Getting to Know B Vitamins

vitamin-bThe second installment of Vitamins and Minerals: From A to Zinc, is all about the Bs. Actually, four of the Bs, particularly B1, B2, B3 and B5. Watch for the B6, B7, B9 and B12 in a blog next week. B vitamins are complicated because there are 8 of them, and although they are all lumped under the term vitamin B, each one has individual properties that are vital to your health. The group of Bs is also known as B complex and when taken as a whole, it can provide protection against deficiencies. The whole group of Bs is often found in a multivitamin/multimineral complex. Continue reading “Getting to Know B Vitamins”

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Niacin, No-Flush Niacin & Niacinamide – What’s the Difference?

vitamin-b_aA question I get asked frequently is about niacin and what forms to take. It does seem confusing, especially when using the correct chemical names. Let’s start with what niacin really is. Niacin (nicotinic acid) is actually vitamin B3 and is naturally found in avocados, whole grains, legumes, eggs, milk, fish, organ meats and peanuts. It is an important component of enzymes involved in more than 200 reactions in the body. It plays a role in the digestive system, bile secretion, sex hormone production, detoxification, nervous system maintenance, as well as heart health.

There are two other forms of niacin: niacinamide and inositol hexanicotinate (no-flush) Continue reading “Niacin, No-Flush Niacin & Niacinamide – What’s the Difference?”

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Niacin Better at Lowering Cholesterol than Zetia

In a recent study, a prescription version of niacin, Niaspan, slowed the buildup of plaque on artery walls more than the newer cholesterol lowering drug Zetia.

The study, published in the The New England Journal of Medicine, involved 363 people who had heart disease or were at high risk of heart disease. All the patients were on statins that had brought their LDL cholesterol below 100 mg/dL. However, their HDL levels were below where they should have been. Continue reading “Niacin Better at Lowering Cholesterol than Zetia”

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Lower Lipids Naturally

So often I am asked if cholesterol or triglycerides can be lowered without prescription medication. The answer is yes. First, know what your low-density cholesterol (LDL, “bad cholesterol”) is and what it should be. If it is greater than 130, it is probably too high. If it is over 100 and you have one or more risk factors for vascular disease, it is probably too high. If it is over 80 and you have coronary disease or diabetes, it is too high. Risk factors, in addition to diabetes, include hypertension, smoking, family history, elevated CRP (C-reactive protein), and elevated Lp-PLA2 (lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2). I will discuss these further in a later blog. Continue reading “Lower Lipids Naturally”

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