Why? Because it has been proven that taking niacin offers no benefit with regards to lowering risk of cardiovascular disease if you are also taking a statin medication.
We thought it could be so easy. Treat patients with mega doses of niacin and it acts like a prescription drug. So cardiologists have been prescribing nicotinic acid (Niaspan™ or extended-release niacin) for decades basing their decision on published research.
Many physicians have their nutritional staff educate patients about changing their diets. The addicting nature of fats makes it very difficult to resist temptation. Problems with weight control have grown worse with over 33% of the U.S. population obese. That is why niacin, statins and other non-statin drugs have become so popular. We are taking drugs to reduce the damage we are voluntarily causing to our bodies. Fascinating!
Studies started in the 60’s and 70’s showed that niacin lowered the risk of having a repeat heat attack. Now we have a lot more information with decades of longer-term studies. Scientists discovered that the prescription strengths of this vitamin increased chances of heart attacks, diabetes, infections and possible intestinal problems.
I would commute long distances for work. Sometimes I would use niacin to keep me awake during the drive. It opens the blood vessels in your face, neck and back giving you a “flushing” effect. My face temporarily became bright cherry red that lasted into my work day. Never really used extremely high doses but just enough for the effect.
Statin drugs are proven to be effective agents in lowering morbidity and mortality outcomes. The safest ones are atorvastin (Lipitor™), lovastatin (Mevacor™), pravastatin (Pravachol™), and simvastatin (Zocor™). Crestor™ (rosuvastatin) is a strong statin. It should only be prescribed for a patient at high risk of a heart attack or stroke but only if they have normal cholesterol levels. Tell your prescribing health care professional to check into recent research on Crestor™.
Crestor™ has not been proven in patients with high cholesterol to reduce cardiovascular deaths. It is one of the strongest statins used previously to reduce high bad cholesterol levels. Researchers now look more at the actual outcomes years down the road rather than reduction of cholesterol.
Other non-statins like exetimibe (Zetia™), fenofibrate (Tricor™) and fenofibric acid (Trilipix™) should not be used because risks outweigh benefits. These chemicals DO NOT reduce death or disease severity. They do cause various organ abnormalities that may be irreversible.
* Never stop any medication till first consulting with your health care professional. There may be a reason(s) why she or he still wants you on these medications. Exceptions based on your specific circumstances and problems are possible but should be conveyed to you. Don’t be scared of asking questions. Everyone wears white in the health business because they are “little angels” waiting to help us. Their weapon of knowledge is the instrument you need to help save your life. If you can’t trust or feel comfortable around your “angel” find one with a sharper sword.
Photo credit: Visual Artist Frank Bonilla / Foter / CC BY-ND
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Categories: Food, Health, Medications, Nutrition
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