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Leading Cardiology Expert's Advice on Dietary Supplement Niacins: Make Informed Choices at the Shelf and Scan the Label for Nicotinic Acid

MAPLE GROVE, Minn., Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Many non-prescription dietary supplement niacins tout that they promote heart health on their labels, but the simple fact is that most do not have specific data for their brand to back their claims. Leading Cardiologist, Dr. Carl Lavie, Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, New Orleans, LA, stresses the importance of doing your homework and learning how to read a dietary supplement label.

"The only form of niacin that is clinically proven to support good cholesterol is nicotinic acid," said Dr. Lavie. "If the label doesn't explicitly list nicotinic acid as the main niacin ingredient, put it back on the shelf and reach for another. Supplements that contain inositol hexaniacinate, inositol hexanicotinate, or nicotinamide, which are found in 'flush-free' niacin products, are not clinically proven to support good cholesterol."

Dietary supplements are dominating the shelves of pharmacy retailers, with brands vying for the attention of health-conscious consumers. In fact, industry experts report that approximately 50% of American adults take dietary supplements. Recently, inspections by the FDA revealed that poor manufacturing practices are widespread, despite regulations put into place in 2007 governing manufacturing, packing and holding standards of the dietary supplement industry.

"In my cardiology practice, I have been recommending dietary supplements for decades, so these reports are troubling," commented Dr. Lavie. "I stress to my patients that it is important to do their homework and make informed choices at the pharmacy shelf to ensure that they select quality supplements that have been proven to support healthy living and are distributed by respected manufacturers. As a cardiologist, I recommend dietary supplement niacin in the form of nicotinic acid to support healthy good cholesterol and often refer my patients to Slo-Niacin®, which is available without a prescription and is manufactured in the United States by Upsher-Smith, a trusted company whose facility is routinely inspected by the FDA. "

About Niacin and Good Cholesterol (HDL)
Niacin is a type of B vitamin that occurs naturally and aids in the function of the digestive system, skin and nervous system and can help maintain good cholesterol within the normal range.  Niacin, or nicotinic acid, has been used since the 1950s to support healthy good cholesterol, also known as HDL.  High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is known as good cholesterol because it is thought to help move cholesterol out of the arteries and into the liver so the body can get rid of it.  A normal level of HDL cholesterol in your blood is higher than 40 mg/dL. Niacin flushing may occur with the use of nicotinic acid, which causes temporary vasodilation or widening of blood vessels in the skin.

About Slo-Niacin® Tablets
Slo-Niacin® Tablets utilize a unique polygel® controlled-release system, not available in other dietary supplement niacin products, that gradually delivers nicotinic acid into the body and is designed to reduce the likelihood of flushing commonly associated with immediate-release niacin use. At approximately $16 for one hundred 500 mg tablets, Slo-Niacin® Tablets are an affordable option to help support a healthy heart. To support individual heart health needs, Slo-Niacin® Tablets are available in three strengths (250 mg, 500 mg, and 750 mg).

Slo-Niacin® Tablets are manufactured by Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc., a trusted manufacturer of high-quality dietary supplement and prescription products since 1919. Over the last 20 years, more than 12 million bottles have been sold.  Slo-Niacin® Tablets are conveniently available at pharmacies and other retailers nationwide, without a prescription. For more information, coupons, and a store locator, visit

About Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.
Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. is a rapidly growing pharmaceutical company that manufactures and markets both prescription and consumer products. Privately held since 1919, the company strives to recognize the unmet healthcare needs of our customers. Upsher-Smith prides itself in providing safe, effective, and economical therapies to the ever-changing healthcare environment. For additional information about Upsher-Smith, visit

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Dr. Lavie consults on behalf of Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.

Data on File. Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.; 2012.

Slo-Niacin product information. Upsher-Smith Laboratories, 2011. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.  

Mayo Clinic Web site. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.

NHLBI: National Cholesterol Education Program. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012

Harvard Health Lett. 2007;July:7. Accessed April 11, 2012.

Chicago Tribune. 2012; June:20 Accessed August 28, 2012

NCS Data Brief. 2011; April Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed August 29, 2012 

SOURCE Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc.
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