Study: Prescription-Grade Niacin May Be More Effective Than Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs


New findings presented at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA) and published in the The New England Journal of Medicine show that prescription-grade niacin may be more effective in lowering cholesterol than the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs Zetia and Vitorin. The 208-patient study—which was funded by Abbott Laboratories, the manufacturer of Niaspan, a prescription-grade niacin product—concluded that Niaspan lowered levels of plaque in patients’ arteries more effectively than its drug counterparts.

Although some doctors are calling for more research, these initial findings should come as good news for the dietary supplement industry. That said, according to a story published November 16, 2009, on the Wall Street Journal’s online news site, the AHA is recommending consumers use prescription versions of niacin because of the “inconsistent quality and other issues” related to over-the-counter versions of the B vitamin.

Related NBJ Links:
Study: Fish Oil Does Not Improve Benefit of Heart Drugs
From Industry to Congress, Support Builds for Allowing a Drug-to-Supplement Switch for New Ingredients
FDA to General Mills: Cholesterol Claims Render Cheerios a Drug

Related Functional Ingredients magazine links:
Building a Better Cardio Product


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