Evaluation of effects of unmodified niacin on fasting and postprandial plasma lipids in normolipidemic men with hypoalphalipoproteinemia.

King JM, Crouse JR, Terry JG, Morgan TM, Spray BJ, Miller NE
Am J Med. 1994 97 (4): 323-31

PMID: 7942933 · DOI:10.1016/0002-9343(94)90298-4

PURPOSE - The aim of this study was to define the effects of unmodified niacin on basal lipids and lipoproteins and on the plasma triglyceride response to a fatty meal--postprandial or alimentary lipemia--in individuals with low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and normal fasting cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations (normolipidemic hypoalphalipoproteinemia, isolated low HDL-C).

PATIENTS AND METHODS - Twenty-eight normolipidemic men (total plasma cholesterol concentration [TC] < 230 mg/dL [< 6 mmol/L], plasma triglyceride [Tg] < 250 mg/dL [2.75 mmol/L]) with low plasma concentrations of HDL-C were randomly assigned to increasing doses of crystalline niacin (up to 3,000 mg/d) or no drug for 12 weeks, then crossed over to the alternate regimen. Outcome measures included changes in plasma lipoproteins and alimentary lipemia.

RESULTS - Fifteen participants completed the study. Mean baseline HDL-C +/- SD was 31.7 +/- 6.2 mg/dL (0.82 +/- 0.16 mmol/L). Mean baseline TC, plasma concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and Tg were 192 +/- 29.4 mg/dL (4.97 +/- 0.76 mmol/L), 123 +/- 27 mg/dL (3.17 +/- 0.69 mmol/L), and 197 +/- 75 mg/dL (2.17 +/- 0.83 mmol/L), respectively. Unmodified niacin treatment resulted in significant (P < 0.001) reductions of 14% in TC (to 165 mg/dL, 4.26 mmol/L), 40% in Tg (to 119 mg/dL, 1.31 mmol/L), and 18% in LDL-C (to 101 mg/dL, 2.60 mmol/L) and significant increases of 30% in HDL-C (to 42 mg/dL, 1.07 mmol/L), 100% in HDL2 cholesterol (from 5 mg/dL to 9 mg/dL, 0.12 mmol/L to 0.24 mmol/L), and 21% in HDL3 cholesterol (from 27 mg/dL to 33 mg/dL, 0.70 mmol/L to 0.85 mmol/L). Unmodified niacin treatment reduced alimentary lipemia by 45% (P < 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS - Crystalline niacin effectively raises HDL-C, lowers LDL-C, and reduces alimentary lipemia in patients with isolated low HDL-C. However, many patients have difficulty tolerating the drug, and supervision may be required to sustain patient compliance and avoid toxicity.

MeSH Terms (13)

Dietary Fats Fasting Gemfibrozil Humans Hypolipoproteinemias Lipids Lipoproteins, HDL Male Middle Aged Niacin Time Factors Treatment Outcome Triglycerides

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