Niacin: Can it really reduce Lipoprotein A levels?

Elevated lipoprotein (a) is an emerging risk factor for heart disease. A low dose combination of a cholesterol lowering medication known as Crestor (20mg) and the nutrient niacin (1000mg) has been shown to significantly reduce Lipoprotein (a) by 5 to 14 percent. However, Crestor used by itself, at a dose of 20mg, increases lipoprotein (a) by 15 to 32 percent. It is becoming clearer that in suitable individuals, niacin can lower lipoprotein (a) levels. Yet, a positive effect is only observed when high doses of niacin is used.

Scanu, A.M. & Bamba, R. 2008. Niacin and lipoprotein (a): facts, uncertainties, and clinical considerations. The American Journal of Cardiology, 101, 8, 44-47.

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