Niacin can be useful to raise HDL, reduce small LDL particles, and reduce triglycerides, but it’s not without its problems: higher blood sugars, higher uric acid and gout, the annoying “hot flush,” and—given its mixture of effects—failure to reduce risk for cardiovascular events.
I stopped using niacin altogether when it became clear that the strategies used in my Undoctored program achieved SUPERIOR improvements in cardiovascular risk factors than niacin:
- Increased HDL—often dramatic. (My personal HDL jumped from 27 mg/dl to 94 mg/dl—not an uncommon response and far in excess of the modest increase achieved by niacin.)
- Increased HDL size—making it presumptively more protective
- Reduction or elimination of small LDL particles
- Reduction of triglycerides
- Reduction of VLDL particles after meals—a huge effect in reducing cardiovascular risk
- Reduction in inflammatory measures such as C-reactive protein, CRP
- Reduction in insulin resistance, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, HbA1c
In other words, niacin can’t even begin to match the lipoprotein/metabolic/cardiovascular benefits of the strategies we follow in the Undoctored program.