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Popular cholesterol medication ‘may be too risky as heart drug’

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Millions of Americans have taken Naicin for decades to control their Cholesterol.

But there is growing evidence and concern that the popular pill may do more harm than good.

As recently as 2009, doctors were writing 700,000 prescriptions a month for Niacin.

That’s because it boosts levels of HDL or good cholesterol.

Doctors were targeting a specific HDL number.

Now cardiologists are reversing course on treatment.

A large study of more than 25,000 heart disease patients shows when pared with a cholesterol-lowering statin, Niacin does nothing to reduce heart attacks and stroke.

What’s more, it may be linked to troubling health problems like infections, diabetes complications and early death.

Niacin is a B Vitamin and is also sold over the counter.

But doctors caution patients, especially those on Statins, those supplements are not regulated.

While Niacin on its own may be beneficial for some patients, doctors say lifestyle changes are the best way to raise good cholesterol.

They suggest replacing animal fats with olive oil and canola oils, quitting smoking, losing extra weight, and exercising.