A recent NIH study assessing the effectiveness of Niaspan (a niacin supplement used to decrease triglycerides and raise HDL cholesterol) was terminated early because of concerns it may actually be harming patients. This also puts into question whether Tricor, another triglyceride lowering agent actuallys prevents heart disease.
I follow a simple rule with patients when reversing their low HDL cholesterol and high triglycerides, both know risk factors for heart disease.
Step 1 – Decrease carbohydrate intake to lower triglycerides.
Step 2 – Increase saturated fat intake and exercise more to raise HDL cholesterol.
Very simple, low cost, no copays and no side effects.