Niacin Lowers Cholesterol in Heart Patients: Raise HDL and Decrease LDL Naturally with a Form of Vitamin B3

Niacin has long been the medication of choice used by doctors to help patients lower high bad cholesterol and now research proves it is the right choice over using the prescription medication Zetia. Used in association with a cholesterol-lowering statin medication, niacin not only helps to lower bad cholesterol, but also raises HDL (good) cholesterol by up to 30% as well as lowering triglyceride levels which can also contribute to heart disease.

What is Niacin?

According to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, niacin (nicotinic acid) is a form of vitamin B3 and is an essential nutrient for the body. Niacin is used by the body to turn carbohydrates into energy and is also important for the nervous system, eyes, hair, skin and digestive system. Niacin is also found in many foods such as lean meats, dairy products, fish, poultry, eggs, enriched breads and cereals and nuts.

Niacin is used for the treatment of many disorders, but the treatment of high cholesterol and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are the two treatments that have been proven by research that niacin works effectively for.

How Niacin Treats Cholesterol

Niacin lowers bad cholesterol in the blood stream while aiding to boost the amount of good cholesterol at the same time. If left to build up, bad cholesterol forms plaque and clogs arteries which can lead to heart attack or stroke. Good cholesterol, however, sweeps away bad cholesterol and sends it to the liver to be disposed of. Boosting good cholesterol actually helps to stop the formation of plaque and keeps arteries free for blood to flow properly.

Niacin also helps to reduce the level of triglycerides in the blood stream. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood stream from a person eating more calories than are used. High triglyceride levels in the body can lead to atherosclerosis. By lowering the levels of triglycerides with niacin, the risk of heart attack or stroke is also lowered.

Who Needs Niacin Supplements?

Only people who have been diagnosed with high bad cholesterol or have shown a deficiency in niacin should take niacin supplements or a prescription niacin medication, and only under the supervision of a doctor. Generally, niacin is used as a second medication along with a prescription statin medication for people who are unable to lower their bad cholesterol with only one medication. Prescription strength niacin comes in a time-released capsule which helps to reduce side-effects of high doses of niacin. Niacin found in over-the-counter vitamins and supplements should not be taken in high does as it can cause side effects. Side effects of too much niacin are:

  • dizziness
  • headache
  • upset stomach
  • liver damage
  • increased blood sugar
  • temporary flushing of the skin

People who are not diagnosed with high bad cholesterol should not take niacin supplements as they generally derive enough niacin from the foods they eat.

Niacin is generally less expensive than the leading prescription medication and is more effective in treating patients with cholesterol issues. Although doctors have known this for years, this new research helps to solidify the value of niacin for the treatment of cholesterol.

Sarina Jain’s The Beginings of a Healthy Addiction

Sarina Jain’s, “Bhangra Jam Work-Out”, is often credited with being the first video or DVD to present the ancient Punjabi dance of Bhangra as an exercise workout to the western world. It was released by NetGuru in 2002 and is a slick professional production. Many other’s have followed, but this one will always be my favorite.
Bhangra dancing can burn up to 500 calories an hour. It’s fun dancing to the upbeat Bhangra music. As Sarina Jain promises, you will be sweating by the end of the workout, and you still won’t want to stop. This DVD can be the beginning of an addiction.

The DVD consists of a warm up, an exercise routine, a cool down, and a traditional Bhangra Jam. Extra’s include a very nice section were Jain goes through all the moves slowly, step by step. This extra should probably be watched before anything else, as it makes the work out much easier.

The warm up consists of a series of stretches and mostly slow moves that will get your heart and body going going. Jain introduces exercises and makes sure to tell you to drink plenty of water. Trust her, you are going to need it !

She also points out that everyone has their own style, there are enough dancers behind her that you should be able to find someone to watch that you are comfortable with. The background class comes in many colors, and shapes and before the end some of them manage to look as tired as you probably feel, but they do look like they are having fun !

In the main exercise portion of the DVD Jain shows you the moves and promises you won’t get lost. She starts out slow and simple and calls out the moves, then moves them up to tempo. Typically repeating them four times each. This is an extremely tiring workout and unless you are already used to doing aerobics, you may not make it all the way to the end, without at least one brief pause. The good thing about Bhangra is that it is often easier to keep going then to stop. If you start feeling like momentum is the only thing carrying you through, you are most likely right !

Bhangra is high impact aerobic’s. After only a few, “Bhangra Sweeps”, I found my knees aching. Luckily, Jain gives low impact versions of some of the moves. This can be a real life saver !

The Bhangra jam portion is a lot of fun. It’s a typical Bhangra jam, where people take turns doing their own thing for the most part. One of the most enjoyable parts of Bhangra, is the ability to “mix it up”. This means with a good Bhangra CD or the Bhangra Jam section playing, you can Bhangra away, without thinking about routines and still burn up to 500 calories an hour ! Don’t be surprised at all, if you discover a sudden Bhangra music addiction after buying this DVD, my family has been known to pop it in the DVD player just to hear the music !

Get the DVD here: