Q. What do doctors know about niacin?
Taking just one 500 mg niacin tablet daily (time-release type) has worked wonders for me in reducing my total cholesterol from more than 250 to 145 in just four weeks.
Of course, I have also been watching my diet and exercising a little. I’ve lost about 8 pounds (about 5 percent of my original body mass).
Why do doctors prefer costly statins over niacin for people with high cholesterol?
A. Niacin is a time-honored drug for lowering cholesterol, but you have had an exceptionally good response. Not everyone can lower his cholesterol that much with such a low dose.
Doctors sometimes assume that patients will experience flushing and tingling and refuse to take niacin. Your time-release formulation reduces that reaction, but does not protect the liver from possible harm. Make sure your doctor is monitoring your liver enzymes as well as your cholesterol.