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Old 08-25-2002, 04:56 PM   #1
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Post Niacin

My LDL is borderline high --- with low trig. and much higher than recommended HDL. I'm very active, eat lots of fruits and veggies and have a low risk factor even though on Social Security!!!! My doctor has recommended taking a statin drug for this, however, I hesitate starting on drugs as I'm in pretty good health. We have agreed that I would try taking 1000 mg of niacin daily. Has anyone had any experience with niacin for controlling cholesterol??

 
Old 08-26-2002, 02:54 PM   #2
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Hi--My doctor also just prescribed niacin. I'm 34, healthy, not overweight, exercise regularly, have low blood pressure, eat well, and have cholesterol of 280+, with HDL of 65+. I've never taken any cholesterol lowering drug, and I was worried about the potential long term liver damage with Lipitor, so my doctor suggested niacin. I also want to know...how have other people on this board tolerated niacin? What were the side effects, and was it effective?
As a new board user, I would love any Niacin advice and/or help. Thanks!

 
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Old 08-26-2002, 03:05 PM   #3
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I have been taking niacin for many years (750-1000mg/day), and have found it to be beneficial for both raising HDL and lowering LDL cholesterol. But give it some time to work, since it may take anywhere from 4-6 months before you achieve maximum benefits. Niacin also does something else which no statin drug can do-- it lowers lipoprotein(a), which is considered to be even more damaging than LDL. All in all, I think you will benefit from niacin. If you find skin flushing to be a problem, you can always substitute inositol hexanicotinate, a flush free version of niacin which is said to be equally effective. The one thing that puzzles me is why your doctor was so eager to put you on a statin drug even though your HDL was high, your triglycerides were low, and you only had a borderline high LDL level. To me that simply doesn't make a great deal of sense. In any case, I think you are making the right decision, and I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 08-26-2002, 06:39 PM   #4
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Thanks AZ73 for your input --- really appreciate your understanding about hesitation to start with drugs for control of cholesterol. Doctors have been trying for years to put me on statins even though my chol. is only about 230 and with a low risk factor ---- if I refuse to take the meds, they fire me as a patient --- so I take the script but never get it filled!!! Of course, they are happy because they think I'm taking the meds!!! If niacin can be as helpful why do the doctors not recommend it as a first line of defense???? All doc. recommend exercise and diet (which I do) and it doesn't seem to help.
Again -- really appreciate your input --- I'm new to this site but have found it to be extremely interesting!!!

 
Old 08-26-2002, 07:14 PM   #5
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You have asked the classic question of why don't they reccomend niacin , the answer is that a lot of them are in bed with the drug companies so they reccomend their drugs . niacin is a vitamin supplement in which nobody is going to make a lot of money because there are hundreds of different makers who make niacin .


Quote:
Originally posted by Clover0411:
Thanks AZ73 for your input --- really appreciate your understanding about hesitation to start with drugs for control of cholesterol. Doctors have been trying for years to put me on statins even though my chol. is only about 230 and with a low risk factor ---- if I refuse to take the meds, they fire me as a patient --- so I take the script but never get it filled!!! Of course, they are happy because they think I'm taking the meds!!! If niacin can be as helpful why do the doctors not recommend it as a first line of defense???? All doc. recommend exercise and diet (which I do) and it doesn't seem to help.
Again -- really appreciate your input --- I'm new to this site but have found it to be extremely interesting!!!

 
Old 08-27-2002, 05:30 AM   #6
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Oh please,you have got to be kidding.Not the conspiracy theory junk again.

 
Old 08-27-2002, 05:49 AM   #7
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arizona....what was your hdl and ldl before niacin and after?are you on statins?

 
Old 08-27-2002, 10:37 AM   #8
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The answer as to why docs prescribe statins so quickly may be twofold. First, statins works fairly quickly and reliably to lower numbers & docs are goal oriented -- patient fixed. Secondly, there was a report published in the last 6-12 mos. that urged docs to prescribe statins to almost all their patients after age 40 on a prophalactic basis -- much like aspirin therapy. I heard this from the medical editor on Good Morning America and was amazed because I hadn't thought the medical community thought statins were that safe. Nevertheless, docs will go with what their medical peers tell them -- that is what they are trained to do. My doc gives me the option of trying herbals or vitamins first for many things (cholesterol, hot flashes, etc.)before considering meds. You have to look for ones with a progressive mindset (generally the younger ones). By the way AZ73 and Clover0411 -- I recently started on flush-free niacin 1000 mg./day, Super Omega-3 fish oils 1000 mg./day, and Garlinase 4000 enteric coated in addition to my regular vitamin (at the suggestion of AZ73). I'll recheck my numbers in 6 mos. and hopefully they're lower!

