Annesse wrote:I would be careful in the use of supplemental niacin. It has been associated with increasing the levels of homocysteine. Homocysteine is very much involved in the MS disease process. I have been making some posts on this under the thread "Some Interesting Connections".
Here is one study on the association between niacin and raised levels of homocysteine.
Br J Nutr. 2002 Feb;87(2):115-9.
Niacin (nicotinic acid) in non-physiological doses causes hyperhomocysteineaemia in Sprague-Dawley rats.
Basu TK, Makhani N, Sedgwick G.
"Niacin (nicotinic acid) in its non-physiological dose level is known to be an effective lipid-lowering agent; its potential risk as a therapeutic agent, however, has not been critically considered. Since niacin is excreted predominantly as methylated pyridones, requiring methionine as a methyl donor, the present study was undertaken to examine whether metabolism of the amino acid is altered in the presence of large doses of niacin. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were given a nutritionally adequate, semi-synthetic diet containing niacin at a level of either 400 or 1000mg/kg diet (compared to 30mg/kg in the control diet) for up to 3 months. Supplementation with niacin (1,000 mg/kg diet) for 3 months resulted in a significant increase in plasma and urinary total homocysteine levels; this increase was further accentuated in the presence of a high methionine diet. The hyperhomocysteineaemia was accompanied by a significant decrease in plasma concentrations of vitamins B6 and B12, which are cofactors for the metabolism of homocysteine. The homocysteine-raising action of niacin, in particular, has an important toxicological implication, as hyperhomocysteineaemia is considered to be an independent risk factor for arterial occlusive disease. The niacin-associated change in homocysteine status may be an important limiting factor in the use of this vitamin as a lipid-lowering agent."
niacin at a level of either 400 or 1000mg/kg diet
The Cholesterol Lowering Atherosclerosis Study reported an increase in plasma homocyst(e)ine levels in patients receiving both colestipol and niacin compared with placebo.
However, plasma homocyst(e)ine levels can be decreased by folic acid supplementation.
Low vitamin B12 creates high levels of homocysteine in the blood (a sulfur containing amino acid) which damages the endothelium. An unbalanced diet, a strict vegetarian diet that excludes all meat, fish, dairy and eggs diet, or a diet overly reliant on processed foods, could all lead to low vitamin B12 levels, potentially damaging the endothelium20.
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