Niacin Useful For Diabetics
by Wyn Snow, Managing Editor
to the prevailing medical wisdom, niacin can be both safe and effective
for treating lipid abnormalities in patients with diabetes.
at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas found that in dosages
of 1,000 mg/day and 1,500 mg/day, niacin therapy "was well tolerated
and changes in glycemic control were minimal," according to Dr.
Scott Grundy, the lead author of the study published in Archives
of Internal Medicine.
study used extended-release niacin (Niaspan), which can circumvent
the side effects of regular niacin, such as flushing of the skin.
The 148 study participants suffered from both diabetes and dyslipidemia,
which is characterized by high levels of triglycerides and other
lipid-related abnormalities along with depressed levels of the healthier
high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Dyslipidemia can increase
the risk for cardiovascular disease. Fourteen million Americans
suffer from type 2 diabetes; many of them also have dyslipidemia.
received either 1,500 mg/day of extended-release niacin, 1,000 mg/day
of extended-release niacin, or a placebo. Half continued taking
prescribed statin drugs for cholesterol lowering, and 81 percent
continued their medications for diabetes. For the 1,000 mg/day group,
HDL increased by 19 percent.
the 1,500 mg/day group, HDL increased as much as 24 percent, triglycerides
decreased as much as 36 percent, and the "bad" cholesterol, low-density
lipoproteins (LDL), decreased by 7 percent.
Grazian. "Niacin Found Effective in Diabetes." AltMedicine website,
22 July 2002. www.altmedicine.com/Article.asp?ID=3422.