Susan Shurin is acting head of the Heart Division of the NIH. She said that the study was performed to check out a common practice (boosting "good" cholesterol) in the face of questionable evidence.
We've known for years that niacin (vitamin B3) has a favorable effect on HDL cholesterol levels. HDL is the fraction of lipids in your blood that actually carries cholesterol from your arteries and tissues to your liver for elimination.
Researchers made a drug out of niacin called Niaspan. It is long-acting niacin, which is less likely to cause the typical niacin flush.
Researchers enrolled several thousand statin users with stable heart disease. They were randomized to receive either Niaspan or placebo. Those getting the Niaspan had a significant increase in the risk of stroke, so the NIH terminated the study early. The Pharma company's stock shares dropped (of course). Dr. Shurin said that this sends them back "to the drawing board."So what does it take to disprove a myth? The researchers admitted that treating a risk factor did NOT translate into reducing the risk. That's huge. And that's exactly what we see in medicine today. All drugs do is suppress symptoms or risk factors, which does not necessarily translate into protection from the end event (like a heart attack).
Yes, HDL is important. Yes Niaspan does raise HDL. But niacin in this form can be irritating to your liver. Most integrative doctors recommend plain old niacin that flushes rather than the Pharma Niaspan version. Perhaps the added Pharma chemicals to the drug had a bad effect. Perhaps liver irritation played a role. Perhaps it was the combination with statins that did it. If so, medicine had better look long and hard at the millions taking statins with other petrochemical pharmaceuticals. But they won't bother until thousands of people die from stroke, heart failure, or some other issue.
On the other hand, let's turn to what's really happening. Science has unequivocally shown that it is damaged cholesterol and fatty acids that cause heart disease. Damaged lipids come from exposure to heat and air outside your body, and metals and inflammation inside your body. Niaspan doesn't fix that. Statins don't either.
This study should show you that your doctor's chemical attempts to manage your cholesterol are bogus. Even IF statins work, you need to treat a huge number of people (80) for several years just to save one life. That's why Pharma is racking up bazillions. If you follow the recommendations in these pages, I believe that the overwhelming majority of people will get results, not one in 80.
This includes diet first, detoxification second, supplements third. And stress reduction and exercise is a must.
Volume 11, issue 65, August 13, 2014