Niacin Helps Diabetic Hearts

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Niacin, which can raise levels of good HDL cholesterol, has long been considered off-limits for people with diabetes, for fear it would raise blood sugar levels. But researchers discovered that when 148 people with type 2 diabetes took low doses of a prescription-only, extended-release niacin called Niaspan, their HDLs rose 19 to 24%, and their triglycerides (a blood fat associated with heart attack and stroke) fell 36%. Although blood sugar levels rose a small amount for some participants, overall there was no significant change (Archives of Internal Medicine, July 22, 2002).

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By J.S.R.

Edited by Sari Harrar; Contributed by David Caruso; Denise Foley; Kevin Gault; Sherry Kiser; Jordan Matus; Judith Springer Riddle and Michael Tennesen

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