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What are some benefits of Niacin 500 mg?

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Quick Answer

Research suggests that niacin in higher doses is useful in improving cholesterol levels while lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, notes WebMD. Some evidence suggests that it reduces hardening of the arteries, which is clinically known as atherosclerosis. It may also reduce the risk of a second heart attack, and it has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of the rare condition pellagra, which develops as a result of a deficiency of niacin in the body.

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Full Answer

In some studies, niacin was found to boost the levels of HDL cholesterol, or "good cholesterol," in the blood while simultaneously lower triglycerides, notes WebMD. Niacin worked as well as some prescription remedies, and in some cases, it worked better for treating cholesterol. However, taking high doses of niacin, also known as vitamin B-3, poses some problems, including glucose intolerance, gastrointestinal issues and liver damage. For this reason, people seeking the benefits of high-dose niacin must work with a physician to determine a dose that is appropriate.

In addition to its potential for treating cholesterol elevation and guarding against second heart attacks, niacin has the potential to treat other problems, although research is ongoing. Some evidence has shown that it might prove beneficial in lowering the risk of developing type 1 diabetes, osteoarthritis, cataracts and Alzheimer's disease.

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