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Niacin Safe for Diabetics

by Medindia Content Team on  August 5, 2002 at 2:52 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Niacin Safe for Diabetics
According to recent update, people with type 2 diabetes who also suffer from lipid abnormalities (dyslipidemia) may be able to safely reduce their risk for heart disease by taking low doses of extended-release niacin. The finding runs counter to previous research, which showed niacin adversely affects blood sugar levels in diabetics. Certain studies,show that the researchers used high doses of the medication.
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Their study, conducted among 150 patients who were assigned to take either a 1,000 milligram per day dose, 1,500 milligram per day dose, or a placebo, found low doses of the medication had little effect on blood sugar control.

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eGloria Vega, Ph.D., a professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Medical Center in Dallas felt that Niacin therapy has been discouraged by clinicians because high doses can worsen glycemic control in patients with diabetes. In this study we evaluated the tolerance and effectiveness of niacin at low doses.

The low-dose treatment, which works by lowering triglyceride levels and increasing levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) also helps minimize unwanted side effects. Vega felt that, this extended-release form is designed to circumvent the bothersome side effects of regular niacin, such as flushing of the skin. More than 50 percent of the patients in the study were able to complete the trial. Four dropped out because of poor blood sugar control, and another four quit due to flushing.

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