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Niacin Causes Serious Unexpected Side-effects, but no Worthwhile Benefits, for Patients who are at Increased Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes
Date:3/9/2013

owever, the study was designed, conducted, analysed and interpreted independently by the investigators at Oxford University and the independent members of the study Steering Committee.

http://www.ctsu.ox.ac.uk/~thrive/

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. Niacin is also known as vitamin B3. Both niacin and statins have beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels, but this study found that taking niacin in addition to a statin led to a significant increase in side effects and no worthwhile benefit.
  2. The researchers were looking at doses of niacin tens of times higher than you'd expect in your diet, or from a dietary supplement. This study does not affect advice on diet. It is important to eat plenty of vitamin-rich foods, like fresh vegetables.
  3. A high level of LDL cholesterol is a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Standard treatment for at-risk patients includes dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as commonly prescribed medications such as statins, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, and resins.  Still, heart disease and stroke continue to cause death and disability even in patients receiving these medications. There was hope that the addition of niacin to standard therapy would improve patient outcomes.  
  4. The expected effects of ER niacin on lipids were seen although they were somewhat smaller than observed in short term studies because of people stopping their study treatments during the study.



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