Debunking Niacin’s Supposed “Risks”
Though niacin (vitamin B3) has been safely and effectively used to boost cardiovascular and brain health for over 60 years, recent reports have surfaced documenting niacin’s supposed risks. Skeptical of these reports, theOrthomolecular News Service took an in-depth look at the studies in question and found some interesting (and sadly, unsurprising) oversights.
As it turns out, researchers administered a combination of niacin and the drug laropiprant (aka Cordaptive and Tredaptive) to the subjects who demonstrated an increased risk of diabetes and overall mortality. Study participants did not receive just niacin.
In over 10 clinical trials on niacin involving tens of thousands of patients, none of these side effects have ever been documented. In fact, niacin has been called “the closest thing we have available to a perfect treatment that corrects most of the causes of coronary heart disease,” probably because it is involved in more biological processes than any other vitamin-derived molecule.
In contrast, the drug, laropiprant, has not been approved by the FDA, has been linked to gastrointestinal bleeding, interferes with a vital prostaglandin receptor pathway, and, as a result, has been pulled from the international market by Merck.
Clearly, laropiprant is to blame, not the essential nutrient niacin. Poor investigative reporting breeds misinformation. We’re happy to set the story right when we can. Our thanks to the hard-working folks at the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service!