Using niacin to treat high cholesterol associated with type 2 diabetes has been controversial.
I took SLO-NIACIN® (nicotinic acid) for many years for the purpose of lowering my triglycerides. But when I discovered that the most effective way to lower triglycerides was for me to eat a very low-carb dietary protocol, I stopped taking niacin hoping my blood glucose would be lower, too.
“There is evidence to suggest that therapy with niacin could increase an individual’s risk of developing diabetes.” And another researcher discovered that “niacin-treated patients experienced a 21% increase in HbA1c and a 16% increase in mean plasma glucose.”
Mayo Clinic says, “Prescription niacin might benefit people with high cholesterol who aren’t able to take statins or haven’t been able to control their cholesterol levels through use of a statin, diet, and exercise. Don’t take prescription niacin for high cholesterol if you’re pregnant.”
Healio Endocrinology advises, “Niacin is highly effective at reducing total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides, as well as increasing HDL. However, there is some concern over its effect on glucose and whether it is safe to use in patients with diabetes and hyperlipidemia.”
Niacin is also used to treat niacin deficiency (pellagra).
“Does Niacin Cause Diabetes?” Diabetes in Control (March 19, 2016). http://www.diabetesincontrol.com/niacin-therapy-and-new-onset-diabetes/ (accessed on 8/3/2020).
Goldberg, Ronald B., and Terry A. Jacobson. “Effects of niacin on glucose control in patients with dyslipidemia,” Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 Apr;83(4):470-8. doi: 10.4065/83.4.470. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18380993 (accessed on 8/3/2020).
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Niacin (vitamin B3, nicotinic acid), Niacinamide,” Mayo Clinic (October 24, 2017). http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/niacin–niacinamide/evidence/hrb-20059838 (accessed on 8/3/2020)
Taylor, James R., PharmD, CDE. “Use of niacin in patients with diabetes,” Healio (June 2010). https://www.healio.com/news/endocrinology/20120325/use-of-niacin-in-patients-with-diabetes (accessed on 8/3/2020).
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)