The Cardiovascular Benefits of Niacin
Niacin occupies a central role in my supplement arsenal against arterial disease. That’s because it lowers smaller LDL cholesterol particles but, more importantly, it superbly raises larger HDL particles and also helps you to maintain a low triglycerides level. Niacin also helps your body to manage the very dangerous cholesterol component, Lp(a).
These are huge benefits. For me, the ability to increase HDL cholesterol, while keeping LDL cholesterol levels low is more significant than lowering LDL or even total cholesterol. These benefits are paramount to preventing and reversing cardiovascular disease. Elevated Lp(a) is a serious, widespread, and underemphasized problem, and niacin is probably the only nutrient that lowers it.
When you take niacin, you’ll likely experience a tingly, pins-and-needles, sometimes hot, flushing of the skin that usually begins in the forehead and works its way down your arms and chest. It typically lasts no more than a half-hour to an hour, then disappears. The higher the initial dose, the greater the initial flushing effect. Fortunately, you can minimize the intensity of the flush by taking the pills after meals.
Some people use the non-flush form of niacin because they are uncomfortable with the flushing effect. The problem with that is you don’t get the same good vascular benefits. Therefore, if you want reliable results, you should use standard niacin, which is very inexpensive.
Recommended dose: Start with 250 mg of niacin three times daily and slowly work up to 1–3 grams three times a day for a strong, medicinal effect.
For more information on supplements to lower LDL cholesterol levels, visit www.drsinatra.com.
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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