Friday, January 26, 2007

Be Careful with Niacin

In light of Pfizer's decision to halt testing of its new cholesterol-lowering drug torcetrapib, the New York Times ran an article this week touting an old favorite, niacin:

An Old Cholesterol Remedy Is New Again

High dose niacin has been shown effective at raising HDL, the good cholesterol, and lowering triglycerides. Although niacin as nicotinic acid is available over-the-counter, it's better taken under a doctor's supervision, especially for someone with diabetes. High dose niacin can interfere with blood glucose levels:

"High-dose nicotinic acid may negatively effect glucose tolerance. Diabetics who take nicotinic acid for lipid-lowering, should have their serum glucose levels carefully monitored and the dose of their antidiabetic medications adjusted as necessary."
- Niacin (Nicotinic Acid), from PDRHealth