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What Herbs & Vitamins Will Lower Your Cholesterol
By Ben Branklin
Niacin (vitamin B3)
Before there was Mevacor, Zocor, Lipitor, Pravachol, Lescol, Baycol, Lopid, or any of the other expensice cholesterol-lowering drugs, there was niacin.
Physicians have been prescribing vitamin B3 for more than 40 years to lower total cholesterol and bad LDL. Reduction ranges from 15 to 40%. It also knocks down Lp(a) and triglycerides while raising good HDL cholesterol 10 to 20%.
In other words, niacin has an almost ideal impact on blood lipids. And most important, long-term follow-up has demonstrated that niacin actually reduces heart attacks and deaths.
Another tremendous advantage of niacin is its cost. While one of these drugs costs a lot, niacin is amazingly affordable. A bottle of 250 pills (500 mg) can be only $10.
But lest you think you can self-medicate with this vitamin, please understand that with the doses required to lower cholesterol you must be under medical supervision.
Niacin can cause skin redness and a feeling of warmth,
itching, tingling, stomach upset, diarrhea, liver enzyme elevation, and blood sugar problems for diabetics. Liver enzymes have to be monitored regularly if someone is using niacin in the amounts needed to bring down cholesterol (1,000 to 3,000 mg daily).
This is especially true for timed-release niacin, which is less likely to cause flushing but more likely to affect the liver. Diabetics and people with a history of ulcers, glaucoma, gout, or liver disease should not take niacin at all.
It is possible to reduce the likelihood of flushing if you start with a relatively low dose of niacin and work up gradually. One recommendation is to begin with 250 mg once a day at meals.
After one week, take 2 pills a day, one in the morning and one in the evening. Over a month that dose can be increased by one pill each week until achieving a range of 1,000 mg to 1,500 mg.
Liver toxicity is relatively rare when the dose is kept under 1,500 mg a day, but monitoring by your physician is always essential.
You can also see the natural doctors' official prescription and recommendations by clicking here: Herbs & Vitamins for Cholesterol