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Excessive Niacin and Heart Health: Potential Risks - MedNews

New research suggests that excessive niacin may harm your heart. Avoid supplements and limit niacin in your diet. Important findings.

Niacin, a vital B vitamin, has long been considered beneficial for overall health. However, new research has revealed that excessive intake of niacin may actually have detrimental effects on the heart.

The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, highlights the potential risks associated with high levels of niacin in the body. Dr. Stanley Hazen, a senior study author and chair of cardiovascular and metabolic sciences at the Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute, cautioned against the use of niacin supplements, emphasizing the increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease associated with excessive niacin intake.

The recommended daily allowance of niacin for men and women is 16 milligrams and 14 milligrams, respectively. While niacin fortification of grains and cereals has been a common practice since the 1940s, recent findings suggest that this may have unintended consequences, as excessive niacin intake can trigger inflammation and damage blood vessels.

The study also revealed the presence of a substance called 4PY in blood samples of patients with high niacin levels. Further validation studies, including data from over 3,000 adults, demonstrated that 4PY levels were predictive of future heart attack, stroke, and death. Experiments in mice also showed increased inflammation in blood vessels when injected with 4PY.

The implications of this research are significant, sparking conversations about dietary recommendations and potential changes in the food industry. Dr. Robert Rosenson, director of metabolism and lipids for the Mount Sinai Health System, emphasized the need to reevaluate the use of niacin in food products, suggesting that too much of a good thing can indeed be a bad thing.

Dr. Amanda Doran, an assistant professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, expressed surprise at the pro-inflammatory nature of niacin, highlighting the importance of the study's comprehensive approach in combining clinical data, genetic data, and animal studies.

The findings of this study may not only influence dietary recommendations for niacin but also pave the way for new strategies to lower blood vessel inflammation. While the research provides valuable insights into the potential risks associated with excessive niacin intake, it is important to note that individual factors can vary greatly. As such, personalized medical advice should always be sought for individual healthcare decisions.

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