Harvard Health Letter

New thinking on niacin use

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A typical dose is 1.5 to 2 grams, far larger and riskier than the RDA of 15 milligrams per day.

Using niacin to raise "good" cholesterol doesn't lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

If your LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, is under control, but you're still taking the B vitamin niacin in attempt to raise your HDL, or "good" cholesterol, you may need to reassess your medication regimen. "The issue of using niacin to raise HDL is closed. We aren't using it anymore," says cardiologist Dr. Linda Hemphill, who specializes in managing cholesterol for high-risk patients at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

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