Niacin for High Cholesterol
Recent studies have shown that niacin is an effective way for lowering high cholesterol levels. It is a water soluble vitamin, which plays an important role in several metabolic processes that include production of red blood cells (RBCs), energy, hormones and proteins.
How niacin helps to lower high cholesterol
There are two kinds of cholesterol in your body. They are high density lipoproteins (HDL) and low density lipoproteins (LDL). In a case of high cholesterols levels, one needs to raise the good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce the bad cholesterol levels (LDL). And this nicotinic acid or niacin serves both the above purposes by lowering the overall cholesterol levels.
Taking niacin alone or in combination with other cholesterol lowering medicines can keep your cholesterol in control. Niacin can effectively lower the LDL cholesterol levels by about 10-20% and raise the HDL cholestrol levels by about 15-35%.
Niacin dosage to lower cholesterol
Niacin can be obtained abundantly from certain groups of animals and plants. Plenty of niacin supplements are also available in the market. However, it is best to obtain from the natural sources such as vegetables, dairy products, eggs, fish, lean meat and poultry. People who have health problems like stomach ulcer, serious liver disease and bleeding problems need to ask medical advice before using niacin supplements to lower high cholesterol.
In general, the physician may recommend lower doses of niacin for the first stage of high cholesterol treatment, and will eventually increase to 1.5-3 grams per day. But, it will be recommended depending upon the patient’s underlying medical problems, current cholesterol levels and other prescription medication. During this treatment period, the patient should be checked properly for any side effects like gastrointestinal symptoms and hot flashes.