Niacin is very helpful is the control of atherosclerosis when used properly. It lowers bad cholesterol, raises good cholesterol and lowers triglycerides. Its is the most effective agent for increasing cholesterol particle size. Size matters when is comes to what cholesterol particles do in your bloodstream. With proper guidance there are no side effects ti taking niacin. I very rarely see elevated liver enzymes or increased blood sugar. People who are diabetic generally should not take it but may be able to handle a small dose. Studies prove that it can reduce plaque! So, don’t be afraid of niacin.
Here is a recent study that backs me up here:
J Clin Lipidol. 2014 Sep-Oct;8(5):489-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2014.07.004. Epub 2014 Jul 12.
Prolonged combination lipid therapy is associated with reduced carotid intima-media thickness: a case-control study of the 20-year Familial Atherosclerosis Treatment – Observational Study (FATS-OS).
Phan BA1, Moore AB2, Davis J2, Pollan LJ2, Neradilek B3, Brown BG2, Zhao XQ2.
Studies have documented the short-term vascular benefits of combination lipid therapy.
Our objective was to evaluate the long-term effects of combination lipid therapy on carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in patients with coronary artery disease.
We performed a case-control study in patients who had finished the Familial Atherosclerosis Treatment Study (FATS) and returned to usual care with statin therapy alone or had elected to participate in the 20-year FATS-Observational Study (FATS-OS) and received combination therapy with lovastatin (40 mg/day), niacin (2-3 g/day), and colestipol (20 gm/day) for 11 years, then continued with simvastatin (10-80 mg/day) or lovastatin (40-80 mg/day) plus niacin (2-4 g/day). After 17.8 ± 0.8 years with combination therapy (with niacin) and 19.0 ± 0.8 years with usual care, cholesterol levels and CIMT were collected in 43 FATS-OS patients and 26 usual care patients.
Combination therapy group had a greater decrease in total cholesterol (-42 ± 14% vs -31 ± 17%, P = .008) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (-57 ± 13% vs -38 ± 25%, P < .001) and greater increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (38 ± 43% vs 15 ± 23%, P = .02) as compared with usual care. CIMT (0.902 ± 0.164 vs 1.056 ± 0.169 mm, P < .001) on intensive therapy was significantly less compared with usual care. Multivariate regression analysis (coefficient, 95% CI) showed that combination therapy (-0.13; -0.21 to -0.04, P = .003) and on-therapy LDL-C (0.15; 0.02 to 0.28, P = .03) were significant independent predictors of CIMT.
Prolonged combination lipid therapy (with niacin) is associated with greater improvements in LDL-C and HDL-C levels and less atherosclerotic burden as compared with statin therapy alone.
Copyright © 2014 National Lipid Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.