High Levels of Niacin Linked to Heart Disease


A new report published in Nature Found has linked high levels of niacin to heart disease. Experimenters found that niacin, which is also known as Vitamin B3, can promote inflammation and damage blood vessels. Niacin is fortified in many flours, grains, and cereals. It is also found naturally in fish and nuts. Despite its ubiquitous presence in the average American diet, many still take niacin supplements, which physicians are warning against in light of this new finding. Numerous experiments detailed in the report found that a breakdown product of niacin called 4PY can increase inflammation in blood vessels when found in high amounts. This increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, and ultimately, death. Researchers are hopeful that the discovery of this niacin pathway can inform the development of new medications to prevent cardiovascular disease, specifically through a reduction in blood vessel inflammation. Scientists also hope that food manufacturers will reduce the levels of niacin in fortified foods, hopefully leading to a reduction in the incidence of heart disease.

To read the full article by Linda Carroll of NBC News, click here.

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