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How much niacin should be taken to lower cholesterol?

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Quick Answer

Niacin effects of lowering LDL, triglycerides and increasing HDL begin at dosages of 1200 to 1500 milligrams per day. Doses of 2000 to 3000 milligrams per day have the greatest effects. A total of 4 grams per day helps prevent heart disease in patients with high cholesterol, states WebMD.

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Full Answer

Niacin, in the form nicotinic acid, is dose-dependent. High doses of niacin should be supervised under the care of a physician; many adverse side effects may develop in doses of 3 grams per day and higher. Doses of 3 grams per day and greater may cause liver complications, increases in blood sugar, peptic ulcers and irregular heartbeat. Less serious, more common side effects include headaches, diarrhea and niacin flush: redness, itching of the face, arms and neck, as described by WebMD.

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