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Old 05-23-2003, 04:41 AM   #1
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Post Does niacin raise liver enzymes?

I have been on Lipitor for almost 4 years. After about 2 years, my liver enzymes started slowly rising, when I went from 10 - 20 mgs. they jumped to 72. He is going to retest in 10 days (to rule out a bad test) but I am sure they will still be high since they have been gradually going up.

My question: I am going to ask him about Zetia -- but I would like to know if Niacin is as harmful on the liver as the statin drugs? Does Zetia work well all by itself? I see a lot of posts where it is used in combo with other cholesterol drugs.

Thanks,
Brenda

 
Old 05-23-2003, 06:15 AM   #2
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Yes it has the potential to raise your liver enzymes.It can also make you glucose intolerant.

 
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:45 AM   #3
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There is a form of niacin called No-Flush Niacin that does not elevate liver enzymes..Lisa

 
Old 05-23-2003, 03:47 PM   #4
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That is incorrect.ALL forms of Niacin has the potential to elevate your liver enzymes.

 
Old 05-23-2003, 05:03 PM   #5
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Flush-free niacin, also known as inositol hexanicotinate, is basically composed of one molecule of inositol and six molecules of niacin. Although the flush-free version is much better tolerated and does not share ordinary niacin's tendency to irritate the liver, the potential still exists, especially if taken in large doses. Compared to regular niacin, the flush-free form is much less likely to elevate blood sugar, which makes it an appropriate alternative for diabetics.
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Old 05-23-2003, 07:14 PM   #6
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Arizona73 is basically correct in his post.In the words of Paul Harvey,here is the rest of the story.Studies in the use of inositol nicotinate to reduce cholesterol are sparse,involve small numbers of patients and focused on the benefit of this in combination with clofibrate.There are virtually no studies with large numbers of patients showing the benefit of inositol nicotinate in reducing cholesterol alone.The only conclusions from what there is,is that the does of inositol nicotinate has to be at least 2400mg or higher to produce any meaningful changes in cholesterol.
All of the potential side effects of niacin apply to inositol nicotinate because it is broken down into the 6 niacin molecules.The intensity and severity of the side effects may be less than niacin because it is broken down slowly.Peak levels are not reached until 10-12 hours after taking it.This is based on the pharmokinetics of inositol nicotinate because there is not enough clinical experience to support this.So,be wary even of this product.It is not the godsend that it appears to be.If you think about it,if Niacin is to be effective it has to get into the body in high doses.Whatever form it takes going in,it still has to reduce to basic Niacin to be effective.Now,as everyone has been touting that cholesterol intake is not a factor,then that leaves your body producing the cholesterol.What produces the cholesterol?The liver.In order for Niacin to be effective it also has to work on the liver to keep it from producing cholesterol as well as helping to rid the body of cholesterol.Anything that affects the liver,has the potential to change the enzymes.

 
Old 05-23-2003, 08:10 PM   #7
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Hello Gooba!

Yes, the 2400mg dose may in fact be optimal. In fact, according to Robert Atkins, 800-2400mg is often necessary, and he has never needed to prescribe a larger amount, although that doesn't mean that larger doses may not be necessary in some cases.
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Old 05-24-2003, 06:41 AM   #8
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Brenda,
Precisely WHAT liver enzyme "jumped to 72."

I have read often that neither slow release Niacin nor niacinamide was not the effective agent that Niacin was.

I never realized that Robert Atkins was a clinical researcher...live and learn!

[This message has been edited by zip2play (edited 05-24-2003).]

 
Old 05-24-2003, 07:04 AM   #9
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Sorry I should have been more specific. The ALT jumped to 72. Ever since I went on Lipitor -- the Dr. has monitored the Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides and the ALT every 4 - 5 months. Of course, I have a total blood work up once a year. My cholesterol is controled with the Lipitor 20 mgs., but at the expense of my liver I fear. Do the liver enzymes return to the normal range once you quit taking Lipitor?

Thanks, Brenda

 
Old 05-24-2003, 10:47 AM   #10
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Wow Gooba and Arizona you guys are full of good stuff..thank you so much for the post..I was mis-informed by the no-flush niacin I guess..I'm getting use to this mis-information..God knows I have been mis-informed for years by the health care profession..I am sticking with the boards and what the people experience..thanks again, Lisa

 
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