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Jun 10 2008

Scientists Propose Mechanism Behind Niacin’s Ability to Raise “Good” Cholesterol Breaking News

Published by at 3:19 pm under Niacin,Vitamins & Supplements

A new study investigating the mechanism by which niacin is able to raise HDL, the “good” cholesterol, has found that the B vitamin may exert its effects on the liver by inhibiting the excretion of HDL.

Niacin is known to increase plasma HDL levels, but the mechanism by which niacin exerts its action is not clearly understood. Therefore, scientists undertook a new study to clarify exactly how niacin is able to raise HDL.

In the body, a substance called “a beta chain” takes up HDL and therefore reduces the level of good cholesterol. Researchers investigated niacin’s effects on beta-chain’s ability to uptake HDL, by incubating human liver cells with niacin. When they did this a 27 percent reduction in the presence of beta chains on the cell surface was observed. Furthermore, the scientists observed a 35 percent reduction in the uptake of HDL in cells treated with niacin.

The results of the in vitro study suggested that niacin stops the liver from removing HDL from the blood, allowing the body to preserve its high plasma HDL levels.

Griffin Medical Group prescribes pharmaceutical sustained release niacin (generic Niaspan) to raise HDL levels. Starting dose is 500mg each day with food. This product may cause a flushing episode that can last up to 30 minutes. This flushing will subside over time with continued use. You may want to take SR Niacin with ½ an aspirin to control the flushing during the initial phase of treatment.

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Zhang LH, Kamanna VS, Zhang MC, Kashyap ML. Niacin inhibits surface expression of ATP synthase {beta} chain in HepG2 cells: implications for raising HDL. J Lipid Res. 2008 Jun;49(6):1195-201.

Yours in health,

Griffin Medical Group


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