The levels of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the so-called "good" cholesterol are reduced in diabetes and may not confer heart-protective effects. However diabetic patients may be benefited by taking niacin, a drug that raises HDL levels, researchers have revealed.
Researchers at the University Hospital Zurich and the Medical School of Hannover in Germany studied the protective effects of HDL in 33 diabetic patients and compared the effects with those of 10 healthy volunteers.
The researchers report that protective benefits on blood vessels were "substantially impaired" in diabetic patients as compared to the healthy ones. These effects were studied in the lab. However after niacin was given to diabetic patients, the protective effects of HDL were markedly improved.
The details of the study appear in the journal Circulation.