 
Old 08-27-2002, 04:39 PM   #9
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Vipergg22:

I am inclined to agree with you. It is generally well known that many physicians receive their fair share of "perks" by pushing certain prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies have a lot of money to spread around, so they are a very influential force with tremendous clout. Just take a look at all the television advertising they do! They put screwy ideas in peoples' heads, knowing that many of them will run right out and ask their doctor to prescribe it. Only a very naive person would believe that doctors are in now way being influenced to push these statin drugs. That would be the same as believing that politicians do not accept favors or money from lobbyists.

BethS:

I also agree with what you have said. Statin drugs provide a quick and convenient quick-fix, and they work quickly. Of course, the consequences of their use predisposes a person to the possibility of developing any number of maladies associated with their use, some of which can be serious, long-term, and maybe even irreversible. The prospect of launching a campaign to administer statins to virtually everyone over the age of 40, regardless of their risk, is frightening to say the least. I can only hope and pray that reason and common sense will prevail.

Phja:

I have never taken statin drugs, although my father has, so I have seen the kind of problems that they can cause, especially for older individuals. My experience with niacin spans a total of about 11 or 12 years. I did not begin taking it because of any particular problem. I am very interested in nutrition and the benefits of certain dietary supplements, and I realized early on that niacin is valuable for good circulation and overall cardiovascular health. So, you do not have to wait until you have a problem before supplementing with this or any other dietary supplement. My overall experience has been that I have seen a gradual, cummulative improvement in my blood-lipid profile over the last eleven years. My LDL, which to my knowledge had never actually been particularly high, went from 135 to 110. But the biggest improvement was with respect to HDL, which had been 69 in 1991, and today it is at 107. But I never did see the HDL hit 107 without first incorporating a standardized garlic supplement(6000mcg allicin)into my daily regimen 5 years ago. At that time, the HDL had been around 85. But in my two next blood tests since including the garlic, my HDL readings have been 113 & 107 respectively.
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Old 08-27-2002, 05:05 PM   #10
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Beth S -- I have not (so far) had a problem with niacin flush --- I have heard niacinimade is another option that reduces the flushing. But I take at night right before going to bed --- also heard if flushing does become a problem to take an aspirin about one hour before --- but don't like to take unless really necessary. Doctors appear to be doing with statins as they did with hormone replacement therapy. All women, at a certain age, were automatically prescribed with a drug!!! Now, as you probably know, they have found the error in that philosophy!!! Although my total cholesterol was only 238, my doctor felt it was imperative I take a statin, however, at the same time he suggested I go on the Atkin's diet!!!???!!! Have not been able to figure that one out yet and he was unable to clarify for me how my cholesterol would go down on a high fat diet!!!

 
Old 08-27-2002, 05:18 PM   #11
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Clover0411:

Forget about niacinamide. Niacinamide is a totally different version of vitamin B-3. It will do nothing at all for cholesterol. If a flush-free niacin supplement is what you are after, then the one to get is inositol hexanicotinate.
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Old 08-27-2002, 05:35 PM   #12
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Thanks Arizona73 ---- will remember your remarks about niacinamide -- also looking at a website about "the cholesterol myth" --- have ordered it to try to get this all straight in my mind!!! The more I learn about it -- the more confused I become!!!

 
Old 08-28-2002, 12:53 PM   #13
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Clover0411:

The niacin I am taking states right on the bottle "flush-free niacin" and underneath "inositol hexanicotinate". I take 500 mg. in the a.m. and another 500 mg. at night along with the garlic and fish oil as mentioned. So far I have seen no adverse reactions or problems with what I'm doing. At first, I had trouble locating just what I wanted, but then discovered a huge selection and variety at our local health food store (as opposed to GNC or Walgreens).

 
Old 08-29-2002, 08:08 AM   #14
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Thank you guys for giving such helpful information to a new user! I am going to start the niacin, and I feel greatly reassured by your experiences. I have one question--is the flush-free niacin (inositol?)available by prescription? Good luck Clover!

 
Old 08-29-2002, 06:31 PM   #15
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Hi GatorFan --- Good luck with the niacin --- I get my niacin from the local health food store --- I prefer to buy "quality" brands rather than a store brand. (Guess I'm just silly about somethings!!). So far I've had no problems --- and don't expect any now. I think you should be able to find the inositol without a prescription. But have you had a blood profile done before taking this supplement??? If not, you probably should to make sure you are in need

 
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