Tags: niacin | flush | aspirin | heart | disease

Study: Don’t Block 'Niacin Flush'

Wednesday, 11 April 2012 10:45 AM

New research is questioning the wisdom of taking aspirin and other drugs that block the so-called “Niacin flush” that sometimes occurs in people who take vitamin B3 to reduce heart disease risks.
In a new study of mice, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, University of Pennsylvania researchers said countering the “Niacin flush” with drugs may make some people slightly more susceptible to developing blood clots, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and, in some cases, aneurysms.
People who are prone to heart disease are sometimes given niacin (vitamin B3) to elevate "good" HDL cholesterol and lower "bad" LDL cholesterol.
Some stop taking it because it causes uncomfortable facial flushing -- an effect caused by the release of a fat called prostaglandin (PGD2) when blood vessels widen. A low-dose aspirin can stop the flushing.
But the authors of the new study – Dr. Wenliang Song and Jane Stubbe of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania – said studies of mice and humans suggest doing so “is likely to be undesirable in patients with heart disease, and perhaps in particular, those taking niacin.”

© HealthDay

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Experts question the wisdom of taking aspirin and other drugs that stop the 'Niacin flush.'
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 10:45 AM
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