some people taking just 1000 mg of flush-free niacin see an elevation in beneficial HDL. Green tea also has been shown to elevate levels of HDL while lowering serum triglyceride levels. In the Journal of Molecular Cell Biochemistry, curcumin has been demonstrated, in vivo, to decrease triglycerides and increase HDL. In a study published in 1989 by the Journal of Associated Physicians-India, 125 patients receiving gugulipid showed a drop of 16.8% in triglycerides, and a 60% increase in HDL cholesterol within three to four weeks. Make sure you are taking at least six Mega EPA fish oil capsules daily, as low dose fish oil may not adequately suppress triglycerides. Finally, there are some lifestyle changes you may wish to consider. If you are overweight, weight loss would be recommended, as it would help to lower triglycerides and raise HDL. Also, try reducing carbohydrates, which can raise triglycerides"
  • Laboratory Investigations of Erectile Dysfunction - WebMD - "men with erectile dysfunction frequently have low levels of high-density lipoproteins, the good form of cholesterol." (niacin raises HDL)
  • Antioxidant Supplements Lessen Response To Cholesterol Drugs - Doctor's Guide, 8/10/01
  • Baycol (Cerivastatin) Not To Be Used In Combination With Gemfibrozil, Says Bayer - Doctor's Guide, 7/25/01 - "Statins are known to cause a rare side effect of muscle breakdown ... In a very small percentage of patients, there is a risk of muscle breakdown resulting in kidney damage, which in rare instances can lead to life-threatening kidney failure ... The risk of muscle breakdown is greater in patients taking gemfibrozil as well as other fibric acid derivatives (a group of cholesterol-lowering drugs), cyclosporine (an immunosuppressant), erythromycin (an antibiotic), azole antifungals, or lipid-lowering doses of niacin (nicotinic acid) together with statins including cerivastatin."
  • Niaspan (Niacin Extended Release) Superior To Gemfibrozil in Raising "Good" Cholesterol - Doctor's Guide, 5/15/00
  • Integrated Health Care: Applying Best Practices From Two Medical Models - Nutrition Science News, 5/01 - "Many alternative care practitioners utilize a "non-flush" version of niacin, called inositol hexaniacinate, instead of regular niacin. This form of niacin does not have the flushing side effect of regular niacin (which can force patients to discontinue use) and is considered safer than niacin"
  • Parkinson's Defense - Nutrition Science News, 5/01
  • Niacin Reduces Triglycerides, Increases Good Cholesterol In Diabetics - Doctor's Guide, 3/20/01 - "There had been concern that niacin use in diabetic patients might increase blood sugar levels ... but we didn't see that in our study ... Patients were randomised to receive placebo, 1,000 mg of niacin or 1,500 mg of prescription niacin ... Patients taking the active agent increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol by 20 to 24 percent compared with a 4 percent increase among the placebo patients. At the same time, triglycerides were reduced 15 to 29 percent in the patients on niacin compared with a 5 percent reduction among patients taking placebo"
  • Nicostatin (Niacin/Lovastatin) Reduces Cholesterol, Triglyceride Levels - Doctor's Guide, 3/16/00
  • At the Counter with Dan Lukaczer, N.D., Niacin Good for Diabetics - Nutrition Science News, 3/01
  • Niaspan (Niacin Extended Release Tablets) Safe And Effective For Diabetics - Doctor's Guide, 11/14/00
  • Statin Plus Niacin Reduces Heart Attack Risk, Reverses Arterial Build-up - Doctor's Guide, 11/13/00
  • Research Reveals Soy, Niacin, and Tea Offer Protection From Heart Attack and Stroke - WebMD, 11/13/00
  • Niacin Safe And Effective For Cholesterol Lowering In Diabetics - Doctor's Guide, 9/14/00
  • Niacin Is Safe for Diabetics With High Cholesterol, Study Shows - WebMD, 9/12/00
  • Niaspan (Niacin Extended Release) Superior To Gemfibrozil in Raising "Good" Cholesterol - Doctor's Guide, 11/15/00
  • Nicostatin (Niacin/Lovastatin) Reduces Cholesterol, Triglyceride Levels - Doctor's Guide, 3/16/00
  • Niaspan (Niacin Extended-Release) Raises HDL Twice As Much as Gemfibrozil - Doctor's Guide, 3/14/00
  • Gemfibrozil-Niacin Combination Greatly Increases Good Cholesterol - Doctor's Guide, 3/10/00
  • Niacin for Achy Joints - Nutrition Science News, 11/99 - "niacinamide at 3 g/day reduced overall disease severity by 29 percent, inflammation by 22 percent and use of anti-inflammatory medication by 13 percent."
  • Sidestep Heart Disease - Nutrition Science News, 5/99

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