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Niacin and HDL
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Niacin and HDL

Hi all.  My husband started 500mg Niacin after his HDL was found to be 30-ish.  So far he is tolerating it well, with only three flushing episodes.

The good news is that his triglycerides dropped 40 points to normal and his HDL went up to 34.  While 34 still isn't good, it's better.  He's been upped to 1,000mg/day Niacin now.

I was wondering if anyone else has had success with Niacin raising HDL into safe ranges, and at what point we will see the full benefit.  I'm glad to see improvement for him, but hoping for more (like above 40).
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Avatar_n_tn
I take Niaspan which is an extended release prescription version of Niacin.  I started the first of May.   My HDL was 31. I was on 500 mg a day until July 1 when I was bumped to 1000 mg. In mid-August, my dosage was increased to 1500 .  Although the Niaspan was lowering the LDL and triglycerides at the 500 or 1000 mg doses, it really wasn't doing anything for my HDL at the 500 or 1000 mg dose. (At 1000 mg, it went from 31 to 33 after ~ 6 weeks).

By the end of September, my HDL had increased from 31 to 41 with 1500 mg of Niaspan. By the end of October, it was at 44.

I take the Niaspan at night before I go to bed. I take an asprin about 30 minutes prior to the Niaspan to help control the flushing. Since May, I have had one flushing incident;it was very mild.

People will respond differently to the Niaspan, some faster or some slower. The Drs like to start off low and keep you on it for 6-8 weeks before increasing the doasge. I guess they do this as it takes time to get a response and it helps to keep the flushing incidents to a minimum as you increase the dosage.

I think the max dosage for Niaspan is 2000 mg so it may take a while. I do remember wondering if it was ever going to increase but it finally went up.

Good Luck!!
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61536_tn?1340701763
Thank you!!  I feel much more optimistic now :D
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Avatar_n_tn
I've been taking Niaspan 2000 + Zocor 40 for about 4 years. My HDL has gone up from around 40 to the lo/w-mid 50s. I have quarterly routine blood tests for liver enzymes levels because the Niacin/statin combination can cause liver problems.
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Avatar_n_tn
This is my result of taking Niacin to raise HDL.  I had been taking 3 grams of no flush Niacin (inositol hexacinate) for over a year.  Then I read that this type Niacin does not work on HDL, so I got a blood test and sure enough it wan't working and my HDLs were 24 (that's low).  Then I switched to taking regular immediate release Niacin, also 3 grams.  After five weeks my HDLs had gone up to 48.  That is exactly doubling.  I thought that was a great result and wanted to pass on what I learned.  No lush does not work for me for HDLs and immediate release Niacin works great.  (I eat the same thing every day, so the only variable was the kind of Niacin I was taking).
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello!  You are taking 3000mg or 3 grams niacin a day?  Those are excellent results.  My HDLs are lowest 23 to mid 30s.  I tried adjusting diet and nearly got them up to 40 - eating bran and all thew recommended foods.  I need help though...  So I found a product called NIALOR on the internet.  It is niacin with milk flax to help control flushing.  I took my first 500 mg tab today...  and had a flushing episod.  Not bad.  I took other flushing meds before and know that hot showers befor taking the meds is not good - hot water makes me flush!  

Is 3 grams a day OK to take?  Should I have my liver tested?

Marc

***@****        
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Avatar_n_tn
I started of with my HDL at a pitiful 14.  I started taking 6,000 mg of fish oil capsules at my doctors request.  I felt a lot better after a few weeks of taking them.  After checking online, I learned fish oil has mood enhancing qualities.  It really works.

Anyway, 3 months of taking the fish oil and I got my HDL to 28.  If I only needed to gain 10 - 15 points, I'd choose fish oil over Niacin.

Now that I am still 12 points behind where I need to be, I'm working my way up to 2,000 mg of Niacin in addition to the fish oil.  After reading this article, I stayed away from the extended release or the no flushing type.

http://www.medicalconsumers.org/pages/NIACINSUPPLEMENTSFORCHOLESTEROL-REDUCTION.html
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Avatar_m_tn
Much research has been shown that one needs to take the traditional flush niacin as opposed to any time to release or slow-release niacin those have been proved to have a little if no effect on these levels so for the best benefits of niacin take the traditional flush type don't worry about the flush it will only last a few days - And then only for 10 minutes!! I find the flush sort of relaxing and soothing
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Avatar_m_tn
Be sure to use the FLUSH TYPE niacin - I've done a lot of research on niacin and I'm taking it now using twin labs 1000 mg three times a day- Much research has shown that the no flush niacin the time release niacin or the slow-release niacin has little or no effect on triglycerides cholesterol HDL so always use the flush type which is hard to find these days
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