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    Old 09-28-2004, 12:08 PM   #1
    Dave440's Avatar
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    Dave440 HB User
    Should I take Niaspan?

    All my lipid levels were great with the exception that my HDL was at 36...4 below the minimum. I'm 29 years old, healthy with no history of heart problems in the family.

    **edit** I should also add I don't smoke and have normal BP but I'm a bit of a hypochondriac so things like this make me really nervous and panic...

    Total Chol: 166
    LDL: 116
    Triglicerydes: 53
    HDL: 36

    I've been loosing weight and still loosing more. I'm 20 pounds from the weight goal now (which is 195). I thought that if I really focus on my diet and exersise, I'll be able to raise my HDL naturally. But the doctor just threw 500mg Niaspan at me and I'm a bit nervous now. I've been told by others that I'm fine.... I don't want to start on some maintence drug for the rest of my life if I don't have to. I've planned to work on it naturally for a year and get rechecked in a year to see if I've raised my HDL 4 points...

    Last edited by Dave440; 09-28-2004 at 12:39 PM.

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    Old 09-28-2004, 06:11 PM   #2
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    ty123 HB User
    Re: Should I take Niaspan?

    Your HDL to TC is 4.6, which is a bit high. That's due to your LDL, which is a bit over the top.

    You've said nothing about your diet, but if you're eating a typical American diet then you've plenty of freight to throw overboard.

    I'd also be curious about any other meds or ailments you have. Niacin does raise HDL better than other meds, but diet modification to bring your HDL up a bit, and your LDL down a lot is possible, and of course, there are always statins. Niacin seems an odd first choice these days, but not necessarily a bad one.


    Old 09-28-2004, 09:25 PM   #3
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    Re: Should I take Niaspan?

    my diet had been ok...not the best but decent and ever since I saw my lipd panel, I've improved it greatly with MUCH more soluable fiber and cut out a lot of the carbs,sugars, and fats (with the exception of monounsaturated fats like olive oil on salads I have every day now). I've lost weight due t o exersise and I'm on the road to loose more. I'm not on any medications now other than Aciphex. The doctor didn't say anything about statins, just thought I should only take Niaspam but I thought I'd adjust my diet and exercise for a bit to see how it pans out. There are a couple people I've talked to recently that had low hdl when they were my age but now are in thier 40's with double thier HDL, without Niacin therapy...

    Last edited by Dave440; 09-28-2004 at 09:32 PM.

    Old 09-29-2004, 04:51 PM   #4
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    Re: Should I take Niaspan?


    If you want to hold off on the niacin for now, you can always try fish oil, lecithin, and garlic. These have helped raise HDL for some people. But look for an enteric coated garlic supplement which has been standardized to contain at least 4000mcg allicin.

    Don't restrict your fat intake too much. Monounsaturated and saturated fats promote higher HDL levels.

    I really don't think you need to take Niaspan. Niaspan is an extended-release niacin. Extended-release niacin is probably more effective at lowering LDL than the immediate-release niacin. On the other hand, immediate-release niacin is said to be more effective at raising HDL, and that's what you want. So, you can just as easily purchase an over the counter niacin supplement for this purpose. Plus, immediate-release niacin is easier on the liver. As an alternative, you can also try the flush-free niacin, known as inositol hexanicotinate. This is also a very safe form of niacin.

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