For those with heart disease, life can be a bit of a roller coaster. Having the knowledge that your heart is having a hard time can be distressing, to say the least. Drugs may be prescribed, lifestyle changes may be in the works — in fact all kinds of things about your life may be reevaluated.
If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with heart disease, here’s some good news about a natural heart remedy that could protect your heart from further damage. The results from a clinical trial funded by the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute say that boosting vitamin B3 levels could help significantly raise your HDL (good) cholesterol.
The research team that conducted the trial wanted to address the need to lower cardiovascular risks in patients with cardiovascular disease — risks that persist despite achieving low LDL (bad) cholesterol levels with statin therapy. So they devised a trial in which they added extended-release niacin (a.k.a. vitamin B3) to simvastatin (a popular statin, used to lower cholesterol). They wanted to see if niacin and the statin together achieved more health benefits than the statins alone.
The researchers randomly assigned eligible patients to receive extended-release niacin, 1,500 to 2,000 mg per day, or matching placebo. All patients received the statin. A total of 3,414 patients were involved in the study, with 1,718 receiving niacin and 1,696 receiving placebo. After three years, the trial was stopped and the researchers evaluated the results.
They found that, at two years, niacin therapy had significantly increased HDL cholesterol levels from 35 milligrams per deciliter to 42 milligrams per deciliter. The niacin therapy also lowered triglyceride levels from 164 mg per deciliter to 122 mg per deciliter, and lowered the LDL cholesterol level from 74 mg per deciliter to 62 mg per deciliter.
Follow the trial’s health advice and consider boosting your niacin levels if you’re having heart problems. The Recommended Daily Intake for niacin is 18 milligrams.
You can boost your intake by eating these foods:
To find out more about how vitamins and minerals in food can help to keep your heart healthy, read the article Proof That These Foods Could Protect Against Heart Disease